Feel the allure of slow living with Morgane Fadanelli’s thoughtful illustrations
With a background in textile and graphic design, the French illustrator has now settled firmly into illustration, depicting hobbies, simple objects and lakeside serenity.
- Liz Gorny
- 6 September 2022
Is there any better feeling than flipping through a colouring book filled out perfectly within the lines? This soothing satisfaction is exactly the sensation you can expect perusing the work of Lyon-based illustrator Morgane Fadanelli. Of course, Morgane’s work lives beyond the meditative practice of colouring books – though the illustrator did once want to pursue a somewhat related career as a student: working on children’s books.
Since then, the illustrator has ventured into other areas. Today, Morgane is “happy to explore the diversity of projects that illustration has to offer”, creating editorial work for the likes of French magazine Mint and, more recently, illustrations for Pride month appearing across the tramway in Lyon. If you return to Morgane’s work regularly – as we have over the last few months – one thing you might notice is an unmistakable use of texture. Though the linework remains even, steady and largely geometric throughout, the hues between them are pleasantly dappled, almost tea-stained in shape at points.
According to Morgane, this signature style is best achieved with liquid ink. Breaking things down further, Morgane recounts: “I always start a new painting by sketching my ideas on paper that I will clean and use as a base for the painting (I use a lighting table to [avoid] pencil marks and preserve the gesture).” From then, the process borrows benefits from the digital world, but only to further elevate the analogue aesthetic. “I do a quick colour research in Photoshop to explore the possibility of what I have in mind,” Morgane explains. “When I have found the colour palette, I will start to paint the lightest colours first, then add the darkest and details.”
The scenes Morgane chooses to depict are often based around ideas of slow living and simplicity, or “connecting to nature”, the illustrator adds. While many publications actually reach out to Morgane specifically to create work responding to this theme, the concept of slow, careful practices is also central to the artist’s creative approach. Picking out a couple of moments from Morgane’s portfolio, scenes include a walk through perfectly distanced tree trunks, fishing, laying down a picnic blanket and eating fruit – all drawn simply, with no added frills.
Having worked in the fields of graphic and textile design previously, today the freelance illustrator continues to surprise us – however gently – with editorial illustrations that swerve a silky smooth finish. If you’re a fan of simple pleasures, like a calming composition or wash of watercolour, we recommend you keep an eye on Morgane’s output too. It's the perfect antidote to a hectic hump day.
Morgane Fadanelli: Map (Copyright © Morgane Fadanelli 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.