Ënnji is French illustrator represented by both Karine Garnier and illozoo. She creates stripped-down illustrations focusing on basic shapes and limited colours. Occasionally adding in textures such as watercolour or ink splats. Roughing up otherwise pristine shape adding some movement. Ënnji’s illustrations play on negative space. She regularly balances visible shapes with ones that are purposely obscured, compelling the viewer complete the image themselves.
Nicolas Nemiri was born 1975 in Mulhouse, France. He studied at the Ecole Européenne Supérieure de l’Image in Angoulême. After graduating and moving to Japan, at the age of 20 he was making money by doing odd jobs, including illustrating for Japanese fashion magazines.
In 1998 writer Jean David Morvan saw some of Nemiri’s drawings and asked him to work on the comic series Reality show. Nemiri was enthusiastic but decided to turn down Morvan’s offer. However, he later accepted the offer to work on the futuristic series Je suis morte (I died), published by Glénat. This successful collaboration marked the beginning of a long working relationship with Morvan. Creating two more series, Hyper l’hippo (2005) and Annie Zoo (2009).
Nemiri has stated some of his artistic influences include European artist Jean Giraud (Moebius), Hugo Pratt and André Franquin as well as Japanese artist Katsuhiro Otomo, Hiroaki Samura, Shou Tajima. All of whom you can be seen elements of across his portfolio.
Nicolas Nemiri is currently exhibiting alongside illustrator Jean-Philippe Kalonji at the Galerie Glenat in Paris. It is running throughout January until the 31st.
Amid much of Paul César Helleu’s lifetime he was famous on both sides of the Atlantic. His artistry was praised by fellow impressionist painters Manet, Monet and Renoir. Yet, his name seems is less widely known to the public today.
Helleu was an exceptional oil painter, a skilled draftsman adept in pastel and maestro of drypoint. He was an influential part of the Impressionist movement, who created many still lifes, landscapes and portraits, most famously of beautiful society women of the Belle Époque.
Born 1859 in Vannes, Brittany, France. Helleu went to Paris to begin his academic training in art. At age 16, he was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts where he studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme. Attending an Impressionist exhibition he met artist John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, and Claude Monet for the first time. The showcased works were modern, employing the bold alla prima technique. All of which made a lasting impact on Helleu.
After graduating, in order to make some money, Helleu started working for Théodore Deck hand-painting fine decorative plates. All the while Helleu was becoming more and more discourage. He had not sold a single painting and was on the verge of abandoning his studies. Upon hearing this, his now close friend, John Singer Sargent went to Helleu, priased his techniques and bought a one of his pieces for a thousand-franc note.
In typical artist fashion, after being commissioned to paint a young socialite named Alice Guèrin, Helleu feel in love with her and two years later they were married. They became part of French social elites, and Guèrin would introduce Helleu to many aristocratic circles of Paris.
In 1885, on a trip to London, Helleu was introduction to James Jacques Tissot. This meeting opened up Helleu’s eyes to the possibilities of drypoint etching with a diamond point stylus directly on a copper plate. Embracing this technique wholly, Helleu would apply his same dynamic pastel style to his etching. His prints were very popular, with the advantage to create several proofs, people would often give them to friends and relatives as gifts. Over the course of his career, Helleu produced more than 2,000 drypoint prints.
Reaching a celebrated status internationally, in 1904 he was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Légion d’honneur. On top of this recognition he was also made an honorary member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
In 1920 Helleu exhibited his work in New York City, but the experience brought a sudden realization for him that the Belle Époque was over. Helleu felt that his had lost touch and after his return to France he destroyed nearly all of his copper plates. However, a few years later he started planning a new exhibition with Jean-Louis Forain. Sadly the exhibition never came to fruition when in 1927 Helleu died.
There is a few places you can find out more about Paul César Helleu, a nice collection of his work and more information can be found here and here. There is also a beautiful book of his work by Frederique de Watrigant both in English and French.
Jean Pagès was a Franch illustrator and muralist. Growing up in the beautiful Versailles, Mr Pagès completed architectural studies before redirecting his creative focus. Mr Pagès explored his artistic style under the tutelage of Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy.
In 1925 Jean Pagès made his illustration debut with women’s fashion magazine Jardin des Modes. A magazine which was founded by Lucien Vogel and published by Condé Nast. The descriptive nature of Mr Pagès’ illustrations made them appealing to advertisers, and so was requested by numerous companies to produced advertising illustrations for them. Companies including automobiles manufacturers LaSalle, and shipping company Compagnie Générale Transatlantique.
However the Condé Nast family soon got Mr Pagès back and kept him busy illustrating for Vogue, both the French and US publications. Just as advertisers saw merit in Mr Pagès’ accurate depiction, the publishing director of Condé Nast praised the Mr Pagès’ legible drawing of garments that helped prevent misleading their readers.
Jean Pagès has created murals for many leading restaurants and supper clubs. One such restaurant was New York’s La Caravelle. St. Exupéry asked for Mr Pagès’ painting to be “bright and gay and depict typical Paris park and street scenes”. The beautifully finished murals stretched wall to wall, and the restaurant was visited by royalty, celebrities and socialist. Regrettably one guest, Salvador Dalí, accidentally scratched a mural with his cane.
As with many early 20th-century illustrators, there is not a dedicated website or book you can go to find out more about Jean Pagès and his work. However, you can find many of his Vogue work on the Condé Nast Collection wesite, as well as some of his other editorial work on the HPrints website.
Presenting the very sumptuous work of Amélie Fléchais. A French children’s book illustrator and visual development artist. Graduated in 2011, Ms Fléchais earned a diploma in 2D animation from ESAAT (Ecole Supérieure Arts Appliqués et Textile). That same year she interned at Cartoon Saloon, an Irish animation studio responsible for the Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells. There she produced concept art for the feature film Song of the Sea. A couple years later, Ms Fléchais was asked back to do further visual development and background art for Song of the Sea. More recently Ms Fléchais has shared her talents with Dreamworks and Hornet animation studios.
Additionally, since graduating, Amélie Fléchais has worked on three books, Chemin Perdu (Lost path), Le Petit Loup Rouge (Little Red Wolf) and soon to be released L’homme Montagne (Mountain Man). Both Chemin Perdu and Le Petit Loup Rouge are a feast for the eyes. Each page is carefully created. The illustrations are intricate, textured and rich in colour. Ms Fléchais has an incredible talent for the whimsical and joyous, and her talents really shine through in these books.