Giselle Dekel: Everyone’s Illustrator


Heeseo Yoon, Staff Writer

Last Email Before the Weekend by Giselle Dekel

A woman’s face is completely covered by a giant blanket. The messy hair and hands that carelessly poke out underneath the blanket clearly show that the individual does not want anything to do with the work in front of her. The hands that reluctantly type on the Macbook seem to plead for the end of a week-long fatigue. This is a description of Giselle Dekel’s illustration, “Last Email Before the Weekend.” 

Dekel is a Belgian watercolor illustrator who paints relatable troubles in our everyday lives. When I first saw her work, my immediate impression was that it gives off strong Gen Z vibes; it screamed REAL, as does all of her artwork. In her illustrations, Dekel authentically displays her emotions as an introvert, and as a mother. She paints the tediousness of laundry days, the hardships of waking up in the morning, and many more universal challenges that confront us on a daily basis. Yet, Dekel does not always create art in a negative light. She creates just as many that exude positive and warm sentiment, such as those of her loving relationship with her family and of self care. People relate and laugh at her simple yet witty representations of the different moods that people feel every day. Dekel acknowledged this in an interview with TA-DAAN, saying, “Even though I use myself in these illustrations, I feel that I am illustrating everyone.”

Dekel uses both watercolor painting and photoshop to create her illustrations. Unlike the work of many other watercolorists, Dekel’s artworks are all printed in an extremely neat and delicate style. This may be influenced by her former career as a textile designer. Dekel also explained to TA-DAAN that her “minimal” style came from years of “experimenting” through “different techniques and materials.” Her artworks are usually a combination of pastel shades and occasional darks that are easy on the eyes. These kitschy and soft elements make up the trademark style that Dekel continues to have as an artist and add to the effectiveness of the universal message of her works. 

Like the relevant themes within her illustrations, Dekel also uses relevance of the modern market to make the most out of her work. She sells prints, phone cases, and T-shirts of her artworks. You can see the majority of her illustrations by scrolling through the phone case display on her website. I find the phone cases especially to be great birthday gifts to friends and family.

Old Faithful by Giselle Dekel

So what is the influence that Dekel holds in the art community? She reminds us that art is something that the audience can connect to—that the value of art corresponds to the number of people that love it, especially in this era where social media is prevalent over all other platforms. There are still voices that oppose simple illustrations, without a deep visualization that provokes thought, to be deemed worthy of being an artwork. Yet, while Dekel’s works may be simple, their authenticity and rawness attract people, gathering thousands of followers on her Instagram. Whether approved by critics or not, I think the worth of an artwork is determined by its ability to provoke emotion rather than thought. Dekel’s illustrations very strongly do so, as they make us reminiscent of our own experiences, and make us relate with the artist. This is the quality that connects the art community together, and has allowed art to continue to exist throughout history. 

In this vein, I would say that Dekel is one of the few artists who keep the concept of art alive and going, as well as the silent consoler to countless people who are in a constant mood, including me!


Instagram: @giselle_dekel