We talk to Soledad Bravi, L’Occitane's illustrator

Her bold style combined with her incisive, yet always generous touch has adorned a number of L'Occitane products this winter… Soledad Bravi, the iconic illustrator for Elle France, tells us about her artistic inspiration and gives us some beauty tips over a coffee. "Thanks to art, I can express myself and tell my story. For me, it's a real language". Meeting.
By Mélissa Darré

An inspired partner

Why did you decide to work with L'Occitane?

L'Occitane is a lovely brand that I was using before I started working for them. It's great to be offered a partnership that you can really embrace. I'm proud and thrilled to be one of their ambassadors.

Can you sum up L'Occitane in 1 word?

Yellow. It's the memory of my holidays that comes flooding back when I use L'Occitane's products. That sweetness, that warmth of summer, synonymous with reassurance and vitamins.

What is your specific source of inspiration?

I keep my eyes and ears open and I'm always looking around me. I watch people and find what I see amusing, but never in a malicious or negative way.

What rituals do you have before you start work?

I like to be at my table, in my office. I struggle to come up with ideas outside my own world.

How do you get over "writer's block"?

I just go out on the street. Getting out: it can be anywhere, anything, any time. It's just a question of opening my eyes.

If you had to draw a woman from Provence, what would she look like?

It's ridiculous but I can see that side of Pagnol's Manon des Sources, with her windswept hair and bare feet on the stones (laughs).

Une collaboratrice inspirée
© L’Occitane en Provence

The ultimate natural beauty

How would you define feminine beauty?

Natural. I don't understand this obsession with looking younger. For actresses, at a push, it's linked to their job. But in everyday life, I just don't understand botox.

What beauty ritual sums you up?

Taking the time to moisturise to feel the effects. The benefits come out of the enjoyment. It's become a special bit of 'me time'.

What's your well-being secret to find a little serenity in Paris?

Filling my head with things other than me: discovering an exhibition, going to the cinema, just going out.

What's your little indulgence to make you feel beautiful?

A body massage or facial at a spa. It's one of the rare times when I can let myself go. And I come out of it feeling rested and full of joy.

Une adepte de la beauté naturelle
© Soledad Bravi

The woman behind the artist

What gift of nature would you like to have?

Teleporting, to go and see my daughters in the States. 12 hours door to door, not to mention the price of the tickets, is a little tricky. Sometimes I'd just like to give them a hug, have a laugh with them, console them if that's what they need.

What's your favourite time of the day?

When I come up with an idea, that's a moment of joy. I know that the rest will follow. There's a sort of self-satisfied feeling, but also the happiness of sharing it with other people.

Your motto?

Be honest, a bit chivalrous even. I'm very "Three Musketeers". I always tend to fight for the people I love, even if it puts me in a difficult position.

Those little everyday things that make your smile? What makes you happy?

Apart from the video of my daughters that I get early in the morning, there are those times when I look in the mirror and see myself and just think, wow.

What would be your dream job?

Psychiatrist. I love the idea of being able to look after people intellectually. I find it amazing that you can analyse somebody's life and that can help them feel at peace.

Which artist do you admire the most?

Hard to choose just one! Van Dyck, Velazquez or Botticelli. All three of them have this amazing way of painting, like making lace.

La femme derrière l’artiste
© Soledad Bravi

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