Justine Lecouffe is a London’s freelance illustrator.
I saw her work on the first edition of the book “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” (Favilli E. and Cavallo F.), which tells the stories of women who, in one way or another, have made an important contribution to this world.
In this beautiful book the protagonists, the authors and also the illustrators are all women (like in this blog!!); among the illustrators there is Justine, who for this book created the portraits of Hilary Clinton and Astrid Lindgren.
I contacted Justine via email to ask her for some information about her profession and her art.
She was immediately very kind and collaborative!
Here’s what she tells us about herself:
“I am a freelance illustrator currently living in London.
Most of my personal works are portraits, often inspired by cinema, music and literature.
I like to draw people (mainly women) who inspire me, artists I look up to.
I also love recording the cities I travel to and make detailed cityscapes of new place I discover.”
How did you become an illustrator?
“I’ve always been very attracted to images, and I had some great illustrated books as a child which I think had a great influence on me.
I come from a very creative family and have always been encouraged to follow an artistic path.
I grew up constantly drawing and so naturally went on the be a professional illustrator. It’s a fascinating world to be part of, with many inspiring artists.
I love that sense of a creative community.
Tell us something about your work’s style:
“My illustrations are very detailed, which means that I often spend a LOT of time drawing… it can be stressful when deadlines are tight!
So let’s say it can become quite epic, but I actually really like drawing late at night, when everybody is asleep.
I can do it for hours, with my headphones on, listening to music and podcasts.”
Tell us something about your inspiration…
“Inspiration comes in different ways, but music and cinema influence me the most…
What I see during the day, what I hear in the news or in the street, will also have an impact.
London is a fantastic city for inspiration, there is so much going on everywhere and all the time!”
What’s your favourite work you’ve done so far?
“One of my favourites is a portrait of Astrid Lindgren.
I did for the ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’ book published at the end of last year.”
“I didn’t know much about Astrid Lindgren’s life before I was asked to draw her portrait.
I knew she was a much-loved children’s book author but when I started her portrait I read a lot about her story and I became obsessed with her strength and charisma.
Not only did she managed to overcome all the adversities of being a single working mum in the 1930s, but she also helped unseat a Swedish government, influenced changes in the law and even inspired anarchists.
In Sweden she is considered a true national hero.”
Maybe not everyone knows this, but Astrid Lindgren, a Swedish writer, was the author of Pippi Longstocking.
As the protagonist of her book, Astrid was a rebellious and independent girl, who at the same time took care of others.
Who are the people you admire?
“Quite an eclectic bunch of arty people, from fashion blogger to art directors, photographers, travelers, but of course a lot of illustrators.
To name a few awesome female artists: Bodil Jane, Kate Blegvad, Kate Pugsley, Penelope Bagieu, Nina Cosford, Manjit Thapp, Sonia Lazo etc…”
We hope that Justine can like this Art blog “all about women” and that she considers our contents interesting!
Visiting her website www.justinelecouffe.com I discovered another curiosity about this artist: she was the illustrator of the Twin Peaks book, series of the 1990s created by David Lynch and Mark Frost.
On her website this is her comment:
“ Monsa publications contacted me to illustrate their upcoming book paying tribute to the mythical Twin Peaks series of the 1990s created by David Lynch and Mark Frost.
Being myself a unconditional fan of the show, I was thrilled to be featured in this amazing publication.
I was also asked to provide a text reflecting on the influences of my work, and how David Lynch’s universe can be so inspiring and wonderful still, and for so many artists in the world.”
Here is the text she wrote for the book:
“Twin Peaks has always been a great source of inspiration for my work, whether it be through its visual references or its mesmerising soundtrack, and the Black Lodge, where dreamers meet, is a particularly fascinating element of the series.
The dream world of Twin Peaks is where some of the most important clues, ideas and exchanges take place.
This is a surreal place where Laura Palmer and Agent Cooper meet, and much of the mystery revolves around interactions they have in it.
In the Black Lodge dream sequence, Agent Cooper embraces an intuitive manner of deduction rather than an empirical one, and this is a major shift in the series.
This dreamlike approach is what I try to bring to my creative process too, I like when the figurative meets the surreal.
One subtle element of dream, no matter how small it can be, will give a whole new meaning to the piece.’’
I’m a big fan of this series and I found this very interesting!!
It was a pleasure for me to know more about this artist and talk about the illustration, not previously covered on my blog!
We hope to find Justine one day in one of the next “ Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” but as a protagonist!
All images are by Justine Lecouffe.
The images were taken from www.justinelecouffe.com
Article edited by Teresa Battista.