7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #262: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Lia Marcoux

h1 January 1st, 2012 by jules

Happy 2012, everyone! Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.

I hope you rang in the new year just the way you wanted to. It’s the first Sunday of the month, so that means I invite a student illustrator or brand-spankin’-shiny-new illustrator over to share some art and say a few words. Today, I have a new illustrator, whose name is Lia Marcoux and who graduated in 2009. Let’s get right to it. She’s here to introduce herself, and I raise my cup of coffee to her.

* * *

Hi. I’m Lia, a children’s illustrator living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I live with my boyfriend and I’m an adult, which means I get to eat mango crisp for dinner and, in fact, I just did. I decided I wanted to be a professional artist and storyteller after a deep meaningful relationship with the first season of Digimon (I wish I was kidding), but while I was attending the Rhode Island School of Design, my interests shifted from animation to publishing. I work in watercolor and digital media. When I say ‘digital media,’ I mostly just mean the ‘multiply’ blend mode in Photoshop. Once in a while, I throw in a layer mask for kicks, but I rely on the watercolor painting to determine most of the important decisions about the the final piece. I also teach art at Shady Hill School, which is amazing! My students are skillful and creative, and I leave work every day excited to make art for kids like them.

Here are five paintings from the last year or so — I think the earliest is Cassie Loves Bugs.

(Click to enlarge)

I remember that this piece pulled me out of something of an art slump, but I had to take an unwelcome break halfway through to go to my then part-time job at a cupcake shop. Being a cupcake shop girl might sound whimsical and fun, but it was lousy at the best of times and even worse when all I wanted to do was paint. I think it’s then that, working in a hurry, you make the snap decision to put an ‘s’ at the end of a Spanish word.

The Haunting of Granite Falls is a mock cover for a wonderful book by Eva Ibbotson. All of Ms. Ibbotson’s stories are wonderful — I think Kevin Hawkes illustrated the majority of her books (and does a great job), but I’m not sure how the rest of the illustration world can keep their paws off of them. Her stories are visually rich, totally original, and a little bittersweet. I’m a huge reader of children’s literature, and if there were a genie that only granted wishes regarding which projects illustrators could have, I would wish to illustrate a story of hers.

(Click to enlarge)

Kids was a little series I made for my website re-design. My favorite is the pair of the unfortunate young boy who eats while birds stare at him. The possibilities are endless. Eating a clam cake while seagulls stare! Eating a pretzel while crows stare! Eating a dead mouse while owls let their gaze linger! I’m inspiring myself over here!

The Keep [pictured at the top of the post] is a piece where very little of the color composition from the watercolor painting remains. The original of the painting (which I consider to be about the halfway mark of a piece) is mostly grey and red, but when I moved into digital I eventually landed on a desaturated green palette. That’s why I love combining watercolor and digital — I get the texture of the paint and paper, but the specific control of a computer. My boyfriend’s sweater makes an appearance here, as well as a fur coat from Murder She Wrote.

Lovebirds is my most recent piece — only about two weeks old, actually! I’ve been having a wonderful and busy quarter, but it was nice to take a holiday break and return to personal work. I love doing research, but I’m pretty undiscriminating, so it’s a mish-mosh. The ‘painting within a painting’ (I’m so Inception right now) and the girl are based on a painting of a Spanish maiden, which I can no longer find, and the building is German. If you’re an avid reference image collector, I recommend Pinterest. It’s not for the weak of heart, though. It can own you.

So, here’s your takeaway: read Eva Ibbotson, eat more mangoes, and visit me at my website — www.liamarcoux.com — or my print shop — www.liamarcoux.bigcartel.com. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Julie for having me!

* * *

Well, that was fun. She made me laugh, and I like her style. In more ways than one. Here’s to Lia’s future as an illustrator, and here’s hoping this isn’t the last we hear from her.

* * * * * * *

All images are used with permission of Lia Marcoux.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

Happy New Year, dear kickers. I think kicks one through seven for me can be embodied in this here picture on the right.

For any newer 7-Imp readers, that’s my bestest of all friends, Eisha, who co-founded this site with me. She was in town for the holidays, and I got to see her more than once. What a treat.

That picture was taken late — and after I may or may not have had a glass or two or three of very good red wine. It’s a happy tired that I am there.

I hope your holidays were good, one and all. I also hope you’re feeling good about 2012. I myself have my work cut out for me—gotta get back to work, gotta get caught up on email, and gotta do some manuscript edits for this—but my life is filled with abundant blessings of just about every stripe for which I’m grateful, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get crackin’.

I very much enjoy talking illustration and picture books here at 7-Imp (I enjoyed looking back this week on 2011 in this post), and I’m especially grateful for those who stop by to kick with me every Sunday. And that’s ’cause … well, I’ll speak for myself when I say—at the risk of sounding like Stuart Smalley—that, when I stop to notice the little gratefuls (as my children call them), it makes life a little better.

I’ll leave you with one more kick — the fact that I just discovered the music of Low Cut Connie. For real, I know you’re all, Jules is always runnin’ her mouth about music and I think I’ll just skip this blah blah blah on she goes again blah-dee-blah, but NO REALLY. Hit the play button, turn it up to eleven, put on your best dance face, and get your swerve on. It’s dance o’clock is what it is.

BUT WAIT. Not to be outdone at all is Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, who will also get your feet movin’:

What are YOUR kicks this week? Also, here’s hoping you grab 2012 by the balls (classy, I know, but I couldn’t resist) and make it all your own.

18 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #262: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Lia Marcoux”

  1. Lia’s illustrations are nice. Also, it ain’t that weird that Digimon was an inspiration, it was mine too actually, although I’m kinda ashamed for that ;).
    Nice music btw. Hmm my kicks, I don’t know if I have any right now. Just had one week of and now have to start part-time work again. Maybe I’ll do some scheme planning for the next year or whatever, still don’t feel that energy kick for the next year but that always happens around when spring begins :p.
    Good luck in 2012!

