Dreamy paintings by Isabelle Feliu

The Canadian-born artist and illustrator with a background in fashion and merchandising discovered her passion for drawing when she moved to Norway to be with her boyfriend. Initially, she started drawing full-time as a way to spend her time, but she gradually began selling prints and taking on illustration clients. Isabelle draws inspiration from the inner world, thoughts, and dreams. 

Welcome to Postery! How are you?

Thanks for having me! I am good :)

Tell us about yourself and how you got started with art.

I have always liked to draw but didn't do it very seriously. When I moved to Norway to be with my boyfriend, I couldn't find a job. I was ok with that since the 9 to 5 lifestyle hadn't worked well for me. So I started drawing full-time and became obsessed with it like never before. Slowly I started getting illustration clients and selling prints.  

What are your main sources of inspiration?

It often changes, but right now, I feel inspired by the concept of the inner world, our thoughts and dreams.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

This also tends to change, but Einar Jolin, Matisse, Magritte, Hilma af Klint and Pierre Boncompain are always in my mind.

What motivates you to create?

It's like the desire to translate my thoughts somehow.

What does art mean to you?

I am not the best with words, but I can express myself through painting. Sometimes it's also a way to dream of pretty things and interesting situations or capture a moment or a thought that would otherwise be lost. 

"I believe the key to balance might be there for me; to develop the discipline to disconnect myself from the internet. "

What is the biggest challenge of being an artist? 

To me, it has been solitude and a lack of balance. Comparing myself and the pressure that comes from social media.

How do you manage a work-life balance as an artist?

It's a challenge that I don't handle very well. But I manage to think about other things when having a good time with my friends or family, visiting new places or reading a good novel. The less I look at my phone or the internet, the better my mental health. I believe the key to balance might be there for me; to develop the discipline to disconnect myself from the internet. It's a challenge in itself. 

Describe how art is important to society.

Where do you live/reside?
 

Does your residential place have an impact on your art?

I live in Oslo most of the time, and I also have a little place in Montreal. I would say that my homesickness for Montreal tends to inspire me more and more. My longing for the city makes me want to paint it. Having always lived in cold places has influenced me in a way that makes me romanticise and dream about tropical and warm places. But even though I am not a fan of winter, it sometimes allows me to see a rare Mother of Pearl cloud or just the beauty of a calm snowy night. So it can be very inspiring too. 

When is your favourite time of day to create?

For me, light is essential. In Oslo, we don't have much of it in the winter, so whenever it's nice outside, I want to be inside painting. It's actually a bit sad! At least summer is generous with light. 

What do you like doing when you are not creating?

I love to travel and hang out with my friends and my boyfriend. I am reading good books and having some snacks and cocktails. 

Do you have a hidden talent?

I am a very good cat sitter. 

Would you say you are an introvert or an extrovert?

An introvert.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That would be sad! But I think it would be "In My Secret Life" by Leonard Cohen.

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