Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Illustrators Arise: Genevieve Godbout

Dearest readers, I'd like to introduce to you all to a brand new feature on the blog starting now. Well, actually, it's just an old feature...evolved. From now on, every month, I'd like to introduce a different illustrator, who I adore and have yet to feature, through an interview I do with them. First off, give it up for Genevieve Godbout!

A: Hi, Genevieve! Thanks for letting me interview you. Could you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do?

G: My name is Genevieve Godbout and I am an illustrator based in London, UK. I have a blog called Rose-a-Petits-Pois where I post most of my works.

A: What first got you interested in illustration?

G: I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I studied traditional animation in Montreal and then at Gobelins in Paris. Both places taught me a lot. While working at Disney Consumer Products in London I realized I would love to do children books. I don’t write my own stories yet, but I had the chance to be contacted by authors and publishing companies to work with them. I am now represented by Folio Jr., a literary agency based in NYC.

A: What are your most prized works?

G: I don’t know… Right now I’d say none! But when I first saw the printed copies of my books I was pretty excited!

A: With which materials do you usually work?

G: I love drawing with color pencils and pastels. I tend to work on a small format as it gives me a better overview of the illustration. However I am trying to learn to work on bigger formats too. Prior to the color, I do all my concepts and roughs on Photoshop with the Cintiq. I find it a very instinctive tool to use. I can search for ideas and frame my illustration very quickly. The biggest struggle is always to keep the same flow and energy on my final illustration that I usually have on my sketch.

A: What is your greatest inspiration?

G: There are so many! I love the beauty and softness of the Impressionism movement (Degas, Renoir, Monet…) , I love the strong sense of staging of Sempe, I love the color style of Mary Blair and I love the cute characters of Richard Scarry.

A: Have you ever done commissioned works?

G: Yes, I did. It is very fun and challenging. The hardest part is usually to please both the client and myself.

A: Quite recently, you've got the chance to work together with Nadinoo and Anthropologie. Could you tell us a thing or two about that?

G: Nadia, from Nadinoo, is a talented designer whom I had the chance to meet a year and a half ago. I was surprised and very pleased when she asked me to create original prints for her next collection – which ended up being sold to Anthropologie. 

A: If you had to choose between personal projects, commissioned works and competitions, which one would you choose and why?

G: I think it’s good to do a bit of everything. I love working on my personal projects, but commissioned work gives me more structure. I need a deadline to do something efficiently. I never did a completion though. One day, why not!

A: All right, thank you for your time, Genevieve! Just one more thing: what kind of advice would you give to novice illustrators out there?

G: To work hard and to have fun in the process. It’s also important to be inspired and curious about learning new things!

Genevieve Godbout + Nadinoo for Anthrolopogie

What I absolutely love about Genevieve's style: it is so warm and homely. The pastels create such a soft effect, which I usually associate with the sweetest memories of my childhood - it also helps that she illustrates children's books. It is also quite apparent that Impressionism affects her style very much.

Thanks for stopping by, folks! Don't forget to check out her blog for more awesome illustrations. Cheerio!

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