[Pictoplasma] Cécile Dormeau interview

Cécile Dormeau is a French illustrator based in Germany, known for her simple bold lines, bright colours and humorous depictions of women.

Speaking on stage at Pictoplasma last week, Cécile Dormeau spoke passionately about body image and everyday issues faced by women, explored through a growing collection of GIFs and illustration work.

We caught up with her at the conference in Berlin to find out more about her inspirations and what drives her.

Describe your background and journey into illustration..

I studied visual communication in an Art school called Ecole Estienne in Paris. I completed a Master’s degree there, in graphic design and Advertising. When I first came out of high school, my initial wish was to enroll in the illustration degree, but the school is very selective and I didn’t get in.  After my diploma I made an internship in a small graphic design agency in Hamburg. I came back in France, hoping to find a job but stayed unemployed for 8months, so I made a second internship, in a graphic design agency in Berlin. Then, I had my first job as a junior art director in a big advertising agency for two years in Frankfurt. When I faced again unemployment, I decided to give it a try in illustration, as I always drew and was passionated about it.

Where do you currently live and work?

I live and work in Offenbach am main but I should move soon!

Do you have any creative heroes? Who has had the most impact on your career and drive to become an artist?

I used to read a lot of comics when I was a teenager (Joann Sfar, Marjane Satrapi, Riad Sattouf, Claire Bretecher…) and my father was buying the charlie hebdo. All of them were transposing with relevance and caustic humor human relationships and society problems. I always associated drawing with an idea, something to say and to share.

Be patient and never give up. Never forget that our illustrations always deliver a message, so always ask yourself which look on society you want to show, and how you can bring people to question themselves about certain themes.

Can you tell us about any reoccurring themes within your work?

Drawing things which are not often brought out in the daylight,  hidden actions or details that we are too ashamed to share, taboos, etc are the main themes that I like to work with. Most of my illustrations treat about women issues. I always try to keep my illustrations as honest as possible.

How do you go about designing a character?

I always try synthesize my ideas, construct and think my images as simply and efficiently as possible : being straight to the point by using bold lines and bright color. As images have a very strong impact, I always try to draw all kind of bodies to help girls feel identified and move forward toward self-acceptance.

I am fascinated by all kind of girls with different body shapes… Whether that be frustrated girls, strong girls, gross girls, shy girls, idealized girls, girls who don’t care or girls who say ‘fuck you’ with a lovely smile, I try to play with their flaws and emotions with humor in a colorful and fun style.

What do you hope people can take away from your drawings?

I hope people can question themselves about beauty standards and body representation. And if people can identify themselves and laugh at my drawings and with it, that’s even better!

At Pictoplasma you presented an exhibition ‘Just a Girl’ as part of this year’s Pictoplasma Character Walk – what was the work on show about?

Girls how they are, in all their diversity and complexity.

How do you see your illustration style evolving over the next few years?

I know that I want to explore other themes in the future with my illustrations, and also I would like to start to make comics, and maybe experiment a bit more in composition.

Can you give some advice to any young creatives out there who may be looking to become an illustrator?

Be patient and never give up. Never forget that our illustrations always deliver a message, so always ask yourself which look on society you want to show, and how you can bring people to question themselves about certain themes.

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Posted on May 20th, 16 by | Twitter: @lisahassell

Founder and director of Inkygoodness, Lisa currently heads up sister agency WE ARE GOODNESS, a Birmingham based artist management and creative consultancy, representing a diverse roster of international illustrators and animators worldwide.

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