Full of “freaks, weirdos and monsters”, Margaux Bigou’s illustrations are oddly beautiful

Curiously, one of our favorite works by Margaux was not imagined in her South Pacific paradise, but in Europe. After high school, she won a full scholarship to study animation and illustration in Paris where she spent 10 happy years, selling her zines all over Europe, establishing herself in the micro-publishing world and frequenting evenings in artists’ squats. It all sounds pretty idyllic to most young illustrators. But after a decade, Margaux felt exhausted and yearned for her island life back home. Once again, Margaux turns to her job as an escape.

She started writing a story which she later developed into a beautiful zine called Jeremiads. “It’s the story of an exhausted caterpillar wondering about the meaning of life in a field of sage”, explains Margaux. “I bonded with this caterpillar at the time. I wanted to escape the big city life, the grumpy people, the bad weather and the sad smelly subway.

Margaux got her wish after an artist residency took her to the island of Tahiti (a short flight from her home in New Caledonia), where she remains to this day. Here she put the finishing touches to Jeremiads, a hilarious and bizarre creation with many fold-out pages revealing hidden details. While the colors, creatures, and magical happenings are eerie and otherworldly, the little caterpillar wallowing in her bad mood is totally relatable: “my voice is boring…and I stink,” she mopes.

The future looks bright for Margaux in Tahiti where she plans to do more collaborative projects. She dreams of creating a place in the Pacific for artists and collectives to meet, giving physical reality to the genre the magical world she creates in her illustrations: a “utopian, inclusive space of self-acceptance full of monsters , crackpots and monsters”.

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