This month, Michelle C Porter spoke to Tiffany Beucher about her life and work, and how the shy girl from the suburbs of Paris became the artist she is today. Here are 5 things that have influenced her life and work.
Tiffany grew up in a sleepy suburb of Paris; a shy child in a place where "Nothing really exciting happens." Being a quiet child, she became a people watcher. Even in her work today you can see the benefits of her acute observation; her eye for simple details that make her work so immediately engaging.
illustration by Tiffany Beucher
As a child, she liked to be alone and loved to draw creating imaginary friends to keep her company and animals to protect her. This was not merely a childish whim but a fascination that has inspired her artistic career. She is currently involved in a mixed media collaboration illustrating people and their imaginary friends.
Tiffany's fascination for illustration began as a child with picture books. She loved the simple lines of Tomi Ungerer, how Quentin Blake used watercolours.
Image by Tiffany Beucher
Despite being shy, her passion for art was so intense that she sought out illustrators on the internet and at just 12 years old, travelled to Paris to meet them at book salons.It was at one of these salons that she met the writer Pierre Bottero and asked him how she could succeed in her art career. He responded,"Everyone can. The secret of success? Never give up."
Tiffany began her artistic education at Atelier Hourdé in Paris. The curriculum was broad and enabled her explore and experiment with the arts. After one year she was accepted on a degree course at ESAT COM (école supérieure des arts et techniques) and later graduated with honours. She described her years here as,
"Not so much fun after art school and all the craft, and creativity. In the final years, they focused on computers, getting away from what I wanted to do. I was lost."
During this time she applied for a place on an illustration course at the Lycee Corvisart, only to be told that she needed to develop her own style. Instead of taking this as a blow, Tiffany went away and worked hard eventually winning a place at the esteemed college in 2012. Tiffany is a testament to the fact that education is about more than simply learning the techniques of your craft. It's also about personal development and learning to roll with the knocks, as Pierre Bottero had told her years ago the biggest lesson is to "Never give up."
Despite her reserved nature, Tiffany has determination in spades. In 2013, with no grasp of English, she moved to London to pursue her career, working on her portfolio and establishing herself as a successful freelance illustrator. She has now made her home here living in East London, along Regent's canal.
illustration by Tiffany Beucher inspired by a passer by
Tiffany has never lost her passion for people watching, and England proves a rich source of eccentric characters to sketch.
"In England, there is more freedom of dress, diversity of people and the colours they wear. I go dog walking in the park and like to observe the other dog walkers.”
She doesn’t own a dog herself, but dog sits from time to time for friends, walking them in nearby Victoria Park.
"I'm attracted to people doing silly things, wearing bright things. Like a guy, I saw in bright yellow shorts wandering around in the park.The runner with her dog was observed from my flat as I've got a view on the canal and the tourist in yellow shorts was in Monserrate palace's garden. I've encountered him during my day trip to Sintra, and this illustration is part of my 'souvenirs' series on Lisbon.”
illustration by Tiffany Beucher
It’s hard work being a top illustrator, and Tiffany likes to de-stress by sharing her love of food. 6 years ago she published a book as part of her Graphic Design degree. The book was called 'Partager - Cuisiner' which means 'Share - Cook'.
'Partager - Cuisiner' Written and Illustrated by Tiffany Beucher
“I wanted to create something that would be meaningful, and as a food lover, it wasn't complicated for me to imagine a combination of both my passions for food and design to serve a good cause. I choose to dedicate the book to the French food bank inspired by one of my friends who was at the time working as a volunteer at a food bank in Toulouse. She was in charge of a workshop to teach disadvantaged people affordable and healthy recipes.
“I' decided to design a cookbook that is accessible to everyone, with healthy and easy to make recipes but also share tips and knowledge that I gathered from my year of preparation for my degree. Plus a donation was made to the French food bank for each purchase of the book. “Design-wise, I took the gamble of selling a cookbook without any picture of the end result. It was made so that the book would stand out from the numerous cookbooks that already existed. Only graphic shapes and colours illustrate the recipe.”
“Today, I still like to develop personal projects using food as a theme. I've recently made a series of illustrations with humorous depictions of the different modern diets that exist. I'm a vegetarian myself and never gave up on my passion for cooking and baking. If I run out of inspiration for my drawings, I usually turn to cooking or baking. It takes me away from the frustration I can sometimes experience in my professional life.”
We’d like to say a big thank you to Tiffany for taking the time to talk to us about her work. If you’d like to see more...Shop the collection