Tea with Amandine Labarre.

Won't you stay a while with us? Pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup. It's time for another "cuppa" interview, this time with the French illustrator extraordinaire Amandine Labarre and I know you are going to love her work! You may already be familiar with her blog Epine Blanche

How do you take your tea and in what kind of cup do you like it served?

Answer-Without sugar, in a tall mug to keep it very hot… My favorite one is a blue ceramic one, homemade by a friend. If a cat could jump on my knees while I’m drinking from it, it would be just perfect.

If you could choose anyone, past , present or future, who would be joining us for tea.

Answer-I think I’d like to invite the great Arthur Rackham. I discovered his work very early and was astonished by it. There’s a real word in his watercolors, the shades talks to my heart, and so do his vision of fairy tales: his characters are full of grace, but there’s also something gloomy, mysterious and frightening in it...I find his Nordic myths paintings really mesmerizing. He seemed to be a quite lonely person, but I’d be honored just to share a cup of tea with him, perhaps evoking old tales quietly. I’m not very talkative either.

Tell me a little about your background in art and design.

Answer-I studied at the faculty, intending to being an art professor. But while writing my final dissertation, dealing with art and shamanism, I took the time to think about what I really wanted, and finally realized I definitely wasn’t made for doing this job..I wanted to be an illustrator, which had been my dream for the very beginning…I just was afraid to fail, but I had a lot of luck, and a year later I was earning my living with my drawings-thanks to my first book I wrote and illustrated, on the theme of faeries and herbs.

Where are you based and does it influence your work?

Answer-I live in Touraine (France), and really love my town. I live next to the Loire and run along it each morning: each day, the sight, the colors, the smells are different and inspiring. This afternoon I saw a kestrel flying just above me for a long moment, as if wondering if I could make a good breakfast for it; I was delighted!

What have you been doing/working on today?

Answer-Today, I took my bicycle and went taking some photos of trees for a personal book project, I also picked some lovely hawthorn berries I found on the way back, I think I’m going to paint it, but I don’t know yet to what purpose, perhaps just for the pleasure of taking a quiet time exploring their beauty.

I hope that you have brought along something wonderful to show us, what is it?

Answer-Well, It’s a picture from a little children’s book I made with my brother, an eerie tale dealing with cats, a quest for the return of light in a shadowy land ..It’s the 3rd book in that collection (this one will be published for next Christmas) and I’m particularly attached to it, they really are done with heart.

I think that is evident Amandine, thank you so much for calling by and sharing your work with us.


  1. Love this. One of the pictures seems missing. What lovely illustrations.

  2. Thank you so much for this introduction to Amandine Labarre and her art.

    I could picture her setting near the Loire, the tall blue mug with hot tea and perhaps a cat or two around her studio.

    How marvelous that she has been able to find success with her beautiful paintings and drawings.

    Best wishes to both of you, Valerie and Amandine.

  3. Mmmm, lovely work! Thank you for introducing me to a marvellous new illustrator!

  4. There are such talented people out there Valerie - it is very humbling.

  5. Thanks so much for introducting her, love her work,and the tea was so good.

  6. Great post, wonderful illustrations, love it all. What a great find she is!

  7. Thanks for sharing this Valerie. I hadn't heard of her. The work is lovely I shall go and explore some more. :)x

  8. acornmoon it doesn't surprise me that you keep such good company!!! steven

  9. Never have I seen such a beautiful blog as yours.

  10. such a lovely interview, thank you for introducing us to Almadine. Her art is enchanting.
    I was wondering, what is the name of the book about fairies and herbs, sounds wonderful to me.

  11. Hello!
    Many thanks to Valérie for this so kind invitation, and thanks everyone for the comments !Tammie, you can find my books title and publishers on my website, on "livres" top button (for "books), but I'm afraid they're all in french !:) And I must confess my first book is not my favourite one, I was very young !^_^
    Thanks again and a beautiful week to all of you.
    (my website : http://amandine.labarre.free.fr/)

  12. Thank you so much for introducing me to the work of Amandine Labarre, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview!

  13. What a gifted and versatile artist, I am charmed to make her acquaintance. Her high realism is quite stunning, photographically accurate and softly interpretive.
    Rather than accidentally spill my tea on the keyboard I enjoyed a late-night brownie while reading this very enjoyable interview and visiting Amandine's website and blog.

  14. Another really talented illustrator and an interesting interview too. Thanks Valerie. x

  15. What a lovely warming interview - I was just having a hot chocolate with my favourite mug - an Emma Bridgewater - I like the idea of her tall blue one. The pictures are amazing. Thanks V!

  16. What a wonderful interview! I am so happy to be introduced to your beautiful work, Amandine, and I, too, have been an Arthur Rackham fan for a very long time.

  17. Thank you for that wonderful interview & for sharing Amadine's work x

  18. Her illustrations are stunning - thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  19. Your blog is a perfect spot to curl up with a nice hot cup of tea.

    It's like visiting with a friend.


  20. What a wonderful read - thank you!