LA-based illustrator and artist, Bijou Karman combines fashion and design in her work. Featuring detailed rendering and flat colour, her chocolatey landscape was inspired by the tropics of Central America and ancient Mayan ruins.
Q: What’s your background? How and when did you decide to become an illustrator?
I grew up in Los Angeles, California, drawing and reading fashion magazines. My love for clothes meant that I was constantly sketching fashion designs and led me to study illustration at college. I always wanted to be a fashion editor and as I became more and more passionate about illustration, I realised that I could combine the two.
Q: How did you develop your style?
My style is based on things that I love, but developed towards the end of art school when I first started using gouache paint. I realised I really like the look of detailed rendering with areas of flat color, which has now defined my style.
Q: Who are your artistic influences? What have you read or seen that has most influenced your work?
There’s many artists that have influenced my work. Alexander Calder for elegant shapes, Daniel Clowes for line work, Rene Gruau for fashion illustration, and of course David Hockey because he’s so great!
Q: Where do you get your motivation and ideas from?
Just being in Los Angeles is really important to me. Every time I go on a walk I see something new that inspires me. I’m always reading and looking at new books for ideas. I also follow fashion shows every season and try to go to galleries as much as I can.
Q: What’s the inspiration behind your Chocolate illustration?
It was inspired by the tropics of Central America and ancient Mayan ruins.
Q: What’s your favourite part of your Chocolate illustration?
My favourite part has got to be the bright orange cocoa pods. Cocoa pods in their natural form are beautiful and the contrasting colours add real vibrance.
Q: Tell us an interesting fact about your Chocolate design
The tree bark and decorative hills integrate textures that were originally inspired by snakeskin and woven fabrics.
Q: Sum up your Chocolate illustration in 3 words.
Surreal, playful, exotic.
Q: What do you love most about PROPERCORN and your chosen flavour?
I love sweet and salty flavours together, so chocolate popcorn is the perfect combination for me. I also love that Propercorn use natural seasoning as I try to avoid artificial flavours and colourings.
Q: How many iterations did it take before you came up with your final design?
One of the packs took a couple of iterations, but the others came together pretty quickly.
Q: What do you do to overcome creative blocks?
I find looking elsewhere for inspiration is the best way to overcome blocks. I tend to scroll through Pinterest or things I’ve saved on Instagram to get a fresh perspective.
Q: What’s next for you?
I recently designed a capsule collection of socks for Stance and I’ve got 4 books being published in the next year which is all very exciting!
Follow @bijoukarman to see more from Bijou.