I can’t tell you how happy I am to introduce this wonderful collaboration with the talents of Genevieve Godbout an illustrator based in London. This delightful project came about when Genevieve emailed me an illustration of a darling character named Adele she drew wearing our Fleur’s Penna dress who was to feature in her upcoming children’s book. I instantly fell in love with this dear character and wanted to see her in more Nadinoo creations! I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the cuteness that followed and a sweet friendship that sparked from this collaboration.
Genevieve is such a charming lady I though it best that she tells you her tale and more about how she creates these delightful pieces of art!
Hello there Genevieve, can you tell us a little about your background?
Hello Nadia ! I’m French Canadian, I grew up in a small town near Quebec city. I left home quite early to study traditional animation in Montreal for 3 years and then moved to Paris for a 3rd year diploma, still in traditional animation, at Gobelins l’ecole de l’image.
I’m now an illustrator based in London, currently working for the Walt Disney Company under Fashion & Home Consumer Products. I’ve been living here for 5 years and I must say that London has become a second home for me.
What inspired you to become an illustrator?
I know it’s so typical, but I’ve always loved to draw ! At a very early age I already enjoyed drawing characters, designing their outfits and surroundings.
As a professional, I guessed what influenced my style the most is my background in traditional animation and my love for animated movies such as the Disney classics and Miyazaki’s masterpieces.
Growing up which kind of stories did you enjoy the most?
I was completely bewitched by the tale of the little mermaid who ends her life as sea foam for the sake of her true love (who loves another one). It really broke my heart.
Other than that I enjoyed most stories that capture a child’s imagination. I could believe anything as if it was the absolute truth. I was such a naïve child and still am sometimes !
Can you tell us a little about your thought process and how an artwork is developed?
I always try to get as much visual references as possible and then start by sketching on paper. I do tiny thumbnails for the general composition and very rough drawings to get the essence of the characters in their environment. The hardest part is to translate everything into colour pencils without losing its initial energy. That’s why I usually keep my rough drawings very rough so I have more freedom and fun with the finals, as if they were completely new drawings !
Very often I’ll end up doing a few colour versions … It has to feel right and look good enough. With time I learnt not to be afraid to start again from scratch if the result was not up to my expectations.
These are a few sketches that Genevieve worked on before creating three darling wooden panels for our studio of Pixie, Fleur and Lula in our AW10 collection. Can you spot who is who?
What materials do you enjoy working with the most? Is there anything you would love to try?
I really love using color pencils, more precisely Faber-Castell polychromos. They’re the best !
In addition to do illustration for books, I’d love to try creating patterns for fabric & clothing… A bit like the ones you use for your lovely creations ;-)
Describe your perfect day off and who would you take with you?
Hum… that’s a hard question !! Is there such thing as a perfect day ? If so I guess I’d be wearing a Nadinoo dress !
On the morning our cat will have been kind enough not to wake me up. And as if by magic the whole flat would be clean and sparkly !! The birds would be signing and the sun shinning inside. I would have a lazy morning in bed reading my favourite book, would get lunch with my friends and sister, have a cosy afternoon with my family and a romantic dinner with my loved one. Of course, all of this on the same day is absolutely impossible !!
Can you tell us about any new exciting characters or projects you are working on at the moment?
Rose a petits pois is a project I’ve been working on for a while with a friend of mine, the main character being our dear beloved Adele. We hope to be in touch with publishing companies soon to see what comes out of it.
In the meantime, I’m also working on another book called Joseph Fipps with La Pasteque, a publishing company based in Montreal. And Joseph is another really sweet character to work with ! (even though he can’t wear Nadinoo ! ;-)
Why did you think Nadinoo was the right fit for Adele?
Adele is a very pretty, delicate and feminine character doted with a strong personality. Just like Lula, Pixie and Fleur from Nadinoo, she’s seductive, playful and a bit of a day dreamer !
What would Adele enjoy wearing from our SS11 collection and where would she wear them?
I really feel like this collection it was made for her ! She loves everything that puts the emphasis on her very tiny waist so her favorite is Lula’s darling dress. She’s probably going to wear Fleur’s summer breeze skirt too with a very fitted top. And because Adele is living on the coast and enjoys some lazy afternoon under the sun, she can’t wait to put on Pixie goes sailing dress in blue !
Personally since I know Brian Wildsmith, one of my favorite illustrator, is behind the Tom’s Jet print from your Pixie’s counting plane style I’m dreaming to get either the shirt or the dress !
And finally do you have any advice for any aspiring illustrators reading?
Illustration requires a lot of work and like any art it brings a lot of self-questioning and doubts. That’s why it is so important to enjoy every step of it !
Being inspired and keeping the inspiration flowing is also primordial. Trying, failing, questioning and discovering are part of the creation process… Do not be afraid of it ! And never ever undermine the power of a comfortable studio space ! It may sound superfluous but I find it so important. It puts myself in the right mood and it’s the only place where I can really concentrate.
Thank you so much Genevieve for taking the time to incorporate our Nadinoo clothing into your latest book and for generally being such an inspiring lady, I hope we get to work on many more fun projects together in the future!