It’s Friday once again, which means both Heirloom & Knot and I are very happy to share with you the latest instalment in our ongoing Art Fair Fridays series, where we bring you weekly design inspiration and exclusive interviews with the talented artists that inspire our creativity on a daily basis.
Today, we’re so excited to share with you the incredible works of Milou Neelen, whose romantic illustrations exude feminine grit. Her style is reminiscent of fashion portraiture from years past, with a decidedly modern edge. Each piece feels layered with whimsicality and an adventurous spirit, speaking to a narrative of empowerment and exuberance.
How long would you say you have been a professional artist and what has lead you to this point in your career?
On my 25th birthday 5 back in 2010 I received a phone call from ELLE magazine if they could use one of my paintings as an illustration with one of their articles. In that same month I started working as a print designer at the women’s brand of Scotch&Soda: Maison Scotch. But I’m working full time as a freelancer for almost 4 years now.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received about your art ?
Maybe not visually about my work but I received some very important tips business wise, including don’t sell your work for too little money, this probably means it’s wasn’t too much of an effort to create. I think every artist struggles with the financial side of creativity, so looking at it from that point of view helps.
How would you describe your creative process?
It starts out with something I see, anything. A color combination, a pattern on the street that sticks in the back of my mind till it suddenly turns into a visual story I have to create. I know, very seventies vague, but my gut is my best creative friend.
What is your favorite medium to work in?
Indian ink and a good pencil is something I work with every day.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
I think that phone call by ELLE magazine since that was the start of getting my name out there. I’ve done many illustrations for them since. And launching my own brand Hotel Magique 2 months ago! My web shophotelmagique.com includes illustrated greeting cards, art prints and unique pieces including artworks on velvet canvasses from the ‘Velvet Magique’ series or golden artworks in giant size vintage playing cards named ‘Let’s play with Magique’.
How would you describe your signature style?
A fine line between playful and feminine.
Where do you find your greatest creative inspiration?
I get inspired every day by anything, but a couple of artist which always and always inspire me include Sonia Delaunay, Andy Warhol and Matisse.
What do you think sets your work apart from other artists?
It’s always possitive and easy on the eye, and diversity, using different media.
No.1 Black Rooster Décor – Iconic Rose Cashmere Chair – $4774.12
No.2 Society Social – “Africa” by Inslee Pink Pillow – $80.00
No.3 Cartier – Jewelry Box – $2950.00
No.4 House of Hackney – TIGRE ‘De Beauvoir’ Screen – £2,250.00
No.5 Amazon – C.Z. Guest: American Style Icon Hardcover – $48.99
No.6 Lisi Lerch – Tassel Earring – Miss Pink – $98.00
No.7 Ralph Lauren – BECKFORD TABLE LAMP IN FAUX LEOPARD – $1200.00
No.8 Bicycle – Pink Ribbon Deck of Cards – $3.99
No.9 Altuzarra – Tally Leather-Trimmed Leopard-Print Calf Hair Sandals – $574.00
I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear of my love for this artist. Her feminine edgy style is so on point with where my art heart lies.
I mean really…just so pretty.