With Summer well on the way, we are extremely excited to introduce the inimitable illustrator, Isabelle Feliu - her style is whimsical and dreamlike, however her organically drawn images of women feel more relevant than ever, and have been making waves in the fashion world. We caught up with the artist in her current home town of Oslo, Norway.
Follow Isabelle @isabellefeliu
Tell us a bit about how you started illustrating.
I started illustrating when I first moved to Oslo to be with my boyfriend, almost 3 years ago. I had just left my first job as fashion designer assistant in Montréal and I didn’t manage to find another job in Oslo. I didn’t mind because I had a lot of trouble dealing with the 9 to 5 lifestyle. I had a lot of free time, so I just started drawing more and more.
We LOVE your style of painting, you have such a distinct style – what would you say has had the most impact on your art?
Thank you! I would say my moods and wishes. My illustrations are mainly about escapism. I am constantly dreaming about imaginary or real places I would love to visit, things I would like to do, clothes or accessories that I feel inspired by. I love mixing all of this together; my paintings are a kind of wish-list.
How would you describe your style of painting? To us it feels like it carries a historical relevance yet retains such a modern feel.
I really am not sure. I feel very inspired by artists like Gauguin, Matisse and Fernand Léger just to name a few, but also by contemporary artists that I discovered on Instagram like Ines Longevial & Karl-Joel Larsson. My inspirations and references are all over the place.
Do you have one most treasured design or character?
Yes! I painted “Desert Beach” a few months ago as a personal painting. I love its composition and vibe; It was exactly where I wanted to be at that moment when I painted it; in the middle of the Scandinavian winter. It is very rare that a painting turns exactly as I wanted it to. I usually have no problem parting with my work but I think it will be a bit more difficult with this one if it ever gets sold.
Where’s home right now?
That’s a difficult question! I currently live in Oslo, but I am nostalgic of Montréal and think about it pretty much all the time.
Where are your favourite places to visit when you want to feel inspired?
Botanical gardens always help, we have a beautiful one in Oslo. Otherwise I would say travels (and also taking some time off work and the internet) are the best things I can do to feel inspired. I recently went to India where I have been overwhelmed by inspiration and I felt the same a few years ago when I went to Morocco. I wish I could visit these places more often.
What was the last book that you read?
Le Temps des amours by Marcel Pagnol.
How would you describe your personal style?
Casual and simple. I don’t accessorize much and I try my best to embrace slow fashion and invest in pieces that I know I will love for a long time. My uniform is high waisted jeans and a turtle neck sweater.
So far, who has been your favourite designer to illustrate?
I really have no favourites, but I tend to be more inspired by smaller and independent brands because I often can relate more to their universe, but that really isn’t a rule.
And lastly, a question we ask everyone.. what do you wear to bed?
Mostly underwear, and also my Yolke pyjamas
Thank you, Isabelle!