Marine Buffard on how becoming a morning person encouraged her creativity

Wanting to switch up her sleeping pattern as a self-confessed night owl during lockdown, Marine found routine in returning to illustration and animation.

11 August 2021

Paris-based creative Marine Buffard spins a lot of plates. A graphic design graduate who now works in brand strategy alongside completing a PhD, when lockdown paused many of her projects she decided to add another practice to the pile, picking up illustration and animation.

Illustration was always a part of Marine’s practice, “especially during my studies,” she tells It’s Nice That. Yet, like most creative passions we keep up with on the side, once Marine’s job and studies began to take up more time it fell to the side. But during the quieter periods of 2020, the creative decided to dedicate more time to the practice, in turn utilising her Instagram account as a sort of illustrative diary.

A self-described “big night owl”, Marine’s Instagram first began as a diary of her trying to switch up her sleep pattern, adopting the username, “becoming a morning person”. Waking up earlier and earlier to create, “this daily drawing practice was meant to build up a creative routine in order to induce inspiration in a moment were I lacked it, being stuck at home.” Continually creating and sharing, illustration-focused opportunities soon began to appear for Marine, developing her craft as well as offering “a great way to keep busy and stay sane as we were stuck at home in Paris.”

The result of creating on such a regular basis is a practice Marine describes as “some kind of ordinary life poetry”. Stylistically this tends to come to life with “clear fine lines, bold blurry colours and movement”, brought to life with a hypnotic looping animation style. The looping effect has also encouraged Marine to become a transition master, where a character’s fuzzy jumper could expand into a mountainous landscape, for example. Her use of colour in these pieces is also very selective with black-and-white sketches always leading a piece, and colour only applied to further a quick loop’s narrative.

When this colour is applied Marine tends to pick from one or two specific colour palettes, inspired by the seasons shifting “nature’s colours and my mood” she explains. If you scroll back down through Marine’s Instagram to winter you’ll find softer, moody tones which gradually transition into louder bursts of colour as summer hits. “I follow nature’s guidelines as nature is a big inspiration for me and a recurring theme in my work.” Now creating work reflecting her garden from late spring to early summer, viewers will spot colour choices lifted from “the dandelions, lavender and bourrache” points out the illustrator. “I love the softness of it, it brings me back to very specific moments which I hope to convey in my work!”

Now aligning her practice much more on the animation side than solely illustration, Marine explains how this process often begins by just “imagining my drawings in movement,” she says, “they have a life of their own, evolving, moving, transforming.” Animation offers the creative freedom, she continues, as well as “a lot of fun, inspiration and creativity in movement.” And while the still images Marine shares convey a narrative, animation allows for these often metaphorical ideas in her mind to live a little more. “They are very small stories and are meant to convey feelings that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to do if they were stills,” adds Marine. “Even when I do stills, they are often frames of a moving picture or are destined to be animated someday. In my head they all move!”

With a practice that sounds so therapeutic and natural, it might not come as a surprise that Marine admits she has little process to how she creates. “I just start sketching frame by frame, and see where it goes. Sometimes it is of course more planned, but nothing extraordinary I am afraid!” The result however certainly is; able to convey the patience and time channelled into each piece allowing for a meditative moment for whoever views it too.

GalleryMarine Buffard: Becoming a Morning Person (Copyright © Marine Buffard, 2020)

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Marine Buffard: Becoming a Morning Person (Copyright © Marine Buffard, 2020)

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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