Originally from Loudéac, she revived the art of woodblock printing in her illustrations for the Breton nationalist book The History of our Brittany by Jeanne Coroller-Danio in 1922. These illustrations were influenced by the earlier Synthetism of Paul Gauguin and Émile Bernard.
The images were greatly admired by René-Yves Creston, who considered them to provide the basis for a revived Breton style in art. Creston collaborated with Malivel on a number of works and in the pair set up Seiz Breur, which quickly grew in influence. The title of the movement was derived from a folk story about seven brothers ("seiz Breur" in Breton) collected and published by Malivel.
Malivel also painted works in fresco, and designed furniture, embroidery and ceramics. She participated in the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Industry in 1925, showing furniture colloboratively designed with Creston. Following her sudden and early death at the age of 30 in the following year, leadership of the movement fell to Creston.
- Jeanne Coroller-Danio , Histoire de notre Bretagne, Éditions Elor, Saint-Vincent-sur-Oust, 1922.
- JR Rotte, Ar Seiz Breur, Éditions Breizh Hor Bro; Jeanne Malivel, son œuvre et les 7 frères, Réédition Aubert.