Lucile Ourvouai sparks conversation around sexuality and desire through her striking illustrations
There are of course myriad methods that artists can use to address important issues such as gender and feminism. A lighter and more vibrant color palette is one of them, used to soften harsher tones and subject matter and thus aid digestion for the audience. In Lucile’s portfolio, she has developed a signature aesthetic that combines primary hues with an almost luminous blood-red outline marking key points in her narrative. It all starts with a pre-determined idea, usually formed from a “wishful wish” or an image she saw. She explains: “If it makes me smile, I try to put the idea down on paper. Anything that brings joy, right? But at the same time, these cheerful pieces aren’t the type of artwork you’d see hanging in a dentist’s waiting room, she jokes, because under the “cute but simple content on Instagram” , Lucile strives to address the relevant issues of today.
You can definitely pick up a retro-modern fusion throughout Lucile’s illustrative work. On the one hand, she is strongly influenced by the designers of the 70s, such as Aline Kominsky or Melinda Gebbie who launched Comix by Wimmen, an anthology of all-female underground comics. “Raw and raw”, their work inspired Lucile to speak her mind and her truth, addressing issues such as female sexuality and eroticism in a bold, dark and fun way. Along with quoting a handful of other artists, horror films and her experience working with screen printing, Lucile’s personal candor – “I’m a straight to the point person” – really gives her work an edge. . Complex ideas are stripped down, revealing a somewhat honest and powerful message of femininity underneath. “Whenever I give too much detail, I end up getting tense and the energy and the message get lost in unnecessary information,” she notes.
In a word, Lucile and her striking illustrations have the undeniable power to talk about sexuality and desire, while provoking a few bursts of laughter here and there. We’re excited to see where she’ll take her practice next, so for now, here’s a taste: Over the next few months, Lucile will be involved in a residency in Haute Savoie where she’ll have the chance to work on a book for kids project, “if you can believe that!” Quite different from her hitherto adult illustrations, this project will see the illustrator work more in gouache and watercolor. In addition, she plans to accept more commissions, try her hand at screen printing again – “I miss it” – and print her designs in Riso. “And if all of the above wasn’t enough, I’d love to start drawing comics again, just for myself, without putting too much pressure on it.”