Isabelle Cardinal

Featured Artist

Isabelle did her B.A. in graphic design at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Through the years she has developed a style of her own that is both recognizable and very personal. Isabelle works frequently as an editorial illustrator, contributing to magazine and newspapers around the US and Canada.

What stands out for you as one of your favourite career highlights so far?

Some years back I was asked to present my work to students at the very same University where I did my B.A in Graphic Design. It was an honour that they asked me, I was proud to be back and show my illustrations. A great experience.

What are you currently working on?

This summer I signed a contract with a major Tarot card company in the US to do a deck of cards. It is a lot of work but so much fun to create these cards. It will be an Oracle deck so they are giving me a lot of latitude to create something personal and unique. 

How did you get started as an artist?

Even as a kid, drawing was a passion. I actually did not like school much but the art classes were the best part of my day! It followed me through all my teenage years, and so I studied visual art in college and then went to University. My favourite class was Editorial illustration. The teachers were showing us their work and I remember them showing us editorial illustrations they had done for The Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and I was thinking, “This is what I want to do!” Some years later, I had an agent and was doing exactly that! 

Who or what influences your art?

I love old engravings, old Victorian photos, but also I am influenced by modern artists collages! I think it is great to have access via the web to so many great websites featuring amazing artists, I love to see what others are doing, it’s nice to see the trends and how digital illustration is shaping up.

What is your creative process like?

I am always brainstorming and sketching alot before putting anything on the computer. Probably due to my years of studying in graphic design! I always send clients between 2 to 3 sketches/roughs and then I go from there to create the final art. Sketching is important to me, because I don’t want to limit my ideas. Then I dig into my piles of old photographs and drawings, and often I also do my own photography to include in the collage/final art. 

How do you feel our Art Plus Brewing initiative can benefit emerging artists? What was your experience like when you participated in our Series 6 Call for Art?

I find it to be an awesome concept! I love the idea of all these artists being celebrated for what they do: Art. And I love beer! But seriously I was very honoured to be part of the Series 6! Being an illustrator, you are often in your little bubble…so to be part of this ‘series’ gave me the chance to be part of this great collective “team”. Such a nice visibility and showcase, plus there is this wow factor of seeing your own image on a beer label. I had the pleasure of tasting ‘My beer’ (label),  The Saint of Circumstance and to top it all, it is my kind of beer, a citrus blonde ale!! So thank you, and Cheers!  

Learn more about Isabelle:

Agent website:

Twitter: @isaonthego


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