Artistic Evolution, And A Whole Lot Of Fine Felines - Interview With Laura Lhuillier
If you love big cats and bright, happy colors, Laura Lhuillier is the illustrator for you! From tigers and cheetahs, to tropical-esque scenery and foliage, Laura captures the essence of animals and nature living in perfect harmony through her dazzling illustrations. In this interview, she shares her evolution as an illustrator, how she continues to develop her style while changing mediums from traditional gouache, to graphic tablets and ProCreate. She also talks about the love she has had for animals from a young age. Our chat, combined with her playful and bright illustrations, reminds us of the beauty of the natural world and the importance of caring for the felines who live both in our houses, and outside of them. Let’s hear from Laura Lhuillier!
AWW: We’ve noticed that you have a fascination with big cats. Is there a story behind your love for illustrating them?
Laura: I love drawing felines, especially tigers and cheetahs which are my favorite animals. I think my obsession and fascination comes from the fact that I grew up around a lot of cats. There were always at least 5-6 of them at home. My mother loves animals and has always rescued many of them, which I greatly admire. I've always loved animals but that's probably where the feline side of me comes from. Rawrr!
AWW: If you had the opportunity to meet a tame tiger in real life, what would you do?
Laura: I would probably like to give him a big hug but at the same time I think that wild animals should remain free in their natural habitats. So I hope I will never meet a tame tiger because it would make me very sad! In my drawings people are often represented with animals living in perfect harmony with nature! But it's important to remember that this is a fantasy world and that in real life we have to respect animals. This is a subject that is close to my heart!
AWW: Growth is something that a lot of artists and illustrators experience! How has your illustration process changed over time?
Laura: I think the evolution as an artist is a real path! I started drawing at a very young age like many people but it was really after my studies that I started drawing every day. This assiduity allowed me to quickly find the style that suits me and in which I feel comfortable. My process hasn't changed much in the last few years but I would say that the biggest change happened when I discovered the graphic tablets, and then the iPad and Procreate. I used to paint with gouache! So my current style is the result of many years and is full of painted textures that are a bit of a tribute to my early days as an illustrator.
AWW: What is the next big illustration-related goal that you want to achieve?
Laura: I would love to travel and paint walls all over the world! I've never done one yet but it would be a great goal. Otherwise I would love to work on my own brand of colourful and patterned clothing. Maybe one day!
AWW: We love the vibrant and happy colours that you use in your work! If you could describe yourself as a colour, which would you be, and why?
Laura: I think I will choose a warm colour because I am a very optimistic person. Maybe Yellow because even if it's not my favorite color I think it fits my warm personality! Despite the hard knocks of life I always try to cheer people up and make them smile when they are not feeling well. Sometimes I feel like this is my role and why I exist.
AWW: Tell us one piece of advice that you wish someone had told you when you started illustrating.
Laura: I think it is important to say that there is room for everyone in illustration! It is important to develop your style to cultivate your differences. You have to try to trust yourself and show your work to get noticed. But above all, you have to have fun and take breaks when you feel overwhelmed.
To find out more about Laura Lhuillier, please visit the artist’s IG account | @arual.lhuillier
All images provided by Laura Lhuillier.