Agathe's big cats are "furry, a little chubby, and not a bit dangerous," in new Evermade x WWF clothing
Forget what you think big cats look like and take a look at Agathe's felines in gouache instead.
Born in a small seaside village in the South of France, artist Agathe Singer began her lifelong love of nature. Flash forward, and the freelance illustrator is working in Paris, collaborating with the likes of French perfumer Fragonard, Anthropologie, and Gucci - but her fascination with wildlife remains at the heart of her work. Often taking reference from classic botanical books, Agathe creates vivid depictions of flora and fauna. Other times, she paints portraits of inscrutable women in gouache. But the result is always something wild yet familiar.
Across all her projects, Agathe's work explores a world of natural harmony with nature. It's a world we love to get lost in - and Agathe's designs for our new WWF clothing range are no different. Immersing herself in the wild ice plains and tropical Edens of nature, Agathe has dreamed up a feline mini-series to sneak a peek at it's prowling inhabitants. "I love to represent big cats," the painter told us, "they are magnificent, wild hunters, but at the same time, furry peaceful." Drawn particularly to the amazing markings on their furs, Agathe has emphasised their fuzzy forms and organic patterns in her garments, surrounded by bright botanical details. While Singer has taken inspiration from the endangered tiger, snow leopard, and amur leopard for this series, here they are re-imagined as slightly friendlier versions than their wild counterparts.
You can discover all of Agathe's WWF wearables below. For now, we caught up with Agathe and talked artistic beginnings, managing mind blocks, and escapes to the Austrian countryside.
Talk us through the idea behind your WWF clothing design
I wanted to work on a mini felines series, hence the choice of the Tiger, the Amur leopard, and the Snow leopard. I love to represent big cats, they are magnificent, wild hunters but at the same time furry, peaceful... Mine are mostly a little chubby, playful, and not a bit dangerous. The patterns on their furs are also an amazing topic for a drawing.
When did your love for illustration first begin?
As a small kid like everyone I guess, but it stuck... I was always drawing, painting, making a lot of collage. My mother was doing her own illustrations around the time I was ten, creating magic lanterns for kids and I started to help her around drawing the patterns and cutting coloured papers. Then when I was in high school I discovered graphic design could be a career choice, which led me to art and design school.
What’s your favourite thing about making a design meant to be worn?
Knowing that I designed something that people love to wear, to bring home, something that will make them happy.
Could you sum up your design aesthetic in a sentence?
Bright colours, fluffy shapes, a balance between simplicity and playful details.
"I draw mostly every day, but I also try to take long breaks regularly, not drawing or painting until I’m bored and eager to go back to work."
Who were you listening to whilst working on this project?
I’ve been listening to audiobooks, mostly classics, catching up on all I’d love to read but don’t have the time to! I finished Gogol’s Dead Souls whilst working on this project - which was not as dreadful as it sounds, but more an epic and comic journey.
Talk us through your process for this project
I started with a few quick sketches to pick the movement, the jump of the big leopard - for the tiger I wanted a quiet posture like she’s resting in the flowers, in some kind of Eden garden. Then I worked on a small palette of colours, playing on the contrast between the shapes and the details. Adding the details takes the most time and it’s the funny part for me - the wavy lines on the leaves, the dots on the fur, the various motifs on the flowers.
How do you overcome a design mind blank?
I draw mostly every day, but I also try to take long breaks regularly, not drawing or painting until I’m bored and eager to go back to work. So far, it’s helped me manage and avoid creative blocks. If I’m stuck on a briefing I try to forget the expectation and do the work the way I would have done it for myself, then circle back if needed to the precise request.
Your work is filled with so many organic elements. What about our natural world inspires you?
I’m inspired by the endless possibilities of colours, shapes and details that nature provides. My favourite inspirations are classic botanical books or guides about flowers and birds.
What’s your favourite way to get back to nature?
I’m lucky enough to have family and in-laws by the sea, and in the Austrian countryside so I do spend quite some time during the year outside of the city.
What do you dream our planet will look like in 50 years?
I can imagine a lot of diversity and species will be gone in the next 50 years but one can only dream our leaders will finally see the emergency and act accordingly. We all need to act on our own personal actions but big changes will have to be forced on the main polluting industries.
Imagine: you’re scrolling through David Attenborough episodes: Deserts, Deep Seas, Barrier Reef, Forests, Ice Caps, Grasslands. Which do you pick to watch?
Ice Caps! There’s a strange fascination in the cold void, the terrifying absence of flora, and the resilience of the animals living on those lands. And at the same time the breathtaking beauty of the Aurora borealis and endless view of the white and blue ice.
Snow Leopard Sweatshirt by Agathe Singer
Amur Leopard Kids Sweatshirt by Agathe Singer
Tiger in Plants Unisex T-shirt by Agathe Singer
Amur Leopard Unisex T-shirt by Agathe Singer
Agathe's big cat designs, alongside a host of WWF wearables, are now available for purchase online - with 10% of all sales passed on to WWF.
To discover more of Agathe's gouache creations, get scrolling.