Instagram: @clemence_gouy
Website: www.clemgouy.com/illustration

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

My name is Clemence, I’m a twenty-something illustrator and designer from Brittany, France. I moved a lot between cities and countries over the past few years, I even lived on a sailing boat so I guess I’m what you could call a “digital nomad”? 

But currently, I’m based in lovely Amsterdam – till the next destination. I come from a rather creative family -my mum was a graphic designer and illustrator herself and made me try almost every existing type of art (except for dance maybe, which I’ve always been incredibly bad at).

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I’m fascinated by vibrant colors and the fluidity of shapes. My work is populated with strong women, sometimes angry, sometimes determined, sometimes sensual but always confident.
Flames, moon and stars are often found in the background. I like to think I draw about empowerment.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I mostly draw digitally because it’s the most practical option when working with clients and for experimenting. Also because it’s easy to carry when travelling. But traditionally, I love gouache for the matte texture and brightness of the pigments.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I look for composition through very messy and ugly thumbnails. I look for references when it’s needed. But I need to visualize almost exactly what I want to draw before starting a piece, so I will always have this weird floating moment where I “build” the picture in my head before being able to do anything, even with very simple stuff. Sometimes, it’s very straightforward, and sometimes, it takes days to figure it out.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

Mythology, symbolism and Art History. Powerful women around me and from the past. The multiple different shapes of bodies I see on the streets or on Instagram. My fellow creative friends.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art is how I eat and pay my bills, so it has a pretty central role in my life haha. But more seriously, I never stopped drawing and creating since I was a child, so I’m not sure the way I view the world changed with art: it has always been part of it. I guess since I started to see art, design and illustration as a career, it made me realise I could have a voice, I had things to say and people could relate to these things. Even commission me to carry their own message.

7. Where did you study?

I have a Master’s degree in Visual Communication from the Ecole de Communication Visuelle of Nantes.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Travelling the world and working with inspiring people on crazy projects, preferably with a social dimension.

9. What about in ten?

Maybe running my own design studio somewhere nearby the sea with a dog and a dozen of cats.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

Some time ago, a woman wrote me on Instagram and she said “I love your art because it’s beautiful but above all, because it makes me feel powerful” and I think it summarizes exactly what I want to achieve.

As people who produce images, I believe us designers, illustrators and artists have a responsibility to put more diversity in the world and showing that everyone is worthy of being seen. I still have a lot to do to fight my own bias, but this is what I want to work on.

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

I love a lot of things but nothing will ever replace a good cheese and bread in my Frenchy heart.

12. Favourite book?

“The return of Lilith” by Joumana Haddad

13. Favourite genre of music? 

Synth waves, or stoner rock maybe? Musics without lyrics but with a strong, visual evocative feeling are what I like to work with.

14. What are your hobbies? 

Scrapping old furnitures left on the streets and longboarding. I also started roller skating recently and I’m obsessed.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

Probably working in the aerospace field, something related to the stars. But for that, I definitely should have paid more attention in Maths class…