Marylou Faure firmly believes that artists should “use their skills for good.” But unlike most, the French illustrator has found a way to handle this sense of responsibility with a refreshingly light touch. Specialising in character design and hand-written typography, Marylou creates joyful artworks that are brimming with colour and humour. Ahead of Marylou’s upcoming talk at Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference, we’re taking a closer look at one of her latest personal projects: a series of cheeky, curvaceous figurines that celebrate the female form.
Handpainted in delicious pinks, purples and blues, Bloom and Blossom couldn’t be more perfect mascots of Marylou’s aesthetic universe. Like much of her work, her sculptures are made to inspire confidence and give people a sense of empowerment. At the same time, there’s a tender quality to her compositions, which use body language and sweeping lines to depict the intimate and private worlds of women.
“I always try to present my female characters in a similar way — as strong and feminine, in the hope that some of their qualities will reflect on me, as well as my audience,” says Marylou. “My characters never care about what other people think about them and neither should we.”
Since moving from Paris to London in 2012, this distinct point of view has catapulted the illustrator’s career to new heights. She has created posters, campaigns and murals for a huge range of global brands like Spotify, Google, Deliveroo and MTV. Last year, she also published her first monograph with Counter-Print Books. In it, she reiterates that her favourite projects are those with a strong social or ethical message. In 2020, for example, she created a series of artworks for Nike to promote women’s football and challenge stereotypes about gender in sports. The year before that, she was commissioned by UN Women to deliver unique portraits of human rights activists from around the world. Her quirky characters have even made their way onto the streets, as part of Lyft’s Gay Pride campaign in 2018.
Marylou Faure for Nike (2020). Marylou Faure for UN Women (2019). Marylou Faure for Lyft (2018). Marylou Faure by Counter-Print Books (2020).
This 27 October, Marylou will join a panel of fellow illustrators as part of a creative session at Adobe MAX 2021. If you’re an artist looking to develop your style, or a storyteller wanting to create characters with meaning, this free, virtual event will give you a glimpse into Marylou’s process and a first look at some of her upcoming projects.