Meiklejohn are thrilled to announce that we now exclusively represent Hello Marine. Marine is a French illustrator living in the UK and a self-confessed lover of colour and pattern.
She works as a printmaker and illustrator and joins the agency with a versatile list of clients, such as Heal's, Lacoste, Virgin, Coca Cola, Time Out, NY Times and Penguin. We spoke to Marine to get more of an insight into her illustration process and her inspirations.
Firstly, tell us about your studio space.
I share a big space in Brighton with eight other women who work across various disciplines, from textile to jewellery design. Everyone is very creative and brilliant at what they do, so it's a really vibrant and interesting surrounding, we are always bouncing ideas off each other.
What led you to become an illustrator?
I have always been creative, I was encouraged by my parents to take painting classes when I was younger. I studied Graphic Design at Brighton University but after a few placements in various studios I decided I would rather be a freelance illustrator. I needed to create a body of work, so spent some time developing this before I started showing my portfolio to potential clients; I called myself an illustrator there and then and never looked back.
How do you approach a commission?
I usually start with a coffee! When I receive a brief I like to research photographs and visuals related to the subject to trigger ideas. I try and do all of this outside of my studio; at home, in libraries, bookshops, galleries, wherever I may find inspiration. While I am doing this I start to get an idea of what the final piece will look like, I then take all this material and go back to the studio to hand draw all my elements. My next stage is to scan everything, then rework my illustrations and colours in Photoshop.
You describe your work as bold, playful and vibrant, tell us more about your use of colour.
My love of colour heavily influences my work. I have a sketchbook dedicated to colour, where I collect colour schemes I like and want to use within my work. It could be the colours of a photograph, an outfit somebody is wearing, packaging, a building, a painting in a museum, an old book cover, anything that really grabs my attention I record in a notebook. I'm naturally attracted to bright palettes but more and more I'm trying to tame those colours, when needed. I actually really enjoy working in monochrome every so often.
Which other artists inspire your work?
It's hard for me to pinpoint which artists influence me as I'm very curious, my inspirations are evolving all the time. Although having said that, there is definitely a constant influence from people like Margaret Kilgallen, Matisse and Sonia Delaunay.
Is there an illustration project that you have particularly enjoyed working on?
I really enjoyed working on a campaign for Lacoste, I was asked to create a series of visuals illustrating l'esprit Lacoste. I was given three themes to work around, the beach, surfing and sailing. I really enjoyed exploring the subject matter.
You've worked on many different types of commissions - producing artwork for homewares, advertising, editorial and publishing. How do the challenges of each vary?
I really love the diversity of the projects I work on, this is my favourite aspect of the job. It sometimes means I have to try and learn new things on the spot, which I love. For example, I had never printed on textile before I designed and hand printed a collection for Heal's, that was a very scary but enjoyable challenge. Although each project is different, they all have the same challenge; answering the brief to the best of my ability and creating a successful artwork.
And finally, what would your dream project be?
I'd really like to see some of my illustration on a bigger scale. A large mural would be amazing to work on, I'd love a new challenge.