COSY TALKS DOWN SOUTH

with Isabelle Vandeplassche

For this summer, we decided to start involving people of our community to create the new collection. So we collaborated with inspiring artists and friends, sharing our deep love for this planet and the ocean through expressing and creating art in all its forms.
One of these amazing artists is Isabelle Vandeplassche, who we talked to about how she pursued her dreams and passions.

Hey Isa, great to talk to you! For everybody who isn’t familiar with your work, where are you from and what do you ?


Hi! Thank you for having me. I’m a Belgian illustrator & designer based in Ericeira, Portugal.

Sounds like quite a journey! How did you turn your life around like that?

I lived most of my life in Belgium. For my studies, I went on Erasmus to Portugal, and in that same year, I went to the Galapagos Islands for 4 months.

Arriving back home, I realized even more that I wanted to discover different places to live. I moved to Germany to my boyfriend and had a office job there. I already posted my illustrations on Instagram and started working as a freelance illustrator on the side.

All of this evolved natural . My Instagram account grew and more inquiries for illustration jobs came in. I worked on those jobs after my daytime job. I felt like it was time to try to go full time with my own business when my day job was not making me happy anymore and it was too much to combine with the freelance work.

Right before I made the jump, I had signed a contract to illustrate a few books for a publishing company so I knew where to start.  My boyfriend and I decided to travel a bit through Portugal and loved it so much that we stayed!

That truly sounds like a dream! Now as a freelance artist, how do your days usually look like, and how do you stay structured?

Oh that is a difficult one!
My days often look different. I wake up early, have breakfast, and I usually start with responding to emails first thing.

I prefer to do administration in the morning. It’s better to start with the boring stuff so you don’t neglect it. During the day or in the evening I go for a surf - depending on the tide and the waves. It could also happen that I start my day with a early morning session. In the afternoon and evening, I work on commissions and projects.

I also like to work in the evening - you are never done with work if you work freelance so it’s a bit tricky to not overwork.

In order to stay structured, I have a little notepad where I write a to-do list every evening for the next day and if possible for the whole week. That way I don’t forget important things.

How did you find your passions and recognize what you want in life in the first place?

I have always been a creative person. Creating art has always been my passion and the thought of drawing for a living and working for myself was a BIG dream.
I recognized what I truly wanted in my life when I was doing a 9 to 5 job. I loved the thought of deciding when and where to work, and just the fact to be your own boss!

Sounds awesome!
What gets you in the mood of being creative, and what sparks your creativity?

 I love being surrounded by nature, it gives me endless ideas for finding new color palettes and patterns.
But also travelling is a major source of inspiration! It gives me the opportunity to discover new colors, cultures, landscapes, plants and much more.
Aside from that, I also try to be attentive to the details around me in my daily life, and try to consider everything as a potential source of inspiration.

That alone is very inspirational. thank you for sharing! We love your art. Is there a specific
mood or feeling you want to convey with your drawings?


I want to bring a little bit of happiness to the normal day of people. I want to inspire and let them dream.

If they want to follow these dreams, what would you tell someone who is afraid of taking life
changing steps?

Don’t overthink. You always have to try something first, before knowing if it is going to work out or not.
Sometimes you have to take risks in order to find what you want in life.

For sure! Always follow your intuition. Are there things you are dreaming about or working towards regarding your life and future?


I am looking forward to new collaborations and commissions with lovely brands and companies. My goal is to enjoy making work and making other people happy with my art. We are hoping to find or build our own house close to the beach, in the nature. I would also love to travel more and combine this with my job.

Sounds like a plan! Last but not least we would love to know: Are there certain core values of yours that you’d like to share and keep in mind?

Positivity : Having a positive mindset and wanting to learn new things during your life will bring you the furthest. Believe in yourself and what you do.
 

Optimism : At your best moments or lowest times remember: “This too shall pass”.

 
Be kind :Treat others the way you want to be treated, not only people but also the planet.

Thank you for the lovely words and it was such a pleasure to collaborate!

You can find Isabelle's beautiful work on instagram:
@belliesartboutique

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