Ladies, sometimes we need an escape from reality. Marie Pottiez, a freelance Jane of all trades (illustrator/web designer/copywriter/translator – how does she find time for it all?!), has an artistic eye for illustration and design that will have you desperate to see the world through her eyes for a little while. Aside from creating stunning water colour illustrations either for her personal travel blog or for commission, we were delighted to discover she dabbles in save the dates and even in the corporate advertising. The soft-spoken and wonderfully accommodating French artist sat down with me for a quick chat about her services and a coffee at her favourite haunt, Coffee Academics in Wan Chai.
Although she’s been working in France for years in advertising and freelance commissions, she’s still relatively new to the Hong Kong design scene, having only just moved to the 852 this year. She’s made a few splashes working with some fabulous companies here (*ahem* Sassy Hong Kong!), and she absolutely adores working on commissioned pieces because of the room for creativity that she can channel into her designs.
Marie showed me a few of her works and her delicate yet vibrant style sings through each piece, realising her client’s desires while putting her signature stamp on every one. Working in both French and English, she caters to clients all over the world for anything from weddings to parties to baptisms.
Sometimes people come to her without any idea of what they want and sometimes they come with entire Pinterest boards of ideas; in any case, she makes sure to have a consultation with every client to figure out what page they’re on. Her consultations go slightly beyond this as well, as she makes an effort to learn about the people who come to her and their stories, so that she can create pieces that best express them.
Marie absolutely relishes a challenge and she told me fondly about a couple who had a very special design request, “This couple, they met on the way to the same cinema so they asked me to find a way to sneak the logo into their wedding invites. It was a challenge because they wanted me to hide it in the design, so that only they knew what it was.”
If you take a little look at what she came up with, there’s no way on earth you would ever figure that out unless you were in the know (Hint: look a little closer at the green banner!). It’s beautiful details like these that make bespoke commissions such a joy for Marie, working and collaborating with clients on special, personal projects.
The last thing Marie wants to do is waste everybody’s time with something that neither party is happy with. While it’s perfectly alright for people to go in without any idea of what they want, Marie says that one of her most helpful clients was a woman who sent her an entire Pinterest board of exactly what her wedding would look like. From there, she was able to understand the overall theme, colour scheme and atmosphere of the wedding which allowed her to create a beautiful, intricate design that perfectly suited the bride’s wedding vision.
Having trained professionally at art school in Belgium, Marie was initially told by her teachers that she couldn’t draw and she was the butt of professor’s jokes, recounting an instance where they’d laughed at the crooked lines on a sketch of a house.
Marie created this illustration just for us to commemorate the launch of Sassy Weddings. (Thanks, Marie!)
After weeks wasted trying to conform to their standards of beauty, she moved to St Luc Superior Art School where thankfully her distinctive style was treasured and developed with the careful guidance and appreciation of her new tutors. I suppose art is subjective, but I absolutely can’t believe there are people out there who weren’t taken with her work!
We can’t get enough of her gorgeous art and we’re super excited to hear that she’s just launched a beautiful travel and lifestyle blog called Miles of Happiness, featuring her photography, travels and of course, her illustrations. Marie’s actually done a lot of work with us (check out her cute pictures in our handy dandy Dim Sum Dictionary) and as a fellow wanderluster and travel-junkie, she’s done some absolutely stunning water colour illustrations of the places she’s been to such as New Zealand, Singapore and of course, Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong is an artist’s dream,” she gushed. “I’m always inspired by everything here all the time. My dad is a photographer as well and when he visited he was so excited too. There’s always so much going on.”
While Marie doesn’t offer printing services, she’s always more than happy to go out and help source a printing service for her clients at an additional charge. However this isn’t really that much of a problem and actually makes her the perfect for tech-savvy customers – all of her designs are sent to her clients as a PDF. Anyone looking for a truly bespoke design experience is in for an absolute treat as Marie combines their personal vision with her own witty and delicate artistic voice, rather than a boring stack of paper lifted right out of a catalogue. With this talented illustrator at your side, you’ll be investing in masterpieces for years to come.
To request a design quote, get in touch with Marie and message her at [email protected]. Prices usually begin at $1500, depending on the complexity of the design.