“It’s when I travel that I am the most inspired,” says Paris born-and-bred illustrator Beya Rebaï. “I always bring my sketchbook with me, it’s a way of engraving in my memory what I see and feel during the trip.” An observational illustrator through-and-through, Beya captures the world through her distinctive simplified colour palettes: “A girl in a cafe, a bouquet of flowers, the grace of a mountain, everything is an excuse to draw.”
A prolific artist, Beya works non-stop when it comes to visually translating the world around her. Working as a freelance illustrator, she plans her day around drawing, using the “posters in the street, the colours of a sweater in a shop’s window” as inspiration. “But my favourite moment,” she continues, “is obviously when I can put colours on my ideas and make a drawing that is a very faithful reflection of me.”
This process of turning ideas into colours is the pinnacle of Beya’s process. Her signature choice of colour appears to be pink and the resulting limited palette makes her work so recognisable. “I always start a drawing by choosing the colour range that I will use,” she tells It’s Nice That, “I pick four or five colours maximum per drawing. Then I make a sketch of what I have in mind and I apply the coloured forms in flat. Finally, I draw the details.”
As a result, Beya’s works retain a representational quality as she draws details out of blocks of colour using bold mark making. What appears as a figure walking beneath the trees from far away, blurs into abstraction as you look closer. “Usually I draw in situ,” she adds, “I choose a colour palette and I start representing what’s in front of me. It’s a good exercise, it’s like training so I try to do it every day.”
Having studied illustration for three years in Belgium before completing a master’s in Paris, Beya’s method of working is largely inspired by the nabis art movement. A group of post-impressionist avant-garde artists, les nabis has a painterly, non-realistic aesthetic – influences which are now clearly visible in Beya’s contemporary take on the movement.
Whatever the subject, whether it’s a couple looking out over a mountain range, or the interior of a butchers shop, Beya’s drawings provide a means for her to tell idiosyncratic stories through a consistent visual style.
- Ioanna Sakellaraki explores Greece’s last professional mourners and their rituals around death
- Catalog Press is questioning what a book can be (and maybe it's made of cheese)
- Floriane Rousselot's digital platform Typelab supports and champions the work of young designers
- Photographer Theo Cottle tries to “keep an element of truth” in everything he shoots
- “Stay simple and playful”: Arnaud Aubry talks to us about making his fun and charming work
- Théophile Bartz on his fantastically hypnotic illustrations
- Led By Donkeys is crowdfunding £50,000 for “honest” No Deal Brexit ad campaign
- Taschen’s recent release celebrates “the greatest cat photographer of the 20th Century”
- Introducing the It’s Nice That Graduates of 2019!
- Suzy Chan’s portfolio boasts original graphic design, animation, typography and so much more
- Stefanie Tam’s graphic design grounds conceptual thinking in compelling visuals
- The Advertising Standards Authority has banned its first ads for “harmful” gender stereotyping