Isabelle Feliu

We love Illustrator Isabelle Feliu's dreamlike paintings inspired by her moods, dreams and travels. After moving from Montreal to Oslo, Isabelle struggled to find a job due to the language barrier, and so started to paint every day as a way to kill time — and now look at her! We discuss going to University because you feel you're supposed to, the experimentation she went through to develop her style, and getting straight to the point with that first email!

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied fashion design and merchandising in Montréal. My firsts jobs were in sales in clothing stores. I also did many internships in fashion design and marketing as part of my studies.

Did you have a plan for graduation and what actually happened?

I didn’t have a plan at all and had absolutely no idea of what I was doing. Back then I didn’t even know what I liked to do, and honestly, I think I just went to university and then found a job because it was what I was “supposed to do”. So I found a job as an assistant fashion designer in Montréal. I stayed there 10 months until I decided to move to Norway to be with my boyfriend. It wasn’t possible for me to find a job in Norway as I didn’t speak the language and there weren’t many opportunities in fashion so I just had a lot of time and I started painting every day.

Design work by Isabelle Feliu The Design Kids interviews Isabelle Feliu work-2

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I am an illustrator; I create paintings for different clients and also sell my work as prints and originals.

What do you look for in a great client?

It is primordial for me that my clients share my values and tastes. It is also important that they are clear about their project; I like to get a thorough description of the collaboration they have in mind, deadlines and budget in the first e-mail. Some potential clients sometimes write to me just saying “hey, we are that brand, are you interested in working with us?”. Unless it is a brand that I know and love I really can’t answer that question.

Finally, It is important to me that the client wishes to give me freedom. I am ok with guidelines and providing one sketch and a few changes if required, but I am simply not the kind of illustrator who can make many rounds of sketches and a 100 changes and still be proud of my work at the end.

Design work by Isabelle Feliu The Design Kids interviews Isabelle Feliu work-4
Design work by Isabelle Feliu The Design Kids interviews Isabelle Feliu work-4

I explored with different mediums for two years until I started to feel like I was beginning to express myself through illustration.

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

I have always loved to draw, but my style really took shape when I started to work intensively and purposefully decided that I would develop a style. I explored with different mediums for two years until I started to feel like I was beginning to express myself through illustration.

I would definitely advise to be curious and explore, but above all to illustrate what interests you. Don’t draw or paint things just because you feel like it is what you should be doing at this point in your career. Do things your way; from your website to your work and your social media. For me it was important to work intensively to develop my style, I don’t think it would have developed as efficiently if I hadn’t worked on it many hours every day. I know that not everyone has the luck to have as much free time as I had in the beginning, but I think it's important to get as much time as you can for it if it is really what you want to do.

2018 for you in a sentence.

Finding the balance.

Design work by Isabelle Feliu The Design Kids interviews Isabelle Feliu work-6
Design work by Isabelle Feliu The Design Kids interviews Isabelle Feliu work-6

Where to find Isabelle Feliu online.

Website: isabellefeliu.com

Instagram: @isabellefeliu

Twitter: @isabellefeliu

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