Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Maxym Boutoleau

Where are you now and what are you doing?

I’m in Barcelona studying transportation design at IED Barcelona. Throughout my course, I’ve experimented with modelling software, such as Alias and Blender, built clay models of some of my projects and learnt design philosophies across various modes of transportation such as cars, trucks, motorbikes and yachts.

While at ISL, you participated in the Art2Cure exhibit (and subsequently won a prize). Can you tell us a little bit about that?

After I enrolled in art for the IB I produced a series of sculptures inspired by the automotive industry. First I designed and then modelled them on Sketch Up and subsequently applied my knowledge of wood, aluminium, and 3D printing to manufacture these artworks. It took two years to finish my exhibition and after finally submitting them I didn’t know what to do with my sculptures. Some were too big to bring back home and with the effort put into each artwork I didn’t want to scrap them. It was at that point that I remembered we had previously visited an exhibition close to school called the ART2Cure. I thought why not try and submit my work and see if the organizers would be interested? I wrote about my story and sent over pictures of my work. Two weeks passed and I received an email saying that the organizers were extremely interested in my work. Not too long after I invited Phillipe Lamesch, the one in charge of the ART2Cure, to come and see my sculptures. He was very impressed by the quality and creative work that I had produced and surprised about how young I was. He had mentioned that because the catalogue had already been completed for this year's exhibition, he was going to create a new award and space, which he called the “Young Emerging Artist Award”. When the time came, I brought my sculptures to the space at the BIL in Luxembourg and displayed my work alongside established artists. The vernissage began and I sold one of my works in the first 20 minutes. I was overjoyed! The exhibition was open throughout the summer and ended with a closing event. That night I had sold three other works. I couldn’t believe it and it meant that I had sold 4/5 of my works. I later personally met the people who bought my works and came into contact with some incredible people.

Was this your first exhibit as an artist?

After exhibiting at ISL for the IB this was my first professional exhibition. That was until I got in contact with a reputable sculptor in Luxembourg named Pit Molling and they offered me an opportunity to collaborate on upcoming works. In 2024 we came together and produced a series of three works with a focus on combining our design philosophies. We were then able to exhibit our work at the prestigious “Le CAL” Exhibition. It was a successful collaboration and I learnt a lot about the 3D printing practices used by Pit Molling. Hopefully, I was able to do the same for him with my wood practices. Moreover, it was an exciting way for me to come back into the art world after being out of it for 2 years. 

You exhibited (and sold) several sculptures at the exhibit – how did you become interested in sculpture?

I was never a fan of sketching or painting even now at university where I’ve been forced to learn. I enjoyed the hands-on experience of building sculptures. Compared to other artistic expressions, I prefer how sculptures present themselves within a space. I also love the process of manipulating materials like wood and aluminium for design.

Were you able to develop these skills while at ISL?

Not exactly. Although my teacher was important in the design phase in which she critiqued my ideas, my father was the one who mentored me on the construction of the sculptures. With his background in mechanical engineering, he knew of optimal ways to help implement my ideas into art. With this experience, I learnt crucial skills that I still apply to my work to this day.

Are you still continuing to pursue sculpture or are you pursuing other art forms?

In tandem with my sculptures from the ART2Cure my mother had the idea of experimenting with NFTs. In addition to my physical sculptures, I created 3D models on Blender and had them animated. I created multiple versions and displayed them at my exhibition. It was a way to experiment with technology.

I mentioned above that I participated in a new exhibition in 2024 called “Le CAL”, this was a way of continuing to pursue my artistic background.

Who has been most influential in your work?

There is certainly a combination of artists and designers that I have researched but no one in particular. However, my mother and father were also very influential.

What inspires you to create?

I’ve always critiqued the design of elements around me and have been simply drawn to the fact that I would want to design something for my own liking. I’ve built little accessories at home that I’ve designed. Also, I’ve been fond of cars for many years and know which designs are successful and what makes them unique and beautiful. I’ve been critical about certain elements and would love to create my own car in the future. However, I have yet to design it.

You are currently studying transportation design. How does your background in sculpture influence what you do?

I learned that my sculptures share repetition and pattern as a design language. Thus, I apply it unconsciously to my work at university when designing vehicles, or even graphics for presentations.

Where can we see some of your work (website, etc)?

My work can be seen on my LinkedIn or my Instagram.

Instagram - @maxymboutoleau.designs


  • Alumni