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Illustrator Spotlight – Margaux Samson Abadie

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Illustrator Spotlight – Margaux Samson Abadie

Sound Waves Literacy 22/5/23

Illustrator Margaux Samson Abadie has always had an affinity for creating, whether that be designing children’s wear or making magic through her illustrative art. Based in Dordogne, Margaux can usually be found drawing in her studio in the idyllic French countryside.

It has been four years since Margaux’s illustration journey began and in that time she signed with global illustration agency The Illustration Room. ‘They were looking to represent new children’s book illustrators and I was just considering getting an agent at the time,’ she said. ‘I answered the call, drew a storyboard and a few spreads for a little story I wrote, and I signed with them!’

Margaux describes her illustration style as ‘colourful, full of detail and more ornate than minimalist for sure.’ Margaux’s work on Firefly Education’s suite of Year 1 Sound Waves Decodable Readers beautifully showcases her enchanting style. ‘The text for each story was very lively which helped me create vibrant illustrations,’ she said.

Margaux named The Path as her favourite Decodable Reader to work on. ‘I loved the magical and fantasy elements of the story. This is the sort of book I would have liked as a child,’ she explained. ‘It was a fun change from what I have been working on lately, which is mostly non-fiction content about nature.’

Surprisingly, research is Margaux’s favourite part of her work. When researching for The Path, Margaux took inspiration from the trolls of Swedish folklore. ‘I had never drawn trolls before,’ she said. ‘I had to make sure the trolls in the cave were not too scary, so I tried to make them look goofier and clumsier.’

When illustrating for My Dog Gruff, Margaux referenced pictures and videos of her friend’s dog. As Margaux explained, basing Gruff on a real dog ‘helped give it some personality!’

When working on the Sound Waves Decodable Readers, Margaux particularly enjoyed the diversity and pace of the stories. ‘I loved the fact that they were all fiction and I enjoyed working with precise briefs,’ she said. ‘It felt very fulfilling to have completed four little books in two months or so. I would gladly do it again.’

See more of Margaux’s work on her website or Instagram.

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