Hey Juliette, Tell us a little about yourself?
Hello! My name is Juliette; I am 29 and the artist behind Les Rideuses. I grew up in Paris in France before leaving for Mexico in early 2017. There I met my husband, who is a bodyboarder. We stayed for 2 years in Mexico and then traveled to Argentina to live for 2 years. My drawings relate to the daily routine of girls who ride.
What made you first take up illustrating?
I have always loved drawing and painting, but it was just a hobby. What really got me started with illustration is the confinement linked to Covid. Before that, I worked as a photographer on surf and bodyboard events. No longer able to work on the beach, I could get back to painting, only surf-related paintings. A friend asked me to make her website and illustrations. I then decided to invest in the necessary equipment to get into digital illustration and I created Les Rideuses.
Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?
For Les Rideuses, I am mainly inspired by my trip. The first thing I did when I came to Mexico was to buy a VW Combi. I have always wanted one, but it turns out that they are much cheaper in Mexico than in Europe. In this combi T2, I have traveled to a lot of cities in Mexico, and this is the trip I chose to illustrate with Les Rideuses. It shows the daily routine that I used to have with my husband: him surfing and me taking pictures most of the time while traveling.
And now the reason why I draw 2 women instead of a man and a woman is that most of the time, we see mostly men on the big surf spots - but in Zicatela, a beach in Puerto Escondido, Mexico where I lived; I had the chance to see incredible big waves female surfers surfing 25 ft waves especially during competitions like XXL BIG WAVES.
I decided to draw mostly women because their movements and bodies are really interesting to illustrate to me. Many women are surfing very well, but I think they are not represented enough in their sport.
What do you find one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist?
My biggest challenge as an artist, I think, would be confidence. I am entirely self-taught, and I sometimes struggle with the imposter syndrome. So making contacts or trying to find new clients can sometimes scare me as I have to talk about my art.
The other big challenge has been being my own boss because it means it's all on me, and this has forced me to learn a lot of things for my business because, as an entrepreneur, drawing is 30% of my work. You have to create and manage a website, regularly find new clients, promote yourself, do accounting, etc. It can be not easy at times but incredibly rewarding!
What advice would you give someone learning to illustrate?
It's been too short a time since I started illustration to be able to advise anyone, except maybe: Try to find your own style so that we can recognize you as an artist just by having seen one of your illustrations. It's not easy to stand out because there are so many amazing and very talented artists, but I think this can make a difference.
Where's your favorite surf spot?
I occasionally surfed in Mexico, my obsession being more behind the camera. I skate and snowboard more often. But one of the spots I liked was a beach called Carrizalillo and La Punta in Puerto Escondido, where the waves are quieter than in Zicatela beach.
Longboard or Shortboard?
One thing on your bucket list?
I would love to travel to Tahiti… It has been on my wish list for a while now.
Cooking - I was a chef for 8 years before leaving Paris.
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