Introducing Guillaume Cornet, known for his hand-drawn scenes packed with thousands of things to spot

We're huge fans of Guillaume Cornet's artwork, and in awe of his very unique, creative energy. 

Guillaume is a French artist and illustrator living in London and known for his meticulously detailed, hand-drawn scenes packed with thousands of things to spot.

We are of course very proud to be working with him, and we highly recommend,  for your enjoyment, getting lost in these immense, imaginative cityscapes.

Here's our Q&A, where  you'll fiind that Guillaume has given some very insightful answers...

When did you start illustrating?

I started while I was studying illustration at Camberwell College of Arts in 2008. After interviewing established illustrators working in the industry, I realised that to get started, I needed to get out from behind my desk, print out a portfolio and knock on some doors. I got my first commission within weeks, working on a mural for in Soho.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

I would have to say all the above! I have always had a huge amount of support from my family in my creative career. My university teachers Derek and Elliot played a big role in giving me the confidence that launched my career. I have also been blessed with many years of life experience, sharing warehouses around East London and building an amazing network of friends who were also working in the arts and understood the sacrifices we made for pursuing a creative career while living in London. Finally my partner Cat, who has always believed in my illustration and is annoyingly (very) good at problem solving, which means I can never let myself get defeated. She appears regularly in my drawings in the shape of a mouse with a pony tail haircut and her laptop.

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

No, I started doing graffiti when I was a kid with my older brother but I never had any intention to be an artist. I came to the UK when I was 17 for a month to learn English, one month later I applied to do a BTEC Graphic Design in Bournemouth. My portfolio was a selection of graffiti pieces on the street, trucks, etc.. In my eyes at the time, this was nothing particularly creative, but as the course leader said “clearly showed an interest in typography” and it was enough to get me on the course. One thing led to the other and the following year I did an ND in Fine Art. There, for the first time in my life I discovered a true passion for painting, sculpture, drawing and illustration. I felt a beautiful sense of freedom to express and embrace my creativity. Since that moment I have never thought of anything else but to create my own work as an artist and to illustrate my world.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

Cities. Characters and habitats. Habitats. Characters! Together or separate, I find unlimited inspiration to depict characters interacting and living in spaces.

How would you describe your style?

Extremely detailed, almost horror vacui (fear of empty space). Traditional illustration with a penchant for architectural isometric landscapes filled with humorous characters often posing in funny and sometime uncomfortable positions.

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

Working on my first search & find Children’s Book: Elephants On Tour with Laurence King Publishing. It felt like the dream job when everything is in the right place. Most recently I enjoyed a very fun collaboration with Lululemon to create an illustration for their new HK Airport store which captures the “Sweat Life” & “Hong Kong”. The best part was to draw characters practicing Yoga and Tai Chi, which was maybe unsurprisingly a very relaxing process!

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

As an agency, I love that Illo represents multicultural artists from around the world with distinctive styles and lots of colours! A fantastic roster of playful and character-based artists with beautiful work. Most importantly, when I met Amy I felt she strongly believed and understood my work and would we able to communicate my vision to clients and publishers as well as giving me advice to improve and push boundaries with my own work.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

Children’s book author Claude Ponti

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I have been developing a new concept for my next children’s book: introducing climate change issues and sustainable living with a fun, world wide adventure and plenty of penguins.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

Not podcasts, but I always have on a documentary series or location-based movies which reflect the culture/location or subject I am drawing. I’ve had this visual presence accompanying me in the studio from when I first started.

If you have any questions, or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [email protected]

at illo agency we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.