Marylou is an uber-talented, super friendly illustrator based in London. Originally from across the channel in Paris, she studied Art Direction, gaining a masters degree from ESAG Penninghen and now part of illustration collective Puck.
Her colourful and vibrant illustrations are a splash of fun & positivity in our world - now happily adorning the walls of our studio. With a self proclaimed passion for character design and typography, her work is playful, with bold colour palettes and touches of humour and honesty throughout.
As a Friend of GFY, we caught up with Marylou to get an insight into her colourful world:
We understand you’re originally from France and moved over to London. Can you tell us a bit more about your background and the reason you decided to head over here?
Sure! So, after I graduated from my school in Paris (L’Esag Penninghen), I had the choice between starting work there or moving away. I used to live in London when I was younger and still felt that the city was my second home, so I decided to go for it. I had no contacts or work opportunities but I figured I should give it a go :) It paid off as I spent the first year there working in different agencies either as an intern or a freelance, and I learnt a lot.
How did a career in illustration begin?
Well, after my first year in London, I had the opportunity to work on a lot of illustration projects and I realised that they were the ones I loved the most. I feel it really started when I worked alongside Andy Spencer, who gave me the opportunity to work on a series of illustrations for The London Transport Museum. That’s when I realised how much fun you could have working as an illustrator.
How would you describe your style?
I would say it’s a pop, bold, eccentric style with a bright and vibrant colour palette.
What project are you most proud of?
I worked on a series of illustrations for a cook book called Killing Me Soufflé. I did almost 100 illustrations overall, including the cover, and I feel very proud to see it in little shops and Waterstones.
What are you working on now?
So for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on my online shop, creating new visuals and getting everything ready! I’ve also got a couple potential projects starting soon :)
What’s been your best experience as a result of your work?
It’s just really nice to see the positive feedback I get, especially when I’m working on personal projects and I’m not really sure what it’s worth. When I see the reaction and people’s comment, it makes me want to do much more. Also, as a result of working on loads of products, I was a part of The London Illustration Fair where I had a stand to sell most of them. It was an amazing experience and I’d love to do it again.
Your work is always very bright, colourful and playful. Is this sense of positivity something you feel should always be present in your work?
Yes, definitely. I think I’m quite a positive person (although we all have our dark moments) and the ideas that pop into my head are always of something fun and quirky. I love working with a bright colour palette and can’t seem to get away from it.
I want my illustrations to make people happy or at least have a little smile when they see it.
What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?
At the moment, I’m looking for different ways and medium to bring my illustrations to life and it’s been giving me loads of new ideas. Otherwise, anything that’s bright and pop always inspires me.
How would you say your style has developed over the years?
It changed completely. I went from doing some really detailed illustrations using thin black and white lines to basically the opposite. But I loved doing that previous style as well and it helped find the style that I think suits me way more now.
Tell us something unexpected being an illustrator has allowed you to achieve?
I think it just made me way more social. I wasn’t the most outgoing person when I was younger but when I started my career as an illustrator, my experiences and the people I met along the way made me more outspoken and approchable. Also, when you start drawing tits and bums all the time, it sorts of takes away a few barriers :)
What’s your personal motto?
To each their own
3 top tips for any up-and-coming illustrator?
Have fun, try again and work a lot :)
What equipment and techniques do you like to use?
I like to sketch out my ideas using pen and paper and then the colours will always be made on Photoshop and Illustrator!