Spotlight on Artist Honey Forestier

ATTENTION!!! French artist Honey Forestier likes drawing hands. To some, this might mean nothing but to many who have ever been in illustration class, it's a very big deal. During my fashion illustration class, I struggled so much with hands that my illustrations often had their hands behind their back. Perhaps this is why I was instantly drawn to Forestier's illustrations, she has perfected something that I continuously struggle with.  Another reason I was drawn to her illustrations is because of how minimal some of them are. They're minimal yet strong which is not an easy feat. She has a collection of drawings which feature only a hand and a partial face, even though you are unable to see the whole image, your mind fills in the blanks. With your imagination, you are able to see the whole image and understand what the subject of the illustration is feeling. 

I enjoy most art but I especially enjoy art that makes my brain works a bit harder. I appreciate the work of Honey Forestier and I appreciate her for taing time to answer these questions for me. Continue reading to learn more about the wonderful artist! 

What sparked your interest in art and illustration?

I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and always took classes. They were more like recreative classes for kids to try to sketch and have fun but I think I already knew this was gonna be very important for me. 

Are you a full-time artist? If so, how did you make the decision?

I am working as an illustrator for another artist’s studio at the moment as I just graduated but I have a couple shows of my own I am working on and all sorts of projects. I realized early on that I could not work in something non art-related. 

Who or what inspires you?

I usually say my friends because as a mostly figurative painter/illustrator I mostly work from pictures I take of them. And also people in a wondering state I would say.

What is your artistic process?

I photograph or save everything and anything that inspires me, could be a simple line of some other artist’s sketch or people in the street doing something. And then I eventually go back to those images and think of something I wanna draw at the moment, mixing photographs or not.

I noticed many of your drawings have a focus on hands and this significant?

I do love drawing hands and portraits. You know people say you always tend to draw yourself (for artists in general) and I think that’s what I’m doing with those. I like the pose that people take when they’re busy thinking, I like that only hands and a bit of the face can subtly tell a lot about a person’s state of mind somehow. 

Many of your paintings feature muted colors, what is the thought process behind choosing the colors?

When it comes to colors, I let instincts and feelings take over and I think that’s why I do have a palette of my own.

Is there a theme to your work?

Contemplation, intimacy, « alone togetherness » and humor

Has your style evolved over time? 

Oh yes it has, even if I was drawn to the same thing. I look at my old work now and it’s crazy how much you don’t see it evolves but it does. I feel like my old work used to be more shy than my current.

What is the average amount of time it takes to finish one illustration or painting?

I draw pretty fast. I like to finish a sketch from start to finish without taking a break, so from 30 minutes to a couple hours depending on the style I’m in the mood for. For painting, 4 hours to a couple days I think. 

What is the most challenging part of being an illustrator?

Understanding your style and allowing it to grow without overthinking it. Also you have to challenge the theme your drawn to again and again to keep it interesting for both yourself and the viewer. And also to never get bored.

How do you stay motivated when you experience a creative rut?

I am actually in one right now… But I allow myself to take a break and not stress it. I have to trust the fact that I will eventually come out of it and that it will probably be for the best cause the work will come out stronger.

What has been your favorite project or creation so far?

My new large « lines » paintings, they were completely different from my other more realistic tiny paintings and I was in another creative rut so it was a real challenge that I decided to take but it turned out so fun and so liberating to do. I was tired of feeling like limiting myself in one style. I couldn’t see past that style and after that it felt like I could do anything again.

What is your ultimate goal with your artwork?

Let it grow organically and ultimately have more shows for it to shine and prosper. If not that’s okay too, just for it to exist for myself and my sanity.

Last words?

When in doubt, draw and paint until your back and eyes hurt and then you’ll see clearly again and hopefully feel amazing too