At 33, the graphic designer Mikaël Barelaud-Eludut is renowned for his artistic creations, which he publishes regularly on his Instagram account. The author of a number of creations for world-famous brands as well as Monaco-based firms, the art aficionado is about to take over the creative reins of his own agency: Office Mikado.
Not for him a match with FC Barcelona or Real Madrid, or even AS Monaco. Mikaël spent his evenings in edit mode on the famous Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), FIFA’s main competitor in the football video game field, so he could redesign the logos and kit for the game’s teams.
A vocation born in Dallas
“A lot of clubs weren’t licensed in the game, so I would copy the shirts and the logos and share the memory card all over the neighbourhood,” says the artist, who also had fun drawing the Simpsons characters wearing soccer shirts. Homer and Bart, AS Monaco supporters? Absolutely!
Mikaël Barelaud-Eludut arrived in Monaco at the age of three with his family from Limoges, growing up in social housing in the Moneghetti neighbourhood of the Principality. A poor but happy childhood. “My father left us: my mother, my sister and me,” he says. “My mother worked at Monaco prison. Financially, it was not always easy.”
A little voice in his head kept saying, “Work always pays off”. He left high school in the Principality with honours, enabling him to obtain a scholarship – “a real opportunity”- Mikaël headed for the United States. To Dallas, Texas, in particular. “Deep in the heart of Texas” he jokes. “It was different. But I liked it.” So much so that he stayed there for two years. And a vocation was born.
Truth be told, he had already found his vocation, but “Over there, graphic design got serious. I persevered. I wanted to make it my job.” Back in Monaco, the fan of Formula 1, architecture and modern art had only one goal: to create a portfolio.“ I worked practically for free for two years as a freelance,” he recalls. “And then I was spotted.”
A strong community on social networks
Talent will out. The Del Monte group, world leader in canned foods, invited him to join their European headquarters, based in Monaco. He designed the cans for five years. Pineapple slices? Yes that was him. “At the same time, Instagram had started to become popular.”
A real workaholic, who needs little or no sleep – “six hours is a luxury for me” – Mikaël Barelaud-Eludut publishes his personal artistic creations on his account. Which hasn’t gone unnoticed by other, bigger, accounts. Today, “Mikadololo” has no fewer than 23.5k subscribers.
A network that helped him find customers; local ones at first, then more and more prestigious names. Moncler, Puma, Nike. The number of partnerships multiplied and led the Monaco resident to start his own business. Previously a consultant for The Office Communication, the young father of a 20-month-old daughter is preparing to take on the artistic direction of the communication company renamed “Office Mikado”.
A first achievement for the man who dreams of one day opening an art gallery in the Principality. “Not to promote myself personally, but to exhibit the works of young artists that I follow on social networks and who deserve to be known.“ Attached to Monaco, Mikaël Barelaud-Eludut certainly has no plans to leave. “I’m so lucky. When you leave, you realise just what a beautiful part of the world you’re in”, says the accomplished artist.