This week we welcome illustrator Isabel Arsenault to Feature Fridays! She has been drawing and illustrating since she can remember, and is now starting her own illustrating business. We love her simple tip at the end to “practice, practice, practice!” Whenever we take on a creative pursuit we hear those words so much that we often forget it’s some pretty good advice. Even the best need to keep practicing to stay the best. In fact, since starting our Feature Fridays so many of our Features have had tremendous growth in their work. It’s really fun to watch everyone’s progress! Maybe, we should do a “Where Are They Now Feature Friday” edition. Comment below if that’d interest you. As for Isabel, we know we will see many more amazing illustrations from her in the future as her business expands! Read her interview and see some of her pieces below.
: How did you begin illustrating?
: I think like a lot of graphic artists I was born with a pencil in my hand! At school I was living for the art classes, and of course drawing even in the other classes! So at 16 I went to Art School and then went to Fashion School where I got a degree in Fashion Design. Still, my favorite class was illustration class! Then I got a BACC in Graphic Design and still took illustration classes.
: How did you go about finding your signature illustrating style? Or are you still trying to find it?
: I grew up watching Disney’s Cinderella and Sleeping beauty. Then came Albator and Candy, Japanese animes (manga style) who, I think, are what defined my style at fashion school without me really knowing about it and are still a part of my style. But I am working to improve my style as I try to give the women more softness, finesse and details in the movement ant the expressions. I do have to work on my patience. 🙂
: Is illustrating your hobby or something you want to make a career?
: Right now I am in the process of starting my own business as a Fashion Illustrator! It is a very exciting new project! I sometimes feel like I am an impostor in the illustration world but I am working on that!!
: Do you do other types of art or creative things?
: Actually, after graduating from Graphic Design school, I went and got a degree in Biomedical sciences (don’t ask! I guess this is what happens when you are too curious!) And then worked for 10 years in neurosciences research. Believe it or not you have to be really creative to work in research lab! I love it!
: What about your surroundings inspires you the most?
: All of my drawings are inspired by fashion photography. The light, the poses, the beautiful models are what makes me want to draw!
: How would you describe your personal style? Does it match your illustrating aesthetic?
: In real life I love simple street style fashion. I am happy in jeans and t-shirts or a nice man shirt but I tend to illustrate fancier stuff! I guess what represents me the most in my illustration is the ballerina bun! I have to fight to not draw all my ladies with ballerina buns.
: What art supplies do you use?
: I’ve tried a lot of medium in school. But what I love the most are pencils, markers and inks. I plan to do digital art very soon!
: Do you sell your work or take commissions?
: Yes I am starting to take commissions and I am planning on opening a shop to sell online soon!
: In what areas do you wish to improve or expand your illustrating skills?
: I really want to experiment with digital illustration to improve the final looks of my drawings. I think I have a long way to go before I can feel totally satisfied with my work, I am a perfectionist. I guess this means practice practice practice!!!
: What are your greatest dreams/goals?
: Since I am starting my own illustration business I can say that one of my dream goals is to make a living of what I like the most doing: illustrating beautiful things and beautiful people. I also would love to travel all around the world and maybe someday live somewhere I didn’t expect I would!
: Tell us a little bit about who you are?
: I am a French speaking mom with 2 beautiful kids! I live in Montreal, Canada. I love music, architecture, design, fashion, art supplies and I also love Neurosciences and profiling psychology! Even if I am starting as a fashion illustrator, I am still working as a consultant in a pharmaceutical research lab and I like being able to express both sides of my personality!
: Any advice for fellow illustrators out there?
: No advice, all I can tell people who are passionate about drawing is to take pleasure in what they do, always. And then, practice practice practice!!!!