Los Angeles-based artist and illustrator Bijou Karman has been making waves on the illustration scene since graduating from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. From Rihanna to Converse and Harper’s Bazaar, Bijou’s client list has grown in strength and variety recently, providing her colorful cast of predominately female characters for a range of projects, books, and publications.
What we particularly love about Bijou’s work is her eye for imagining the personal interiors of her characters. Her illustrations are lovely in how relatable their content is. Inspired by everything from film, vintage images, California landscapes, strong women, and the runway, Bijou’s paintings and illustrations are a direct reflection of her own distinct and deftly considered style.
Bijou’s style has developed by keeping her approach simple, but accurate. Consistently created by hand, her flowing use of ink and paint are as inviting and refined on screen as they are in print. Bijou’s uses her subjects’ clothes as a way to individualize or “dress” her characters. As a result, her work sits between figurative painting and fashion illustration, with fashion becoming not only a way to express the many different personalities of her figures, but more widely to look at personal appearance.
We visited Karman at her Highland Park studio and home to shoot a new installment of our ongoing “In the Studio” video series. Look for Bijou’s piece out early January.
All photos: Alex Khatchadourian