Illustrator and motion designer Manon Richard shares her typical day
As we continue our Nine to Five series, illustrator Manon Richard talks about how she deals with the solitude working from home.
I’m not much of a morning person, so I usually need to spend some time waking up, doing some stretches before starting my working day. When I’m done, there’s always a cup of tea waiting for me, made by my boyfriend. Working from home, I also tend to go out for a walk for maybe half an hour or so, before sitting down in front of my computer. By then it’s about 8-9 o’clock, and I’m ready for the working day to begin. First I go through my emails, usually with a big bowl of muesli and fresh fruit on my desk.
My journey into illustration began when I first worked as a graphic designer. If I had a wedding invitation, flyer or card to design, I would jump at the chance to create a hand drawn illustration. I liked to push the storytelling aspect of a project, so I naturally started drawing more and animating my images. I now work on both motion design and illustration projects. Though I find that working in motion design I need to suggest a different visual identity for each client and project; whereas in illustration I feel I can offer a style which is very much my own identity. Over time I found that I was being commissioned more often for my illustrations, and so became more confident to take on illustration projects and consider myself as an illustrator.
Being a freelancer can be challenging, but it has its advantages by allowing your day to feel much freer and flexible.
If I’m working on a new project, I start by sketching some ideas out on paper, then do the rest of the work on my computer. I used to clean up all my drawings with a thin black pen, scan them and colour them in Photoshop. Having lived abroad for a little while with less equipment at my disposal I started drawing digitally, mainly because I didn’t have access to a scanner. It was important to me to customise my brushes so that I had the same feeling I have with my pen. Since then I’ve been exploring other brushes on my personal projects to see what results I can discover, without straying too far from my own style.
I’ve been a nature enthusiast most of my life, and so when I need a quick break or feel like I’ve got a creative block, I go outside, look at the mountains and take in a few deep breaths.
There are definite difficulties working from home for me and I aspire to have an atelier or share a space with other creative people soon. I’m something of an introvert anyway, and so it can often feel quite lonely; and it can also be tricky separating out my work from my free time, especially because I tend to work late at night.
I’ve been a nature enthusiast most of my life, and so when I need a quick break or feel like I’ve got a creative block, I go outside, look at the mountains and take in a few deep breaths. The landscape of Switzerland is stunning, and I never tire of looking at it! I’ll also make some tea in one of my many ceramic tea pots (I have one for each kind of tea! Green tea, Oolong, Pu-erh and black tea). I tend to then feel recharged, and ready to keep working.
I like to make free time inbetween projects to reacquaint myself with painting, or try new things: like ceramics, wood block printing. I’m not very good at them; it’s pure pleasure!
In my office, I have many children’s books! I love keeping one foot in my childhood. I believe that it was as a child that I really tapped into and started to develop my curiosity in making things. When I was little I did a lot of crafts and painting with my mother and grand-mother. So when I have projects back to back, and spend a lot of time on my computer, I like to make some free time to reacquaint myself with such crafts, or try new things: from ceramics, paintings, wood block printing, etc. I’m not very good at them; it’s pure pleasure!
On busy days I’ll easily work late in the evening, but if not, I will spend some time outside, see my friends, swim in the lake Léman (during the Summer!), watch a TV show or two, and take time to cook a nice dinner with my boyfriend. I recently launched a boutique on Etsy, under the name My Blueberry Note, selling my illustrations on postcards and calendars. It’s very early days but I hope to grow the business in the future and create seasonal cards. I don’t really have a fixed time when I stop working. Being a freelancer can be challenging, but it has its advantages by allowing your day to feel much freer and flexible.