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#GettingToKnow one of the fiercest female illustrators in the game

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To mark the end of Women’s History Month, we’re getting to know the illustrator, artists and graphic designer Lucie Corbasson, known professionally as Lucie Louxor.

Lucie has been working as a freelance designer for just over four years now while also working as there artistic director for the Amsterdam-based dance label Junction Records. Raised in the rural French countryside but earning her creative wings in in Paris before studying at London’s Central Saint Martins, she is known for her unique colourful style

As she pulls so much of her inspiration from fierce females throughout history, she stands as an ideal spokesperson for women in the arts industry. She most recently worked with Facebook Messenger to create a sticker pack that encourages conversation around female empowerment, progress, and sisterhood through custom sticker illustrations.

Today, we discuss everything from her upbringing to her advice for female creatives and everything in-between.

Tell us a bit about your current role. Is there a “typical” day?

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I’m a French illustrator based in Lille, perhaps best known for my colourful style and inspiration taken from fierce females throughout history. 

Although it’s cliche, there are truly no two days the same in my role! I work in my home studio, which is full of light and colour to inspire me. In terms of process, I usually start with some very rough doodles, then once I’m happy I get to my favourite part - adding colour. 

I’ve been lucky to work with a range of exciting clients, most recently Messenger to mark Women’s History Month, in which I created a really unique sticker pack designed to encourage conversation around female empowerment, progress, and sisterhood.

What was the biggest challenge in getting to your current position and do you feel your gender acted as a barrier at any point?

Growing up as a young girl in a rural part of France, the creative industry was not something I was ever close to. A huge challenge I faced was a lack of belief that I could actually make a living from being an artist. When this is the only narrative you hear growing up, it’s easy to start believing it yourself. 

Of course, my family was always there to support me, but as a teenager you try to build yourself outside of the comfort zone of your family; I needed others to believe in me, and it was not always the case. It was only when I got to London that I saw the true potential of living life as an artist. 

In a society where women speak up and fight for their rights and equality, I sometimes struggle seeing companies use this message - or even my art - for the wrong reasons. I’ve worked hard to stand where I am now as a woman and it makes me feel proud, which is a feeling sometimes difficult to admit.

What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?

I grew up in the French countryside and funnily enough I completed a French HS diploma in science, which was deemed as a more ‘professional route’ where I was from. After this, my parents finally agreed I could pursue my dream of being an artist. I leapt at the opportunity and moved to Paris to study. 

A friend then invited me to London, where she was studying at the London College of Fashion. She showed me the different art schools around London. We were chilling in front of the Central Saint Martin’s speaking about our mutual dreams, and I fell in love with the school - on a whim, I applied to join. 

To my disbelief, I was accepted onto the graphic design BA course - without even being able to speak English! Here I specialised in moving image, which is where I really got to develop my illustration skills. 

What is your biggest career-related win? What is your biggest loss?

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The disruption of the pandemic was a huge loss to me. I was travelling Australia at the time and lost my jobs and my clients.

However, with it came a win - illustration became my therapy, and my skill and inspiration grew more than I could have expected. I’ve been able to work with some truly amazing companies since, with Messenger being the cherry on the cake. Being able to design stickers around female empowerment - a cause so close to my heart - for a company like this is so exciting. 

I hope young women like me use these stickers during conversations to lift each other up and remind themselves to keep going. My friends and I have also had so much fun playing around with these and the newly launched Word Effects in our group chats. 

Which individuals and/or agencies do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

I get inspiration from the incredible French female artists who share my passion for bold, bright design and pushing boundaries - from Camille Walala’s post-modernism inspired patterns to Nathalie Du Pasquier’s influence on the iconic Memphis design movement. 

One of my all-time heroes is Frida Kahlo - her resilience and strength changed the world for female creatives. 

If you could go back to your teenage years, would you have done things differently? Do you have any regrets?

I would definitely try to believe in myself more. I was (and still am) kind of a stubborn person, and I tend to overthink everything. As a teenager, I’d try to make things happen the way I wanted; I would have saved so much energy I could have put into my practice and passion if I trusted the process and myself a bit more.

I regretted so many choices when I was younger. I thought I went to the wrong schools, or chose the wrong artistic path, but today I would not change a single thing, because thanks to all of my choices, I became the artist I am today and I met the people who support and guide me through every step of my life. 

I’ve learnt from my mistakes and re-aligned my trajectories. My life so far is filled with so many experiences - good and bad - that allow me to better understand what I want to achieve, what I want to say and how I want to say it. 

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

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Well, weirdly enough I was obsessed, of course, by the arts, but also by science and criminal investigation series on TV and in the movies. If I was not in the artistic field, I would have tried to become a medical examiner or working in a forensics team. 

I guess I was really inspired by those characters being so different from the others and helping to find the truth - they were truly seeing things that nobody could see or understand, details that could bring the solution in order to resolve a situation that needed justice. I was amazed by that. I guess TV sweetened the reality and lucky enough, I don’t have to think too much about another career path so far!

In terms of the artistic world, I also wanted to be a fashion designer, a stylist, a ceramist, a screenprinter, work in a trend agency, or even open my own artistic place where people could meet, exchange and create together.

What’s your one big dream for the future of the industry?

My dream for the industry is that it is open and accessible to everyone and anyone who wants to be part of it.

Some people may think it is not for them - perhaps due to their background, their economic situation or their lack of contacts. Diversity sparks creativity, and I hope one day no one will feel there is a barrier to them being a part of it. This is why I’m always sure to make my work as representative as possible.

What’s your advice for aspiring female creative professionals?

I have to admit that being a female creative is not always the easiest route - particularly to begin with - so there is a large element of resilience and trusting of the process needed. Believe in yourself and what you are doing - if you are truly passionate, people will recognise this, which is where the magic happens. 

I’d also really recommend building a trustworthy and supportive community around you - particularly with other aspiring female creatives if you can. Your shared journey and belief will only get you further. One of my favourite stickers I recently created for Messenger stickers says “I got your back” - this is what it is all about. 

What are your top tips for other creative leaders?

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Be open to feedback and new ideas. For female leaders, I’d really recommend joining a female artist collective. Being an artist can actually be pretty lonely; to receive support from people in a very similar position to you, without fear of judgment, is so validating.

It’s also a great opportunity to heighten your creativity and gain inspiration from other amazing minds - the energy in these groups is like nothing I've experienced before.

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