I first found out about Marc Boutavant through his graphic/comic book, "Ariol", which Julia (my eight year old) pulled out from the library's book shelf. I find his illustration style refreshing, delightful and unique. He has created a whole world of believable (and cute) characters which are lively and expressive, and very distinctly rendered in his illustration style. His ideas for unique characters appear to be endless.
I absolutely love his colors - bright and attractive but not too distracting and overwhelming. They say he mainly uses Photoshop and works on a graphic tablet, quite amazing given the excellent texture and fluidity of his line work. His illustrations are seemingly simple but are actually complex, in my opinion. He is one of the illustrators whose work I really admire. Attending one of his workshops is definitely in my dreamlist.
His agent's website has this to say about him:
"Originating from Burgundy (as do the best snails in France - according to Marc), he now lives and works in Paris. WIth his appreciation of the finer things in life, he has often been described as the archetypal French man (even by French people).
His work springs from a wry observation of life and the interaction of his friends and children. Their quirks of personality, mannerisms and reactions to situations are transported onto his characters. These are creatures with a full gamut of emotions. The adventures they share become the narrative tableau for this cast of companions. With so much activity in every corner, each scenario felt and imagined in detail, light hearted horror, comedy and pathos combine to form a rich narrative."
Here are more images of his work:
His books are mostly in French and English. His popular English books include Around the World with Mouk, Ariol series and Just for One Day. Both Mouk and Ariol have been adapted into animated tv series. His most recent book titled, "Ghosts" is written by Sonia Goldie.
He is represented by Heart Agency. Click here for more images: http://www.heartagency.com/artist/MarcBoutavant/gallery/1