La Scarlatte is an illustration and design studio. The artwork consists of detailed, elegant, and hand-drawn designs which result in rhythmic, organic illustrations. Elusive Muse is pleased to share a short interview with designer and illustrator Pauline Teunissen.

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….And now for our exclusive interview

How would you describe your art?
My artwork consists of detailed, elegant, and hand-drawn designs that result in rhythmic, organic illustrations. There is always a hint of nature in it, plant life or animal life. This style is applied in individual artwork, but also in surface patterns.

How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?
Officially I’ve turned being an artist into my profession around 10 years ago, but I’ve held a pencil in my hand for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I used to scribble on everything I could get my hands on, from my dad’s fax machine paper to my math notebook. I just loved drawing. After high school, I did a year of art training at an academy while I got my propedeuse in Art History at the University of Amsterdam, then went on to the Utrecht School of Arts to study Illustration Design.

What is your favorite medium and why?
In the end, it’s all about the pencil. It’s simple but versatile and I feel most comfortable with it creating all kinds of textures and lines. You can take it anywhere with you for quick sketching or spend hours on a single intricate drawing.

Pick one work of art from your portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece?

I recently finished a piece for the Marie Curie Museum in Paris, France. It is part of an exhibition where artists were given 4 different sets of medical images and videos; each artist had to pick the set they were most inspired by and create an artwork. I’ve always been interested in both science and nature, so this was a perfect match for me. After completing this piece, which is in essence about breathing, I ended up creating all kinds of organisms (a combination of natural and scientific forms), that could “breathe” on their own. I am currently in the process of animating them. So much fun! When given artistic freedom, there is always a little bit more room to experiment and usually I end up more satisfied with the result.

Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.
Somehow my work always ends up detailed, and maybe a little bit too much at times. The phrase “less is more” does not apply to my work:) So to challenge myself, I would love to develop a style that is more stylized, work more with flat and solid shapes.

How do you make time for art?
Well, aside from the commissioned projects I work on, I always try to create some personal pieces. The trick for me is to always have the drawing intertwined with my life. So I take a notebook and a pencil with me everywhere. When on holiday I sketch local plants and flowers, when on the train I secretly draw my fellow passengers, and in case I forget my trusty pencil I take a picture with my phone for later. As you can imagine I have a very large collection of drawings and pictures to help me inspire myself and keep me motivated.

If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?
I like 2 things best and that is illustrations and patterns, so maybe I’ll start the day with a trip to the Hortus Botanicus or the Zoo and sketch some nice flowers and a monkey or 2, then back to the studio to create a crazy pattern with them. Oh and I secretly love to create very detailed drawings at night, preferably when it’s pouring rain outside (we have a lot of those nights in the Netherlands) and a nice cup of tea by my side.

If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why? What would the two of you do?
Oh, that’s a difficult choice to make! I guess I would love to spend the day with Yayoi Kusama and get lost in her world of dots. The way she keeps on creating art with dots and never gets tired of it and always comes up with new amazing ways to look at them, is astonishing to me. I love that she is kind of maniacal and new patterns arose where old dots fade into the background.

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring artists?
Keep going. Never stop! Sometimes it feels like you’re just stuck and nobody is interested in your work. But keep yourself motivated and stick with the things you’re good at, take your talents and expand and develop them.