Sophie is an interior designer trained at ENSAV La Cambre (Brussels). However she’s currently more devoted to her work as an illustrator. She likes to make things with her hands, to work the material. Her attention is focused on landscapes, spaces and architecture, with a strong attachment to colors and wax pastels, her favorite tool.
year of birth: 1996
birthplace: Metz, France
current residence: Annecy, France
Sophie started to draw professionally in 2020 when someone contacted her on Instagram to sell her work in a shop in Normandy (and her drawings are still being sold there, almost two years later).
Where did it all begin?
I think everything began when I was a child. From the early beginning, drawing has been one of my favorite activities. When I was little, I secretly dreamed that one day, I would sell my drawings. I’m 25 and it’s happening. My dream came true! (laughs)
Most beautiful moment during the creative process?
Artists seem to agree on this: it’s all about the flow! That’s when the drawing transports me and takes me in a certain direction and it’s no longer me who decides. In the end I’m surprised to see where it has taken me, because the illustration took a turn that I hadn’t anticipated.
What doesn’t inspire you?
I’m having trouble answering this question. Often unconsciously, everything inspires us : what we see, what we hear, what we smell and feel, the environment in which we live, in which we draw, the music we’re listening to at the moment, the movie we saw yesterday and the book we read the day before. And of course people around us, our family and unknown people in the street. Actually it’s funny that I say that, because the common point of most of my drawings is the absence of characters! I think I like to create universes and environments in which everyone can project themselves and feel like the main character, like the unique observer. I want to offer to whoever is looking at my drawing a break in this crazy world, a moment for him/ herself.
What are you proud of?
I am convinced that artists have the power to make everyday life more beautiful and it’s an honor to be part of this profession. We have the power to create interrogation, astonishment, surprise, interest and to attract people’s attention and gaze. We can spread important messages and arouse emotions.
Who would you like to meet or who would you like to work with?
I think I would love to work with a textile designer or a ceramist. Associate my drawings with materials and craftsmanship. What I want above all is to work with people and brands who share my values: small scale production as local as possible, noble and resistant materials, no exploited people on the other side of the world, no overproduction. It’s essential that my work does not have a negative impact. When I say artists have the power to make everyday life more beautiful, it has a double meaning: there is the aspect of “making the beautiful”, visually, by the choice of colors, the line of pencils, the chosen subject, and there is “making the beautiful” through our actions, how we decide to produce objects, with which materials and where.
Without hesitation, my favorite material is wax pastels! They give me relief. The sensation when the pastel rubs the sheet of paper and leaves a trace full of pigments is inexplicable. I can’t really explain why this tool has this particular effect on me that I don’t feel with color pencils or markers, although I like to use these too sometimes.
What would you have done, if not this?
I don’t see myself doing anything else than being an illustrator and a designer, or an artist in general. I think I would have loved to be a ceramicist too, but it’s not too late to add this practice to my route! (laughs)
When was your biggest moment of doubt?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not someone who doubts a lot. I can have doubts about a color on a drawing, but not about my life’s project because I’m where I want to be and I do what I love. I feel like I’m in the right place. So I go for it and I follow my instinct! It’s very important to listen to yourself, I think we always have the answer deep inside, we just have to listen to it and do (make)! A few months ago, I wondered about how to conciliate my illustration practice and my work as an interior designer, how much time and energy to give to both without one taking over the other. Finally, I let myself be carried. For now, I have illustration projects, so I’m dedicated to that. Architecture and design are essential to me too, so I know that projects will happen through encounters and desires! There will be opportunities when the time comes. Actually, I’m going to meet someone I would really like to work with on interior design projects soon. We’ll see!
Who is your biggest supporter?
Classic answer, I guess: my mom. She’s always enthusiastic when she sees my drawings! Is she objective? That’s a good question. (laughs) I’m lucky to have relatives who support me in my choices and my desires. My boyfriend is also an infallible support: he’s an artist too and we give each other advice in our respective artistic practices. When I hesitate about a drawing, about the choice of colors for example, his wise eye always saves me!
My favorite image is this little moment captured a few weeks ago during a walk in the mountains: silence, white nature, warming sun, little footprints left by an animal and this immense happiness of having settled in the mountains a few months ago. A quite graphic image, almost abstract, that gives way to imagination.
What is to you, the most beautiful sentence?
I have a notebook full of sentences that I love, and came across in books and films or on the internet. I chose these two for you:
“Non pas que j’aime risquer ma vie. C’est au contraire parce que je l’aime trop que je veux tout risquer pour elle” (Not that I like to risk my life. On the contrary, it is because I love her too much that I want to risk everything for her)
– Maud Fontenoy, a French navigator
And: “Mon aquarelle, peinte à l’eau de mer, fut sensible aux attractions lunaires et sujettes aux marées” (My watercolor, painted with sea water, was sensitive to lunar attractions and subject to tides)
– Alphonse Allais
What do you still want to do?
My big dream was to illustrate a children’s book and I’ve just signed my first publishing contract with a beautiful publishing house named Panthera. So this is a big step for me! Other than that, there are plenty of ideas that bump into each other: I would like to do more mural drawings, outside in public spaces. It’s crazy to see your own drawing occupy space in much larger proportions than on a sheet of paper. One of my dreams is to create a fresco in a hospital to ease the lives of patients, especially in a pediatric department. I would like to draw some illustrations for puzzles (I like to do puzzles) and drawings for the press. One more thing would be to teach drawing classes to children and adults in public structures.
Where do you work?
My workshop is located in the center of Annecy (France), it’s also my home. It’s where I live, where I work, where I draw and where I feel good. I share my workshop with my boyfriend who is a photographer and I think that’s really cool. (laughs)
Want to see more of Sophie’s work?