Bonjour Pencils for Africa Readers!


BlancheRMy name is Blanche and I am a 7th grade student at Saint Hilary School. I have been in California for one year now and my family is from Bordeaux, France. I wish to thank Monsieur Pierre Guidetti for this interview with Pencils for Africa. I love art and colors and I’m interested in all his answers to my questions. My questions to Monsieur Pierre Guidetti are in dark green and bold font.

Monsieur Pierre Guidetti is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Savoire Faire which supplies art materials to artists all around the world. He is very fond of PENCILS and loves to draw! Monsieur Guidetti is also an artist himself.

Merci beaucoup Monsieur Guidetti pour cette opportunité! 

— Blanche


Monsieur Pierre Guidetti

Monsieur Guidetti, how were you inspired to create “Savoir Faire?”

First, I was inspired with my wife because we both started the company and the inspiration came, at the time we used to teach painting on silk and then we find that they were no supplies to use this techniques so we started importing materials and that is how it started.


How do you feel your art supplies changed the artistic abilities around the world?

Because we tried to bring the best quality with our company that inspires company that inspires the artist to paint or draw better and also with history and quality we try to inspire the artist.


I understand that you have met David Hockney.

How is David Hockney is different from other artists and how did he influence you?


I think he has a sense of scale who is able to be painting figurative but at the same time with a certain depths that set him apart particularly if you look at the show that happened at the De Young museum – especially the scales of the landscapes. Something very unique that he does is that he uses iPads. It was very inspiring to have the honor to meet him. That I could walk with him gave me confidence.

Something unique that Hockney does is that he uses iPads.


iPad Art by David Hockney

During your travels in America and France, have you met interesting artists?

Do all artists have the same excitement about their work, and what are the differences between the artists in America and the artists in France?

Yes I have met many artists around the world.

Most of the time all the artists are excited about their works however they show it in different ways, some are shy some are very happy, but most of the time they are very proud.

First of all,  I don’t know if we can make such a big distinction between the two because there are different characteristics. Maybe in France they are stronger academic studies while here people are free. From my field I can say that the Americans are very specific about the materials they use, they want to know everything from their pigment to what binder they want. French are more humble about their work.

I like Cezanne.


Montaigne Sainte Victoire by Cezanne, 1897

The Legion of Honor has an exhibit from the French Impressionist period this month.

Who is your favorite Impressionist artist and what painting speaks to you the most and why?

I like Cezanne.

Montaigne Sainte Victoire because of different gradations and shades he brings into paintings.


What is your favorite tool for an artist and why? 

What artists use this tool that you admire, and what piece of work would you like myself and the Pencils for Africa team to study?

They are two tools which are very fundamental: the brush and the pencil. The pencil is the most essential since it is the foundation of most of the art pieces.

All artists use this tool. Guernica by Picasso, I’m thinking about how the pencil can be used to reflect or memorize certain parts of history.

In history there are lots of Dutch paintings that are amazing, like The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer.


My favorite color is green, what is your favorite color and why? 

What painting in history is your favorite and what modern piece do you like as well? 

Do you think these paintings represent their time period well?

My favorite color is blue but I’m not sure exactly why but if I have to think it would be the elements, it is the depths of the water and the sea… And of my eyes. It’s a precious color, precious because in my art supply world blue was very expensive but then they made chemicals.


My favorite color is blue… if I have to think it would be the elements, it is the depths of the water and of the sea.


I love the Grand Canyon by David Hockney and in history there are lots of Dutch painters that are amazing, like The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer. Yes, but maybe not David Hockney.


We have been taught about the importance of pencils in Africa for education. How do you feel Savoir Faire can help Pencils for Africa make a difference in village schools in Africa?

To help, to provide pencils to some schools in Africa.

To help to talk about the association about the art supply community.

The future of Pencils for Africa will embrace more countries.

Painting of South African village life by Katherine Ambrose

Painting of South African village life by Katherine Ambrose

If you were to describe yourself in a word what would that word be, and please tell me why?

I would describe myself as curious because I’m interested in life and people because I care about others and about the world.

Pencils for Africa is about learning and sharing ideas and information about Africa.

How do you see the future of Pencils for Africa and what suggestions do you have for us to become better global citizens?

I see the future of Pencils for Africa to be embraced in more countries. To be part of this association you are already showing good citizenship.

To be better would be to work harder and to reach out to a bigger community. I think by making the people more aware about the situation in Africa, how they have very little resource to educate themselves. We are on the right track. I just think we should have a more open and a larger scale.

What suggestions do you have for us to be global citizens?

— Blanche


Southern France: The Bay from L’Estaque by Cezanne, 1886

To be part of Pencils for Africa you show good citizenship.

— Pierre

"Cricket Practice" by Katherine Ambrose

Southern Africa: Cricket Practice by Katherine Ambrose, 2006