Introducing Parisian artist, Agathe Singer, who infuses her work with her love of nature and the creatures that surround us. We wanted to know how she discovered her unique style, which can often feel very exotic and mysterious, and what inside tips she might have for aspiring artists.
How did you end up doing what you do? Is this your dream job?
I studied art and graphic design in Paris, but my first job was as a graphic designer in advertising. I soon realised how much I missed drawing and painting, so I built a portfolio and quit my job. I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator since then (almost ten years) and it’s my absolute dream job.
Paris comes across beautifully in your work. But your colour palette and wild animals also feel very exotic. How did you discover such a distinctive style?
I discovered the work of Le Douanier Rousseau when I was a teen and it was an instant crush! His images are complex with a unique sense of composition, colors and mystery, yet his style is very naive. He inspired me to explore magical fauna and flora, and I started developing this imaginary garden full of bright coloUrs and naive, simple shapes.
Your depiction of women is very powerful and positive. What inspired you to represent womanhood in this way?
I used to be uncomfortable drawing characters. But then I started painting women the way I paint flowers, which really helped; simple round shapes, strong contrast and a few details. I like my portraits to express vitality, power and joy, and at the same time a certain stillness.
Describe your typical creative process - can you switch it on or off, or do you have to get into the zone?
Now that I have kids I really need to switch it on and off. I usually start with a few quick sketches to work out the composition. Choosing the colour palette is also a big part of my process – I usually work with just a few colours, it’s like a playful constraint. Once the drawing is in place, I like to have fun with the patterns and the details, such as making a cat’s mustache fill a blank space as if it had a life of its own.
What advice would you give an aspiring artist?
I guess to practice and experiment a lot, and to explore what’s nourishing you personally, which helps develop your own style and inspiration for your work. Also, show your work to others – Instagram is a great place to start. Working on a comprehensive portfolio and getting in touch with brands, clients, galeries or agents you feel close to is also a big step.
Blue Cat & Wiggling Flowers
Blue Cat pays homage to my love of painting cats! I grew up in the countryside and we used to have dozens of cats wandering around our garden and living around the house.
For Wiggling Flowers I was inspired by tulips. They have such a funny personality to me! I like to see them as a bunch of friends giggling together over a funny story.