Benjamin Lacombe, former Arts Déco student and renowned illustrator

Benjamin Lacombe studied at Atelier de Sèvres and then at Arts Déco in Paris. Now an illustrator and author, this former student is considered one of the leading illustrators in France. We take a look back over his journey.

A prestigious path

With around 30 books translated into a dozen languages and over 2 million copies sold worldwide, Benjamin Lacombe stands out among French illustrators. His characters, known for their big dark and bewitching eyes, plunge you into a fantasy universe, which is both offbeat and wonderful.

Renowned illustrator and author Benjamin Lacombe started out at Atelier de Sèvres. This artistic training enabled him to join ENSAD (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) in Paris.

His first publication was in fact his graduation project: Cerise Griotte published by Editions du Seuil in 2006, then by Walker Books in the United States in 2007. A real success, the famous Time Magazine ranked the book among the ten best children's books of 2007. Since then, Benjamin Lacombe’s career has continued to grow all around the world.

From young graduate to world-renowned illustrator

Benjamin Lacombe is today one of the key figures of new French illustration — arguably even the most important, with some comparing his drawings to those of Tim Burton. Nevertheless, in an interview in Télérama, Benjamin Lacombe admits he prefers a comparison with the painters of the Quattrocento or Leonardo da Vinci, explaining of the latter that he sometimes reproduces "his sfumato effect while playing with the focal depth by working with atmospheric perspective".

His works, his pencil strokes and his imagination are regularly hailed by critics. Amongst the best known are The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Frida. His latest collection is Curiosities (published by Daniel Maghen), which brings together many of his works from his books, exhibitions and children’s drawings.

From Paris to Los Angeles, via Tokyo, the work of the former Atelier de Sèvres student is exhibited all around the world. Until 19th January, Benjamin Lacombe is exhibiting "Curiosities" at the Maghen Gallery in Paris.

Discover Benjamin Lacombe’s work on his website and on his Instagram.