Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
Violette Le Gendre : After studying illustration for two years at Auguste Renoir (Paris), I migrated to the Grand-Est to eat flambéed pies and, in parallel, to study visual didactics at the Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg. I am a recent graduate and am now launching myself into the world of illustration!

How did you become an author? What was the trigger for you to turn to the illustration of children's books?
To tell you the truth, it was always quite obvious to me to make drawing my profession. My parents are graphic designers and illustrators and I chose to follow their path!

It's true that children's illustration appeals to me a lot. I find it a real challenge to invent stories for children, to make them travel, laugh and dream while keeping an educational and playful notion.  It's an exercise that I really want to confront myself with. However, I also want to touch other fields such as comics.

Where do your artistic influences come from? Who gave you this passion for drawing and the desire to make it your profession?
My family accumulates a lot of objects, books and pictures... I grew up surrounded by all these treasures and I took this same mania of collecting... I have a lot of small fetish objects which always feed me with ideas! And then of course, there are books, movies, series that I watch without moderation... I also have a slight obsession for nature and plants that are always involved in my illustrations. I am very much inspired by the ornaments and illuminations of the Middle Ages. I also have small illustrated herbariums which are very precious to me.

Can you tell us more about the technique you use and your style?
I am particularly fond of traditional drawing, I very rarely draw with digital technology. I like the spontaneity of a pencil drawing, the traces and imperfections of felt pens, the things that stick out a little. It's rare to see me doing black and white, I love colors too much to put them aside! At the moment, I'm in a great period of markers and felts...

What is the step in the creation that you like the most and the one that is the most complicated to realize ?
My favorite part is without hesitation the sketching stage, the moment when I have to scribble and draw all the little ideas in my notebook. The one that I find more difficult but which is essential, is the moment when I have to structure everything, to "storyboard".

Can you tell us a few words about your next artistic projects?
At the moment we are thinking about a project for a children's album with Victor Lefoll. For the moment it's in the works but it will be a great book, with lots of little stories that intertwine and weird and magical characters (everything I like, finally...).

Can you tell us about the emotions you feel when your drawing is finished and at what point you accept that it doesn't need any more retouching?
It all depends on whether I'm proud of it or not! My drawing is finished if I don't want to rip it out and start over...
What are your work routines?
I either listen to podcasts or music while working, all punctuated by a lot of coffee!

We are proud to have you collaborate and inaugurate our 3rd theme "Big Cold". What did you like about this project? What does this theme evoke in you?
I really liked being several to work around the same theme, I find it very stimulating. "Big Cold" makes me think of mountainous landscapes and a certain melancholy.

Tell us about the creative process of your illustration... How did you think about it and imagine it? What is its story?

Personally, I'm not particularly happy about the arrival of cold weather... But it's quite the opposite for the little characters in my illustration who celebrate the snow-covered landscapes and welcome winter as it should be!

What is the artist who nails it for you?
Giorgio Morandi for his colors, and Rothko for his colors too...

A movie, a series, a comic book, a book that keeps you in bed?
The movie : Very hard to choose... The castle in the sky by Hayao Miyazaki because I would never get tired of it.
The series : Tales from the loop by Nils Hintze
The comics : Because they accompanied me all my childhood I would say the Moomins !
The book : Summer of Carrion by Simon Johannin and We were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

The last thing you framed and hung?

I just moved, so there's a lot of stuff to hang! I put a beautiful Franciszek Starowieyski poster on my living room walls, given to me by my father.

What is your feeling when you imagine your illustration hanging on the wall in our clients' homes, becoming part of their daily lives?
I would be very honored if someone would want to see this image every day!

 Thank you Violette ;)