The Colorful Portraits of Aurélia Durand

Aurélia Durand’s illustrations are informed by color and pattern. Working as a graphic artist, her art isn’t restricted to pen and paper (or computer and Photoshop) and it includes anything from illustration and animation to acrylic paintings.

Centered around African men and women, her artwork explores questions of identity in a world that’s fast-paced and evolving. As such, her creations have a vitality to them that is further enhanced by the choices of bright, eye-popping colors. It’s a vitality that has caught the attention of brands as big as Adobe, Instagram, Tinder, and Refinery 29.

In an interview with African Digital Art, Durand described her artistic passion in religious terms, stating that art came as a revelation of sorts. “It started when I entered a pre-art school just after high school,” she recalled. “It was a revelation for me. In this place, I experimented all kinds of art drawings, paintings, sculpture, and product design.”

“I was studying in Paris which is the best place to study art; there are many museums, galleries, and events,” she went on to explain. “In school, I studied the history of art, I was fascinated by contemporary art.”

It was this fascination that pushed her to where she is today. Here are some highlights from her Instagram page.

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I am an artist engaged, and I want you to find your voice too. Art can be fun and spreading good vibes, but we often forget the hard work behind every visual. I spent lots of time online as Instagram is my first channel to get clients and showcase my work, and I see lots of people copying artists and stilling their design to sell without any permissions. To be clear, it’s not because it’s on the internet that it doesn’t matter and nobody will see it. It’s entirely the opposite, everybody sees it, and it has an impact. Internet is the REAL LIFE, I can say it because since I shared my work, I have grown my business and meet lots of people behind the screen. It's not because you feel alone behind your screen that your behavior online doesn't matter… If I am where I am today, it’s only because I found my own voice, I have been able to create something unique. There is only one me on the planet, I have my own story and my own vision of the world, and so does my art. What I have experienced in my life is transmitted in my art: my doubts, fears, good times, travels, experiences… If you want to be an artist in any kind of fields, you need to find your OWN voice! Copying someone for the sake of getting followers is not going to fulfill your creativity. You can copy a style, but you won’t be able to spread the same message because you won’t have the experience the artist has. I know by saying that I seem very protective and not sharing, but I care so much about what I do. People often think art doesn’t matter and treat it like it's not relevant… I don’t agree. Art gives a sense in our lives and new perspectives, new reflexions, hope, emotions, and so much more. My advice as an artist: talk about yourself so you will create a unique connection with people. What matters in art is your story, so start by defining what makes you unique. Don’t hide, find your truth, find your voice, and your artwork will be unique. I have always been told it’s not the technique which makes you an artist; it’s first your intention. You will learn the method afterward (if obviously, you have some kind of talent in that area). Don’t idolize art and work hard on #findingyourvoice

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