For our “X Questions With” series, we’re speaking with talented individuals from around the world who have inspired us with their creativity and passion. If you have a story to tell or someone you’d like to see profiled, let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

Today, we’re chatting with Isabelle, an independent illustrator from France who is celebrating a sketchbook milestone! For more from Isabelle, be sure to check out her art page on Instagram.


1) Please tell us a little about yourself

Name: Isabelle Arné
Age: 26
City: Bordeaux, France
Places Travelled: France, Spain, UK, Crete, Sweden, New Zealand
Passions: I love all kinds of books and movies with a soft spot for Regency/Victorian novels and space-related movies. I also love hiking and caring for little plants.
Education/Training: I have a scientific bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in illustration and animated movies.
Occupation: Independent illustrator
Creative Works: I did quite a bit; I guess the next one will be my best?
Favourite Quote: “If you’re afraid of it, it probably means you should do it.” – If not my favorite one, it’s the most inspirational quote to me and one of the first I wrote for my Instagram because I am an easily stressed and scared person. I must learn to overcome my fears to give the best of myself, or just do normal activities.

2) We first saw your art on Instagram when you tagged us in an “end of summer” post. We loved the simplicity of your flowing lines and colour choices. How did you develop this particular æsthetic?

Thank you! I believe that each tool I use makes me draw in a different way and inspires me to renew my art. Here I wanted to use a brush pen I hadn’t used in a while. Drawing this way is very soothing, clear lines done with one stroke, taking your time thinking about where the next line is going to be: there is no place for a mistake. It might look stressful but it focuses the mind in a great way.

3) Do you have a particular style or medium you prefer to work with?

As for the medium I believe a simple pencil is the best, but I also like digital art. And for the style, I guess it’s my own. I waver between comic and semi-realistic styles, sometime going full realistic; I like to change but I guess my style is always somehow visible.


4) Do you have a particular subject matter that you are especially drawn to?

I believe the human body is one of the most beautiful things there is, it’s ever changing and infinite. No two people are the same in shape, size and color and it’s fascinating don’t you think?

5) Why did you choose a Paperblanks art journal?

I have a weakness for pretty sketchbooks, I have many of them and Paperblanks’ are especially pretty. I’d rather spend a little money on a pretty sketchbook because I’m going to spend a lot of time with it so I better like it!


6) When we spoke earlier, you mentioned that you’re finished this sketchbook. What makes this a particular monumental or emotional experience?

Yes, it’s almost finished, a few pages left, in a day or two it will be done. As I said, I spend a lot of time with my sketchbooks; they are always with me. I started this one October 16, 2015. Almost a year ago day-to-day. It was in New Zealand with me, it holds many memories of the past year and if I look at it I will probably know my mindset at the time I did these pages. If you ask me now, I would say this sketchbook is the most precious of them all. But last year it would have been the one I finished at this time, and then in another year it will be the new one. Like horcruxes, my sketchbooks keep pieces of me and I like to browse them after (but without risks of being possessed!).


7) Has anyone, or anything, in particular inspired your creativity and artistic passion?

There are many: classic painters, manga authors, modern illustrators and photographs. If I had to name two I would say Alphons Mucha and Lois Van Baarle (Loish) who makes me want to be a better artist and never be satisfied with what I can do.

8) Any advice you would like to share with aspiring artists?

I guess it would be to do a sketchbook, when I entered art school, doing a sketchbook was mandatory and it was the best idea the teachers had. I have never stopped doing one since then. The point of having a sketchbook is to never stop sketching, trying, experimenting and having fun with your art.


About Paperblanks: At Paperblanks, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at


  1. Hi. I have been looking for a sketchbook to try watercolour in. Loved the look of your exquisite journals since I stumbled across them. Which of your journals were used by the artist in this post (8 Questions with Isabelle Arné, Independent Illustrator)? Would this be suitable for watercolour pencils? Was this journal designed for artists or is it just because it has heavyweight paper?

    Kind regards



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