Lucille Clerc

Lucille Clerc

Lucille Clerc


Lucille Clerc

I’m a French Graphic designer and Illustrator based in London. I’ve set up my studio after graduating from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Communication Design. I work within the field of editorial design and illustration for books and magazines, mainly, but also for the fashion industry and occasionally creating interior or exhibition spaces.A lot of my personal work is inspired by London’s architecture and the relationship between Nature and urbanisation. In the past five years I’ve studied green spaces, both in the cities of London and Paris.
My work is mainly handcrafted from drawing to screenprinting which allows me to create large scale compositions, architectural portraits of my favourite places and exploring their past and present lives.

What made you want to become an illustrator or artist?
Well as they say no men is an island. I’ve always wanted to do something related to illustration and art, but changing this into a real thing is only possible if you have a supportive family to nurture your tastes from infancy. I was lucky to grow up in a family very interested in art, and who always encouraged me in this direction, have all sorts of books everywhere in the house, taking me to exhibitions, etc. They never expressed any concerned even when I left home at 17 to study in Paris, only positivity and I’m forever grateful for this.

How did you end up working as an illustrator?
I started as a graphic designer but always drawing on the side for personal projects. Slowly I started to integrate more illustrations in my graphic design work, hand drawn fonts, patterns etc. At that time I discovered PrintClubLondon in my neighborhood in London and decided to improve the skills in screen printing I had learnt at Saint Martins. I developed more personal projects, built a whole new portfolio, took part to a few exhibitions. And after a little while, clients started to get in touch for my illustrations.
Now I do commissions for magazines and books because I genuinely love working with journalists and writers. And I also work at a more indulgent rhythm when I do a screen print, and illustrations for my own research and these usually end up in exhibitions or self initiated publications where I can show more personal ideas and experiments that I couldn’t develop in the commercial context of commissions. It’s a good balance this way.

Can you remember some of your earliest influences?
I love Victorian etchings, botanical charts, Hokusai woodcuts, The Arts&Craft movement

Which of your projects has been most important to developing your personal style?
Probably the work I do as a print maker, there are no limits since there is no brief, and this allows me to find graphic tricks and tools I can then use in the context of clients projects. Generally speaking the large-scale projects are also always a good challenge to learn more about drawing and time balance.

Where does an idea come from and how does it transform from an idea into a book?
It’a mix of things, I have notebooks everywhere, in all my bags in case… I love walking and I find that the receptive rhythm of walking or being on a bus, or train, helps me clear my head and organize my thoughts. Then either you produce it yourself or you try to find the right people to produce it. It’s always a long journey, but it’s very satisfying when it becomes a physical object you can hold.

What are some of the techniques or processes that you used in creating the artwork?
I draw everything by hand. I feel that it connects with the viewer nicely, there is something more sensitive that a computer can’t achieve. The human side I guess, less standard, with mistakes, and textures. It also gives so much freedom, you can go anywhere with a pen and paper, no fancy material or electricity needed.

Do you have any superstitions or self-enforced rules that you live by?
Don’t call it finished unless you’re convinced it is.

what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Look again” (my dad, who was teaching landscaping and landscape representation)

Besides hard work and talent, what other traits has led to your success?
(Oh thanks 🙂
The experience is very important, and I love this job because every day is different. So I make sure there are no repeats and no routine. I work for clients of different scales for a healthy balance, and choose projects for their creative interest and because I can relate personally to their story and message. This way I work for clients I share values and interests with, so the whole experience is much nicer for all parts. A fair price is also the guaranty of peace of mind, and most of the time, longer lasting work partnership.

Any projects coming up you would like to share with us?
I’ve just finished a 20 m mural for the ground floor of The Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens. And the book Around the World in 80 Trees, by Jon Drori (for which I did all the illustrations) just came out.

Lucille Clerc
Lucille Clerc