When did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?
Probably since I was three and drawing all day every day with my mum, but it remained an abstract concept until I was around 20. My school books were filled with sketches, but I decided to study advertising instead. It felt more proper somehow. It was not until I joined multi-disciplinary studio Airside in 2006 that I realised illustration was what I was meant to do.
Where do the ideas for your illustrations come from – music, art, films, your friends?
All of those combined and more: I think inspiration for me comes mainly from living. I feed on everyday situations, small things that no one notices. The more I go out and interact with people, the more ideas I get. It is tricky as I am a bit of a workaholic and tend to go through phases of intense workload. As a result, my brain freezes and my ideas run dry.
Which materials do you prefer to work with and why?
I draw mainly on the computer now. I just love the clean lines that Illustrator allows, the perfect curves and bold covers it helps you create. I also love the animated form. Seeing your own work in movement, carrying a narrative, almost as if it had a life of its own all of a sudden, is just magic.
What attracted you to where you are based? Do you think your location has influenced your style?
I come originally from Paris, but have been living in London for 10 years now. I don’t think I would even be an illustrator if it weren’t for London. I met incredibly inspiring people here and it pushed me to develop my personal work and find my own voice. Somehow my work remains very French (or so I hear often), but London is what constantly pushes it in new directions.
You recently illustrated the covers for SHOP magazine’s French Riviera and Tokyo editions. Do you know either destination well?
I have never been to either. As a kid I always went to the Basque region or Corsica for the summer. I play on the fantasy of both those places in my illustrations. Tokyo is one of my next destinations, though; from what I have heard, it seems bonkers and wonderful!
Your ideas are always very astute; where do you start when designing covers for SHOP?
I always explore a lot of ideas at the beginning. I need to get the bad ones out of my system in order to move on. I do a lot of sketches and then edit down as I go. I love saving over my previous files – that way there is no going back. I keep going until I feel that I am on to something.
I then go straight into the colours as this is an essential part of my work and draws everything together very quickly. The last phase is the most time-consuming one: refining each line until I find the perfect curve. It is where the magic happens. All those details that no one notices are what makes the final piece look sharp and feel effortless.
Did the covers turn out the way you expected?
I love the Tokyo cover: such a nice one to draw. I love it when an illustration has many layers and an underlying narrative. All those tiny people are going somewhere, maybe shopping, maybe going home. I like playing with the way the brain works and looks at images. And most importantly when it makes people smile.
What should SHOP readers not miss when they visit London?
No one should miss Liberty; it’s such a gorgeous building. And everyone should eat at Rasa, which has some of the best poppadoms I have ever eaten. Tatty Devine is worth a look for crazy, colourful jewellery and the Columbia Road flower market is always good for a Sunday stroll …
What five items will you never travel without?
I am not very good at collecting anything and my bag is mainly a mess of receipts, various papers and much worse. The only constant things in my bag are my phone, keys (when I haven’t lost them), a lipstick, a pen and my Oyster card. Exciting, isn’t it? I am fairly practical for an illustrator.