Aurelia, Illustrator, Product and Graphic Designer
Meet French-born designer. Not only is she an illustrator, product and graphic designer she is also an entrepreneur. I accidentally bumped into her beautiful designs while perusing the Instagram feed. I followed her immediately but following her was not enough, I had to meet her for a chat.
Who is Aurélia?
I am Ivorian- French based in Copenhagen. I grew up in Paris but have also lived on an Island called Reunion, an island east of Madagascar, for four years when I was a child. I am quite close to the Creole culture. My mother is Ivorian, and my father is French.
I am a professional designer. I completed my design degree in France and came to Denmark as an exchange student for four months at the Academy of Fine Arts and design of Copenhagen, through that I met my Danish boyfriend.
How do you find Denmark?
France and Denmark are very close geographically but still very different. The French culture, traditions, even people's mindsets are the complete opposite of people in Denmark. What I love about Copenhagen is the laid back atmosphere which feels more comfortable than in Paris because Paris is congested, hectic and a crowded city .What I love and sometimes miss about Paris though, is that it is a beautiful melting pot.
What is your journey since you arrived in Copenhagen?
At the age of 24 years old I acquired my masters degree in product design in France. After my exchange I decided to move to Copenhagen for a more extended period, with the hope of finding a position as a designer in a company, but that proved to be a challenge because many people were in the same situation as me. For two years I was doing unpaid internships, and I started to believe less in my first objectives.
My luck changed when one day I went to an event organised by the municipality of Copenhagen. It was a hackathon where people with different backgrounds would form a group and work on a topic. I chose to work on the bicycle parking solution for the commune. After 24 hours of hard work, my team won for making a bicycle parking for events. This led us to present our project at the COP21 in Paris. After that, the group dissolved and I continued the same hackathon idea with a friend. We pitched the idea to Roskilde Festival in 2016 and proposed a bicycle parking called DOUBLE U. It is movable easy to set up and eco-friendly. It was exciting to be part of such massive festival, and we had lots of fun. We went to Roskilde festival two years in a row and Musik I Lejet and Distortion.
Unfortunately, this project ended because of lack of funding. But thanks to that I have learned how to be an entrepreneur and independent.
From the experience of working with COP, I kept on going because I discovered that I had good creative ideas and I was more confident about myself as an artist. I decided to be a freelance designer. I started my Instagram account to share my work and get visibility with the hope of getting jobs. I like to do illustrations, with the sole focus being; how do I transmit my thoughts through my drawings. I wanted to give something personal so people would be touched and could relate to my visuals. Apart from illustration, I also developed some products inspired by my African roots which are a collection of afro combs accessories.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from Art, design, architecture, music videos, films, and human connections as well as stories.
My illustration can be political, but they aim to show colours and pride. My visuals are not only referring to Africa; They are a mix like I am mix of French, European and Ivorian.
The Danish minimalism aesthetic inspires me as well. You can see this in the backgrounds of my illustrations. I use grey and white tones to balance the vibrant colours I use. I draw black su because I only see pale colours in the everyday visuals, so I wanted to create a contrast and show that black can also shine with colours.
Who is Aurelia's illustrations for?
Through my Instagram, I reach people who did not find themselves in the media. Women of colour no matter their beliefs they are craving for more representation in the Western society.
The media depicts stereotypical images of us like we are not part of the society and we are pariahs. We have regular jobs like everyone else, and we can influence the world too. The more we are represented the more we will be in harmony and therefore can respect each other. Aurélia Design Studio
Based in København