Beatrice Favereau was born in Paris, France where she studied Fine Arts, Illustration, and History of Art. She then began working in advertising agencies. For the past 15 years, she has been living in Montreal, Canada, and working as a free-lance illustrator. Her excellent drawing skills, her prolific creativity and her catchy style have made her a reliable resource in the graphics industry.
Always curious and eager to discover new technologies, she has been working as an animator for special effects and computer animations for TV, video and cinema. She is now back to her favourite field : printed illustration. All her images are digitally created, using Photoshop, Painter and a stylus tablet.
The humor and elegance of her images, with a certain french flavour make her style so popular.
Her clients include magazines such as Rogers Media, CAA Touring, EnRoute, Clin d’oeil, Chatelaine and Writers Digest, book publishers such as Compass Point Early Readers, UNICEF Canada, Hurtubise, Pierre Tisseyre and Québec/Amérique.
Beatrice’s closest collaborator is her 7 year daughter Zoë, whose straight forward comments are so helpful! and whose eyes sometimes light up with that special sparkle – then we know the illustration is finished…
What made you want to become an illustrator?
Like all children, I loved to draw. Scenes with floating objects or dancing figures, lots of colors… I guess I just never stopped!
I remember illustrating the words in a dictionary, based on how they sounded rather than their meaning – and my parents would laugh at my art and fantasy rather than blaming me for drawing in serious books! That’s how I still see my work: catching the image that tries to escape from a text or a story, and like a butterfly pin it next to the words, being very careful to keep it palpitating….
What was the journey like? That is, what were the steps?
I first had no idea you could make a living out of drawing! I started studying History of Art, History and Fine Arts at Sorbonne University and Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris (where I was born). In the mean time I started working small jobs in art studios and advertising agencies, where I found out I could enjoy drawing anything (cheese, tires, children, racoons, helicopters, you name it!!) and where I learned to meet impossible deadlines… In 1990 I moved from Paris to Montreal, Canada where I discovered computers. It was like holding a magic wand! I explored video, animation, special effects for TV and movies, getting acquainted with many digital techniques. Soon though, I missed the artistic dimension and I went back to illustration.
Was the path difficult?
If it ever was, I didn’t feel it! I was going along with the flow rather than climbing a mountain, and took all the chances that came to me. My outlook on life makes me focus on happiness – of course I had to sweat (and still do)! But efforts are as enjoyable as achievements, if you love what you do.
Who were some of your role models?
My parents, for their incredibly open mind and their support.
Fauvist painters (French artists from beginning of 20th century like Matisse and Derain) for the freedom of their art, the way they used wild colors leaving parts of white canvas unpainted, Egon Schiele was also an influence to me for the loseness of his line. Picasso for his infinite talent, and insatiable curiosity. Italian director Federico Fellini and his beautiful universe… I always found my models in characters who celebrate life and the world with great energy and passion!
What advice would you give to a young aspiring illustrator?
Believe in yourself, explore new techniques and new perspectives, always be curious… Show your work to as many people as you can, go to exhibitions, see different styles (internet is such a great tool for that!), take advice from people you admire… Draw, draw all the time, and get good cheap recipes for spaghetti because you’ll eat a lot of them!
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