How would you describe yourself in three words – who is Isabelle Feliu?
I would say that I am rational, but also a dreamer and a bit of an introvert.
Why did you choose fashion illustrations? What attracted you to it?
I have always been obsessed with the world of fashion, and I also love to draw even if I didn’t draw so much in the few years before I became a fashion illustrator. But when I moved to Norway and started having a lot of time on my hands, I started to make fashion illustrations every day, without really thinking about why. I guess I just needed a bit of time to figure out what I really wanted to do.
You mostly paint women with somewhat of exaggerated physical proportions. Could you explain it?
That is also something I didn’t think much about at the beginning, the only thing I thought about is that I wanted my girls to be a bit weird and different. Now that it is part of my style, I enjoy developing it and showing body diversity through my illustrations; I am hoping it can somehow send a positive message. The fashion industry is just starting to show more diversity through fashion shows, campaigns, etc. and I would love to do the same trough illustrations.
How would you describe your illustrative style to someone who has never seen one of your illustrations before?
I would say that it is light, eye candy and colorful, and that it mostly depict women enjoying their beautiful clothes or summer days.
When did your interest in fashion start and how?
I was interested in fashion as far as I can remember. My mother is a talented seamstress, and when I was younger, she encouraged me to draw some pieces that she would then make. I started to be more serious about working in fashion when I started studying fashion design at age 17.
Can the creativity be learned later, or is it a feeling that is always within the human being?
I think it is something that can be learned at any stage of life. Of course, some people are just born with a talent, but it is useless if they don’t have the drive and discipline to develop it. I believe that, like for everything else in life, creativity is more about hard work and dedication than talent.
How much of your own personality goes into your illustrations?
A lot! It is hard to explain, but I do think my illustrations reflect my personality. When I do personal projects, they are often about places I would love to visit, or clothes I would like to wear. I guess it is a bit how I dream! I am careful to choose the projects that will allow me to do the same, as it is important to me that my illustrations are somehow linked to my personality.
You created series of illustrations for International Women Day for PUMA. We would love to know more about it. What’s the story behind it?
For the project, I was asked to do a series of illustrations showing women together, and they also gave me a sentence that I had to include in the illustrations. I inspired myself from it to draw women hanging out in a park in different groups, doing different activities whether they were having a picnic or playing volley. I wanted it to celebrate women in a cheerful and light way, just showing scenes that could happen in everyday life.
Is there a particular brand that you’d love to work for that you haven’t yet?
I would looove to make some illustrations for Delpozo because I am obsessed with Josep font’s shapes and colors! I am also discovering sportswear, which is surprising because I am… let’s say a non-sporty person. But I loved working with Puma, and I would love to illustrate women playing sports or being in movement. It is definitely something I need to explore more.
What is a day in the life of Isabelle Feliu like? Tell us about your daily routine.
I work for myself, and from home, so it is important for me to be disciplined and wake up as early as I can. I then have coffee, and if I need to do things like answering emails or update my website, I like to do it first thing so I can just draw and paint for the rest of the day. While I am working on my illustrations, I love to listen to audio books or play some shows on my computer. It needs to be very simple stories as I don’t concentrate on them. I usually stop working when my boyfriend comes back home from work, and we have dinner. If I still have any energy after it, I continue working, usually doing some photoshop.
What do you like to do when you are not drawing?
Mmh, that’s a hard question because I really am drawing most of the time! But on the weekends I like to discover new restaurants, bars or exhibitions with my boyfriend or some friends.
What are your top five songs on your playlist?
Right now, it would be: Slow and Never Mind from Leonard Cohen, I from Kendrick Lamar, Tu Si Sabes Quererme from Natalia Lafourcade and The Greatest from Sia and Kendrick Lamar.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
Travels inspire me a lot, but since I am not traveling all the time, I usually look at images on social media. I also religiously look at every fashion show and lookbook on vogue.com. I really enjoy using Pinterest to catalog all the pictures that inspire me.
Who are some other artists and illustrators that influence you?
There is so many! I am very inspired by the great artists Sanyu and Matisse, as for other illustrators, I am very inspired by Bodil Jane, Kelly Beeman, Karolina Pawelczyk, Karl-Joel Lrsn and much more!
Finally, Is there something you wish interviewers would ask you — but never do?
Mmh, I don’t think so, you’ve got it covered. :)