Branded as Mamlok, Audrey Manlot is a London based illustrator and art director. With a focus on feminine empowerment and the bond between women and nature, Audrey takes inspiration in an eco-feminist dialogue, resulting “in an aesthetic utopia where Strength and Beauty are embodied into women who thrive in a state of nature.“
Her work will be part of METAMORPHOSIS” running from 1 - 5 May 2019 at Ugly Duck, London. Opening night on Wednesday 1st of May, 6pm (RSVP below).
Point101: Tell us about women empowerment
Audrey Manlot: The concept of being a Woman has always intrigued me. Since a young age, I’ve been unconsciously fascinated by females who were able to “break the boxes” that confine our gender. Growing up [and] surrounding myself with strong female personalities, I realised my mind was full of imaginary boxes, and my conception of femininity very negative.
I naturally started to put that on paper as a mean to keep deconstructing those limiting beliefs and explore the positive and liberating wave of feminism that has arisen.
A little part of that work has been about focusing on the place of the Human being in its environment, and his relationship to other species, a question that has also been in my mind for long. Reading about Ecofeminism I found some interesting ideas in line with my instinctive perceptions. I’m still kin to work on Femininity as an ongoing subject, although I’d like to deepen that outside of the prism of Women, as well as a few other themes that I’ve worked on in the past, such as Gender, the Subconscious and a few more.
P101: Your style is very contemporary and trendy. Is it empowering to you to be part of a contemporary illustrative art scene, a lot of whom are also female?
AM: It is definitely, the contemporary illustrative art scene has become so boiling and diverse, people see the value to it more than before, which is very motivating, especially seeing so many women in the spotlights. It seems to me that it’s a very inclusive community in term of origins, gender and more, which gives a feeling of being connected to our time.
P101: How do your illustrations come to be?
AM: I like to keep the human feel to the image because it makes more sense with the subjects I work on and for my personal aesthetic preference. I work with ink on paper for that organic aspect of the lines and then colourise digitally. I started digital drawing last year, which is very different and as interesting, it opens to a lot of exploration, I’m still experimenting in term of style.
P101: Tell us about your technique
AM: For the conceptual part it varies, I collect quotes, ideas, articles on the day to day life and refer to it when comes the time to produce something. Sometimes I just have an epiphany and there’s a whole image that pops into my brain that I need to execute straight away.
I sometimes sketch a draft on paper for the image construction, or I can also jump on it straight away and improvise. The colouring part is my pet peeve, I got a bit better over time but I always spend ages adjusting the colour palette.
P101: How does your profession as an art director fit into your passion for illustration?
AM: I’ve had a few projects where I’ve been able to combine both disciplines, usually it’s quite compartmented though. I must say I’m trying to stay focused on illustration now and leave graphic design aside.
I’ve also co-founded an ethical clothing brand called Osun Womenswear, for which I create prints, so that’s my other focus at the moment.
P101: Where do you place your work?
AM: I’ve worked for quite a various range of applications, from magazine to packaging, real estate, websites, logo design, audio tape too! My personal work is for print sales and exhibitions when I get the opportunity.
I am actually exhibiting this week with Cluster Illustration at the Ugly Duck. The opening is on Wednesday evening, it’s free and everybody is welcome!
P101: Tell us about your collaborations and how these come about for you
AM: It is usually a word of mouth, I’ve mostly been contacted on some previous collaborator’s recommendations, I should definitely make more contacts myself, it’s the part of the business where I still have a lot of learning to do.
I’ve never been in a situation where I was reluctant to accept a proposition, unless for lack of availability. I would like to diversify my collaborations in order to explore new fields and angles of work, I’m very keen to do some work in the music industry for example, as I find visual arts and music are always very interesting projects.
P101: What giclee paper do you think works best with your prints?
AM: I’ve printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag and German Etching for now, I like the texture of the Photo Rag and the contrast it creates with bright colours. I’d like to try other options soon like the Bamboo paper.
P101: What do you do outside illustrating and being an art director?
AM: My other main focus is Osun, a clothing brand I launched recently with a friend, for which I design the prints. It’s made in London and all about Slow Fashion. I also have a part-time job, so I compartment my time between those 3 activities, which can be tricky sometimes but keeps me active and also enables me to step back from my illustrative work and come back to it with a fresh eye.
P101: Tell us about your interests and hobbies which influence or inspire you
AM: In term of [a] hobby, I’ve recently started Viet Vo Dao (Vietnamese Kung-fu), not that it’s quirky but I’ve never thought I would be practicing a Martial Art, and I find it very interesting and complex. I could think of a project linked to that soon.
Other than that, I get inspiration from people, places, shows, music, films, I feel our brains are sponges that absorb a crazy amount of information every day, and if you put it into the right drawer of your mind, it can turn into something creative (I will make an illustration of that :) )