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Malika Favre

Malika Favre

Where do you come from and where do you live now?

I grew up in Paris and moved to London about 5 years ago. I started working as a designer/illustrator for Airside, a multidisciplinary design studio. A few months ago, I set up as an independent illustrator so now I work for myself on a variety of different projects.

How do you find it as a French person living in London? What do you miss about France?

London is an amazing place to live for a designer. The energy is like nowhere else I have been. Basically, nothing feels out of reach, especially in the creative field. I find that there are less boundaries between disciplines and even people of the industry. Paris somehow feels more static and conservative but then again, I haven’t lived there for a long time! What I miss the most is having a good bakery around the corner. And Cheese. I spend an indecent amount of money on cheese here.

What did you study and where?

I studied in Paris at the ENSAAMA (Olivier de Serres) for 3 years and got a graphic design degree from there, then moved to England.

Many people dream of being an artist but think it isn’t possible for whatever reasons. How easy / difficult has it been to make a living from what you do? Any advice on artists who don’t know how to follow their dreams?

Actually, I felt the same when I graduated. It never crossed my mind to study illustration or Art as it seemed virtually impossible to make a career out of it. Now I realize that the great thing about being an artist is that it almost doesn’t matter how many people are out there. Each portfolio is unique and you just need to know what you are good at and create your own opportunities. It fell into place for me when I was developing my own work at Airside but it took a couple of years for me to go freelance. Be patient, work hard, show your work to as many people as you can and most importantly have fun doing it!

You have a very particular style, how did your style evolve?

When I was a kid, I used to draw very Manga looking illustrations. I was good technically but didn’t have a style of my own. I was drawing compulsively but not really thinking of how I would make it my own. I happened quite late actually. I almost happened by accident as I was exploring doing an illustration for an erotic design magazine back in 2006! I started paring down my illustration and ended up with a triangle and a couple of shapes to define the female body. I felt there was something there and so I kept on going. From that point, it took a couple of years to refine my style. I feel it is evolving constantly. I am trying new things all the time. Some work, some don’t.

The core of my aesthetic had always been there though. I have always liked organic shapes and bold colours, even when I was very young. Editing is the key.

Who else have you done work for and what has been your favourite project?

I have worked for very different types of clients, magazines like Wallpaper, the Sunday times, Little White Lies but also music projects and exciting brands like Vitsoe and Orlebar Brown. I am even working on a children’s book for a charity. I am currently doing textile patterns and illustrations for an English brand of swimwear for men. It is a very exciting project and I think it will give my work a new dimension. I don’t have a favourite project as such. The next project is always my favorite and I try to make everything a portfolio worthy piece.

How big is fashion in your own life?

Fashion is a definitely a big part of my everyday life. I am not a fashionista in the sense that I don’t follow fashion blogs, trends or read magazines but I have a very compulsive approach to fashion. You will find in my wardrobe a very similar palette to my illustrations. I really go through periods of buying things of a specific palette. I love beautiful things in general and that applies to pretty much everything, from objects to shoes.

Do you have a style icon or something else that inspires your personal style? How would you define your personal style?

I don’t have a fashion icon as such. My favorite designer of all times to Courreges, no doubt! The simplicity and sharpness of the lines always blow me away. I think my personal style is a bit like my illustration style : bold, colourful, pared down and playful.

What type of girls do you hope will buy your Volcom pieces?

I guess any girl that is not afraid of a statement print or a bold piece would be my kind of girl…Someone who likes playful pieces with a hint of cheekyness.

What is your favorite quote/motto to live by, and what does it mean to you?

I have 2 main mottos: Less is More. I try and remember it every time I start a new project. And the harder I work, the luckier I get. I consider myself a very lucky person to get the chance to do what I do and live off it but I also know I am super hard working and that helped get me where I am : )

What are some topics that you are very excited to blog about on the Volcomunity blog? Anything else we can expect to see in your blog?

I am really excited to blog about my weekly inspirations, share things that catch my eye or surprise me. My sensibility is very visual so I will definitely be blogging more images than words but will do it in an interesting way, creating moodboards of inspirations. Almost like a mash up of my week in images. I am also surrounded by very talented people here in London and would love to share their work and ideas with Volcommunity.

I also have a plan to do a monthly special piece for the blog which I will keep secret for now