Artist Highlight: Aurélia Durand

Posted by East End Prints on 28th Oct 2020

Artist Highlight: Aurélia Durand

We think it's safe to say that Aurélia Durand is making seriously exciting waves in the illustration world. Aurélia's  vibrant designs joyously celebrate diversity with an unparalleled use of amazing colour. If you haven't checked out her her Instagram, get thee to the gram right now! She has worked with an impressive range of huge clients such as Magnum, Adobe, The New Yorker and Vice. Now, Aurélia's debut as a book illustrator for This Book Is Anti Racist by Tiffany Jewell is number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list for Young Adult Paperback 2020. The woman is on fire and us lucky beans at EEP got to catch up with Aurelia for a chat about how it's all going. 

When and how did you become interested in illustration and design? What's your earliest memory related to art? First museum visit or first artwork that caused an impact on you?

When I was 18 years old, after I graduated from High school, I went to a preparation school in Paris. The school prepared me to pass the exam of the Academy of Fine arts in Dijon in France. I explored the arts; I used different technics and went to museums every week. For the first time in my life, I was able to draw every day. I remember how happy I was. My eyes were wild open, and I was interested in everything. I did not know what I wanted to do yet, but the more I explored, the more I knew what I wanted to do.

What are some of the thoughts that are fuelling the direction of your current work?

I always wanted to work on my cultural background. I just did not know how to express it. I went to school to experiment and to grow my ideas.

‘This Book is Anti-Racist’ is fantastic, and it’s brilliant to see it is doing so well! Can you tell us about what your experience was, as an artist, working on a book? And how was the dynamic working with writer Tiffany Jewell?

Fun fact is that I never met the author. We live in two different continents. Katy, an editor at Quarto Kids, a publishing house based in the UK, asked me to illustrate the book. At that time, I was starting up my activity as an illustrator. I never illustrated a book before, but I thought this book was something I could stand for. My work is about showing diversity. The book was released on the 7th of January 2020 and is now a #1 best seller New YorkTimes. It is translated into two languages, German and Portuguese. I did not think it would be such an important book today.

You work on such a broad range of projects, from postcards to murals to augmented reality. Do you have a favourite project that you have worked on or a favourite medium to work in?

I don't have a preference; I like to diversify my work. I challenge my work, and I bring in new ideas, new perspectives in my work.

Who are the modern creatives or thinking minds you most admire?

I don't have one favourite artist; I like many styles and genres. I get inspired by people who have charisma and who are bold. To me, the ideas and the vision of any artist are what matters the most. There is no art without personalities. 

What do you do for fun outside of the studio?

What I do every day in my studio is my passion. I am trying to have a hobbit besides drawing. :) I love to travel, but right now, it is not possible.

Have you learned anything from the current global pandemic about yourself? We are all connected.

Quickfire questions:

What’s the one music album you would take on a deserted island? I like the albums of Angus and Julia Stone.

Name 3 songs that are currently on heavy rotation in your headphones? 

Jordan Rakei - Sorceress

Summer friend - Chance the rapper

On brûlera - Pomme

Sweet or savoury? I like sweet.

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