Artist Odile Ferraille About What Gives a Drawing Its Charm

Artist Odile Ferraille About What Gives a Drawing Its Charm

Boriana Heim

Dogs on skateboards or fluffy haired cats wearing funky headphones. In the world of Odile Ferraille anything can happen! Hailing from Nantes, France, artist Odile creates cuteness with simple line-drawings. Her art brings lightness and her brand new collab with Face This is literally in-line with this! We spoke with the artist about her Face This drop. So read on and get to know the story behind our June drop featuring artist Odile Ferraille.

Face This: Can you tell us something about your cultural background? Where did you grow up? Did you always like to draw? 

Odile Ferraille: I come from a small town on the west side of France, by the sea. Both of my parents were teachers. My dad was very passionate about Bande Dessinée (Franco-Belgian comics) so I grew up surrounded by comic books and developed my own interest in graphic novels and illustration. I would already spend a lot of time drawing on my own or with my best friend.

Face This: Is there one drawing that you can recall from your childhood? What was it about? 

Odile Ferraille: The first I can recall is a painting made in kindergarten. It was mostly stains and splashes, but I remember it being praised by the schoolteacher and feeling very proud.

Face This: Are there specific moments in your life that made you decide to become an artist?

Odile Ferraille: I’ve always been into graphic arts, but becoming an artist has been a slow process more than a decision! I’ve made more and more room for drawing in my life, until I could quit my daily job and try to make a living out of illustration.

Face This: Why art – what moves you to do what you do?

Odile Ferraille: I love the research, the experiment, the freedom and the fun of it.

Face This: Can you pinpoint one of your artworks that means the most to you and tell us why/what it represents in your journey?

Odile Ferraille: Mimi et Momo, an illustration which represents my beloved cat & dog. I think I managed to capture the essence of their personality quite well: Momo’s happiness and Mimi’s disdainful look. It was also the start of a very cool project, a book coming up soon! 

Face This: What has been the most surprising or unexpected outcome from your work? 

Odile Ferraille: I worked for a coffee brand and was invited to an award ceremony in a palazzo in Rome. My artwork was displayed in the palazzo, surrounded by old paintings, tapestry and marble floor. It was pretty unbelievable!

Face This: Who/what are you most inspired by?

Odile Ferraille: The pets and the people with cool styles in the streets, the funny-looking objects in my home, the birds and the flowers in the garden.

Face This: What is one thing you do regularly, a simple ritual or hack that brings you joy or elicits a sense of self care? 

Odile Ferraille: During summer, sea bathing makes all of my problems go away instantly.

Face This: What’s next? What are you up to next – the near future and any longer-term plans? 

Odile Ferraille: A book and plenty of cool collabs. Otherwise, I’d like to keep experimenting with painting and watercolor.

The Odile Ferraille x Face This collab is available on tees and a sweater. Pic by Krystle Zonneveld 

Face This: Pablo Picasso once said: ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up’. How do you remain an artist? And do you have tips for non-artists to cultivate their inner child?

Odile Ferraille: What worked for me was to stop overthinking and try to keep the pure pleasure of creating. My tip is to draw like nobody’s watching!

Face This: You designed an artwork by using some of our Indonesian childrens drawings. With the proceeds of your artwork, we will be able to provide the kids you’ve collabed with a playground. How important is playfulness for you as an artist? 

Odile Ferraille: It’s probably the most important thing for me in my art practice, to keep it fun. It’s sometimes a challenge when you work with clients, with the pressure to do a good job. But I’m very lucky that I get commissioned for doing what I like!

Face This: When we reached out to you, what made you want to join?

Odile Ferraille: I really liked the concept of the project. The idea of the collaboration with kids seemed like a cool and fun work to do! And the cause of course and to be able to help in some way.

Face This: When you received the drawings, what was your first reaction? What did you see in them? Can you describe them a bit for us?

Odile Ferraille: I instantly loved them! I loved how it portrayed the kids’ environment. And stylistically, I’ve always loved the simple and naive way that children draw. I like it when the shapes get a little bit off or awkward. I think that’s what gives a drawing its charm, and that’s something I’m looking for in my own illustrations.

Face This: Which drawings did you use to create your artwork with (you can refer to the drawings by using the file names)? And why did you pick these? 

Odile Ferraille: I was inspired by the birds, present in multiple drawings! The idea was to make the kids’ birds interact with one of my own characters. I was also inspired by the shape of the trees in one of the drawings. I thought it looked very cool and instantly knew I wanted to integrate it into my drawing.

Face This: Have you learnt something from working with the kids’ drawings? Did the way the drawings were made inspired you in some way?

Odile Ferraille: It inspired me to always remain spontaneous and joyful and to look at nature and my environment even more!

Face This: To conclude, is there something you would like to say to the kids who made the drawings you’ve worked with?

Odile Ferraille: Thank you for making such inspiring illustrations!

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