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Gaëlle Vejlupek

Gaëlle Vejlupek

Gaëlle Vejlupek Interview

Gaëlle Vejlupek

Children's Illustrator

What is your favourite medium to work with and why?

I love ink, because you can't erase it or modify it. And as any bad mistake would lead to do it all over again, I have to find ways to do it properly at the first move. It's very stimulating, for the hand and for the head as well, it allows me to be really concentrated, in focus, and in movement.

Also, I love the texture of it, the way the pigments spread in the fibers of the paper... and that it allows to paint something really sharp as well as something really soft. I love painting very smooth gradients, and tiny precise details too!

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Do you keep a sketch book?

I don't sketch enough I guess.

Once a sketch is done, I feel like it's already existing, so the enthousiasme is weakened.

I usually do very vague sketches before doing the final image, to let some things happen freely during the process.

Do you offer more than one style, if so – talk us through the different approaches and the audience you are targeting for each.

Everything I draw tends to be a part of the same universe, though I love drawing very cute and soft images for children, but enjoy speaking through my strange creatures for the grown ups. They convey very different stories, but they are always positive and kind, even when the atmosphere is eerie.

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Have you ever thought about trying out a different technique or a different style?

I find it very refreshing to try different techniques, and it creates new leads for the next drawings to come. Though, coming back to ink is always a pleasure, as I feel that I will always have so much more to learn to controle it properly and explore all of its possibilities

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How long does it take on average for you to finish a spread, from initial sketch to final colour?

Long!!

I'm not the quick type :-)

It takes me between 4 to 40 hours, depending of the amount of details and size. 

Do you have a favourite soundtrack you listen to when you’re working?

It really depends of the phase I m in.

At the beginning of the process, I can't listen to anything, I need a full concentration to decide where to put what, and how do I want things to look like.

Once most decisions are taken, I can listen to music, but only instrumental. Any words heard would take my attention away.

Once things are pretty organised on the paper, I feel like it is more the hand then the hand that is working.

At this point, I can listen to whatever I like. Any kind of music that is fitting the atmosphere I m conveying in my image, or a good podcast...

I love audio books, as I don't read much lately I can listen to stories, told by talented people ( I really enjoy when they are good storytellers, who make different voices and tones)

Also scientific documentaries that don't need images to understand, or an easy tv serie where you can catch the plot without actually watching it

What makes a good children’s book?

My favorite are the ones that makes me laugh as much as the kids I m reading it to.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

I m very wild and feral, even if I look gentle and calm. Where I feel the best is in the forest by night, with a camp fire, listening to the natures sounds (and by the drawing desk of course)

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