Sandra Albukrek

Visual artist, author and illustrator who enjoys exploring all art mediums. Founder and Director of the Atelier des Lutins since 2001.

Sandra Albukrek

Visual artist, author and illustrator, painter and sculptress, But I also sing in by spare time, I tell stories when I feel like it, and play percussion to liven things up! 

How did it all begin?!!!

I was born in Istanbul, cradled by the waves of the green waters of the Bosporus, the cries of the seagulls of the Princes’ Islands, the sound of my father's violin and my mother's Italian songs.

I was a dreamy girl from a line of polyglot exiles. I went to an Italian kindergarten, Turkish primary school and then the French Lycée of Istanbul.

I always had a pencil, a paint brush or a book in my hand, and at 4 years old I discovered a passion for clay. Pictures, creation and tinkering were my favorite worlds to explore, and also singing, stories and dancing. Even as a child, I felt that I had to explore art in all of its forms, and I was convinced that artists should be able to express themselves in many different ways! 

After receiving my baccalaureate, I left sweet Istanbul for majestic Paris. I was accepted at ENSAD (Paris Institute of Decorative Arts) where, over the course of five years, I explored drawing, painting, engraving, photography, sculpture, architecture, theories of color, music, esthetics and philosophy with joy and passion. I received a degree in stage design and I worked with several artistic groups including the Pina Bausch Company. 

One day, a wonderful experience at an art class for children led me to (re)discover my complicity with the wonderful creative world of children.

In 2001 I founded the Atelier des Lutins (the Elves’ Workshop) in Paris, in the Butte aux Cailles, and I began to write and illustrate books for children. I moved to Geneva and opened a new Atelier des Lutins in Switzerland in 2010. Through this wonderful adventure of exchanges and creations, I met hundreds of children and their playful imaginations.

Creativity is a joy when it flows freely, but sometimes the spring dries up…

I think it is essential to identify and to overcome the blocks that all children and adults encounter, and this is as true for me as for anyone else. In my accompaniment in creative workshops, by playing with words, lines and shapes, I transmit my tools for overcoming blocks. Everyone learns to take charge of their imagination and their creativity.

I have always been fascinated by the complexity of creativity: by its moments of explosive joy, its calming strength and the terrifying moments of feeling blocked. I wanted to immerse myself in the theory and intensive practice of creation. This led me to study expressive art therapy at the "L’ATELIER" Institute in Geneva. It was a remarkable experience during which I explored free painting, the art of puppets in conjunction with the inner world, clowning, free movement and dance, theatrical performances, psychodrama, vocal improvisation, the art of storytelling and meeting the worlds of other people. 

Today I am a multi-disciplinary artist, author and illustrator. I open myself to the world of creation and let come to me whatever forms may emerge: paintings, sculptures, mobiles, writing, etc.

I am also an expressive art therapist. I lead personal development workshops for children and adults in my art therapy studio: studioARTherapie.


Banner: Sandra Albukrek, founder and director of the art studio l’Atelier des Lutins