Sacrée Frangine

Draw it like a girl

As their name reveals, even without the same DNA, Sacrée Frangine is more than just a creative duo: they’re friends first. Two Parisians, Célia and Aline, mix their origins and create a unique aesthetic through fruits, the faces of women, and lovers, all done with blurry contours. A subtle combination that echoes the soft and warm colour palettes used by the artists. Their illustrations resemble Matisse’s collages reinvented in soft and sunny colours: mainly stains of soft tones of beige, which create an almost sensual expression. The phrase “Sacrée Frangine” is so idiomatic to French that it is impossible to translate it into English with exactitude. The word “Sacrée” literally translates to “sacred” but paired with a substantive, it becomes equivalent to the expression “a hell of a”, while “Frangine” is an informal way to say “sister”.

Célia and Aline are childhood friends who have known each other for as long as they can remember–they grew up like sisters. Following their echoing studies in visual communications, and several years as artistic directors in different Parisian design agencies, they both felt the need to “break free from the constraint of corporate life, to express our creativity in other ways. We wanted to create a structure that looked like us, to create in total freedom. Sacrée Frangine was born in between those blurry lines,” they explain. Indeed, their creative duo is just the extension of their friendship, celebrating solidarity and harmony through illustrations. Illustrations that are completed by each artist's personal touch. Here again, the question of colour comes to play, as well as how faces are solely composed of oval shapes, without eyes or any other detailed characteristics; denouncing our generation’s over exposition on social media with blurry lines to recreate a sense of imagination. Célia and Aline talk about a “holistic” style, which is more focused on the subject as a whole, “First, we are looking for harmony between shapes and colours. Colouring is the last step of our creative process and maybe the most important, as it brings our illustrations to life and allows us to share emotions. Our main inspirations are daily small details, we look at what’s around us, a simple flower arrangement, a landscape or people talking to each other over coffee. Portraits are also very important to us and above all, Women, in all their plurality and complexity, are a true source of inspiration.”  

“People often use the words ‘soft’ to describe our style. We think that our illustrations represent simple day-to-day moments, trying in some ways to freeze the gentleness of our daily lives. At the very beginning of our partnership, we were drawing very abstract and minimalist compositions, always inspired by our daily life: like fruits, flowers and landscapes. Today it has shifted a little. We are interested in people’s interactions and relationships in a more figurative way. Our colour palette evolved as well. We are now inspired by warmer skin carnation and largely composed of warmer colours, from brown to beige hues and dewy colours. We are very conscious of the message and art we are putting into the world.”     

Connecting people and working in collaboration is just what Aline and Célia do. “We exchange a lot from both our personal inspirations and experiences. Each of us also has a ‘secret garden’. But at the end of the day, we complete each other in the sense that we feed on each other’s ideas. There are many advantages from working with your best friend, yet, it’s true that there are also downsides. Even if we know each other very well, some things we feel differently about and when friendship comes in-between it can be difficult to deal with at times. Communication is key and we’ve worked and improved a lot in that area.” Aline and Célia carry on gathering people around what they love, creating subtle collaborations and exploring new subjects. The creative duo behind Sacrée Frangine would also like to take time to develop other products, in collaboration with other artists and creators. “We have a thousand ideas of things to create, material to try and can’t wait to make those a reality.”

Words by Alexa Bouhelier-Ruelle

Photos provided by Sacrée Frangine

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