The warm, earthy tone of a graphic illustrator - #MemberSpotlight

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One can confidently say that the flexibility and spirit of adaptation of Gizane Vive have few equals in the industry. After a decade spent leading a nomadic life across the world, Gizane founded her own brand and started taking projects as a completely independent graphic designer.

Her style is now quite established and also incredibly hypnotic to say the least. Merging warm and earthy tones with striking beautiful images, Gizane is incredibly artistic, exceptionally talented, and possesses a superpower we personally envy her quite a lot: being able to disconnect from work with relative ease. If anything, Gizane's style reflects the soul of a free spirit, and she certainly loves being so herself.

For this Member Spotlight, we are learning more about the life of a driven creative professional with true passion for her craft, a talent for design and an unfaltering love for all the inspirational women out there, who change the industry daily with their actions. Much like what she is doing with her own, breathtaking designs – whether she knows that or not.


How did you get into the industry?

After I graduated in Fine Arts, I spent a decade leading a nomadic life around the Caribbean, Central & South America, and Europe. During this period, I explored new fields and opportunities in the graphic design sector, in coordination of sustainable projects and more. Until one day a few years ago, I realised I was tired of my wandering lifestyle and working for others as a graphic designer. I love being behind the screen, but I decided to continue working on my own and with a permanent base. That is when I created my own brand NE VIVE and I started taking projects, collaborating with other professionals and enjoying a non-stop creative process.

Where are you based now and who do you work for?

I am based in the vibrant city of Berlin and I work for companies and individuals. I also collaborate with several projects, both local and remote.


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

Luckily for me, I have tried a lot of different jobs in various sectors in the past. These experiences only confirmed what I always knew - I am a creative person and I need to work in the creative industries. Having said that - I can also see myself in interior design or product design, I am obsessed with it.

Can you explain your creative process?

If only there was a single receipt for it! I definitely need time away from the computer to get inspired - best ideas can come during a day trip in nature, a stroll through the city or a simple shower at home. Then, once my ‘hands get dirty’ in front of the screen, I need a good dose of electronic and techno music to flow. The process is different with each project, some need many diverse drafts, others - different versions of the same idea. Sometimes I sketch on the paper, and sometimes it's just digital. I find playing with the colour palette to be a very important part of the process for me. Each project is an amazing journey, where moments of glory and of struggle are always mixed up - I just can't get enough of it!


How would you describe your style?

My style is smooth, curvy, and light, but with an edge. I use a very characteristic soft and dusty colours palette, which creates an aura that communicates and embraces connection and reflection. 

Which individuals do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

I especially admire empowered creative women, like Malika Favre. Her collaborative approach and her work changed my perception of illustration, it is sublime. I also love the bold work of Ana Duje, the universe of Isa Muguruza, the diverse women of Bodil Jane and the use of colour by Maggie Stephenson.

Apart from my personal heroes, I get inspired a lot by my surroundings. In a city like Berlin you can find inspiration at any corner, it seems like creativity and self expression bloom here. Every day the city exposes me to someone that impacts and moves my curiosity. I get a good source of daily inspiration from other local designers and creatives too.


How has technology affected the way you work?

Technology has changed everything. I have developed my sense of colour through graphic design, so when I started creating illustrations on paper it often felt limiting and uncomfortable to work with colour. That is why most of my early day illustrations are black and white. The day I bought a Wacom Tablet a world of possibilities opened to me. Every year there are more tools and new software that offer endless possibilities and I get hooked on them easily.

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

Taking time for myself and canalising my creativity away from the screen are essential for me. I believe that even if you do enjoy your work a lot, too many hours can easily lead to a burnout and creative blocks. I have experienced that myself, and that is why I am always hunting for new activities that help to release my self expression without limits.


How do you recharge away from the office?

I consider myself very lucky to have the capacity of disconnecting from work and simply being present. That makes it much easier for me to recharge after work. I am always up for some bouldering to push myself to limits, experiencing new things and meeting people. I must admit I always get extra energy, when I spend time with others. However, going for long walks with my dog is the best way of all of them. I like to think that he walks me, instead of me walking him.

What is one tip that you would give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?

Keep in mind that we were all beginners at some point, and that it's all about learning, so even now, we are all facing challenges in something. At the end of the day, it's what you have just learnt that will get you closer to your goals and make you better at what you do. So get out there with all you have, create your opportunity and be persistent - someone will notice you. We've all been there.


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

I would hope that we become more recognised as professionals among other sectors and, in general, by society. Our sector and its importance is constantly undervalued. The general lack of respect and recognition of the knowledge, experience and capacities of the designer, make it very challenging to survive for many professionals.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would that be?

I would definitely aim to change the devaluation of our sector that’s coming from inside. It saddens me to see that other professionals and freelancers carry price wars/strategies and continue devaluing our position and salaries. It doesn’t do us any favours.

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

I would totally recommend a book that has recently come to my hands ‘DESIGN(H)ERS: A Celebration of Women in Design Today’, more books like this one are needed indeed! And for those who love botanical illustration like me, a few years ago in Edinburgh I got a book called ‘Botanicum’, curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis that became my window of freshness while sitting at my desk.


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