  2. Kicks:

    1. 12 day visit from my Minneapolis son and his family.

    2. Wrote and rewrote with son 4 new chapters of the first book of a fantasy trilogy for Viking, The Seelie wars.

    3. Got contract for said trilogy.

    4. Partied hardy at the houses of Holly Black, Rebecca Guay, Mo WiIllems, a moveable feast over three days (though not entirely sequential).

    5. Finished writing a poem a day for the entire year of 2011,

  3. Quick fly by to say Happy New Year, and thanks for 7-Imp! Wonderful to see you and Eisha together. 🙂

    Hello to all the Kickers — hope you have an extra delicious 2012!

  4. I don’t blame Lia for using the Ibbotson books for inspiration.
    Jules, how fun for Eisha to visit. Great photo.
    Jane, a poem a day for 2011, impressive.
    Jama and Petra, Happy New Year to you.
    My kicks:
    -Sitting with my youngest daugther’s family. They are visiting us.
    -Zoolights at the zoo last night with 3 and 6 YO grandgirls.
    -msking cookies w/ grandgirls
    -Seeing Hugo on Christmas Day.
    -a crisp clear start to 2012.
    -finished Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
    -having time
    Happy New Year.

  5. Hi Petra. Well, here’s to Spring then and here’s wishing to energy in January anyway. I find January kind of blah’y, too. Not sure why. I’ll have to ponder that. … Glad you liked the music. Happy new year.

    Jane: So good you got to see family and party hard.

    mrs. b: Hi! Happy new year! Big hugs to you.

    Jone: Did you like Hugo? There was one point in the movie where I had to work hard to not audibly weep and embarrass myself. Happy new year! Enjoy the time with the grandkids.

  6. Loved Hugo. So did Chuck.

  7. Happy new year, Imps!

    Hi there, Lia Marcoux! Your name is fantastic. Kudos and your work as an artist and a teacher. I like the birds engaged in a staring contest. 🙂 The piece Lovebirds reminds me of a scene in the film The Pirate with Gene Kelly.

    Eisha and Jules: I’m so glad that you got to visit!

    Good luck with your job, Petra!

    Jane: Hello to Holly, Mo, Rebecca, and company. Twitter was all atwitter with authors commenting on the fun y’all were having! Congratulations on your contract and kudos for your daily poetry. Most importantly, yay for visiting your family.

    Hi there, Jama!

    Jone: I hope Hugo the film lived up to Hugo the book. Enjoy your time with your family.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Closing week of the play went really well. We closed just yesterday, and I miss it already.
    2) Going right into the new year
    3) Scheduling auditions
    4) Looking ahead
    5) Glitter
    6) Tortillas
    7) Peppermint-striped garments

  8. Little Willow, glitter! Do you know that Adrienne Furness is also a huge fan of the messy concoction that is glitter? A good kind of mess, to be sure. Sorry about closing-week blues. I remember what that’s like. Break a leg on your early ’12 auditions!

  9. Jules and Adrienne: People who appreciate the value of glitter (and the time and place for it) are good people. 😉 14 months ago, I bought a glitter stick from the Wet n Wild Halloween makeup display at Walgreens, knowing I’d need it someday. I was very happy to use it for this show. I looked for a picture on Google Images to show you, and: here. (The white-shiny one.)

  10. LW: Glitter. I love glitter.

  11. I very much approve of that glitter.

  12. I joined the party after Eisha left but it sure looks like she was a super special friend! What a great way to spend the holidays!

    Happy New Year to all!

  13. You, too, Stacey!

  14. Happy New Year to all!

    Lia Marcoux’s illustrations are so fun and lively, like something is just about to happen – Lovebirds reminds me of the movie version of Much Ado About Nothing, which is fun, because I love that movie!

    Jules & Eisha! Happy New Year! So glad y’all got visit!

    Thanks for the dance tunes Jules, one of my resolutions is to dance more this year, so I am always happy to have more to add to the music library.

    Jane – visits from family, plus all the partying sounds fabulous!

    Jone – hooray for making cookies and seeing the zoo lights!

    LW – Happy closing, and Glitter! Here’s to even more booked jobs in 2012 for you, especially the kind we can dvr or watch online!

    My kicks:
    1) 7 Imps and all the kickers! The weekly kicks always puts a smile on my face.
    2) Ending 2011 with a clean house.
    3) Black eyed peas.
    4) Collard greens sauteed in butter with truffle salt sprinkled on top, so simple and so very tasty.
    5) Saw the new Sherlock Holmes! Loved, loved, loved it, and RDJ, as usual.
    6) Discovered an amazing artist and am smitten by her: http://www.paigebradley.com
    7) Limitless possibilities.

    Wishing all of you an amazing and joyous and happy 2012!

  15. Rachel, keep hearing good things about that new Sherlock Holmes movie. .. Paige’s work is lovely. Is that artist local (to you)?

    Happy new year, Rachel!

  16. Jules, no, not a local Portland artist. Paige is a California girl who now lives in London, and I stumbled across her work via another blog. Love the internets for happy discoveries like that. : )

  17. Jules- so glad you do enjoy talking about illustration and children’s books. We’re all the better for it.

    Having just spent a month long marathon with water color, it’s hard to believe Marcoux’s work is done in water color! Amazing and beautiful illustrations. That’s the difference between a RISD grad and well, me. (Hmm, I grew up w/a Marcoux family in RI.)

    Happy 2012! 🙂

  18. Jayne: I bet your watercolors are WAY better than mine would ever be! I’m amazed when anyone does it so well. Happy new year to you!

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