No Lines, No Borders, Only Color: Hélène Baum’s Uplifting Illustrations

Hélène Baum’s illustrations pack a colorful punch. Rich with patterns and textures, her work is inspired by mythology, black history, fashion, and nature. According to Baum, her work is guided by Edouard Manet’s famous quote: “there are no lines in nature, only areas of color, one against another.”

“I love this quote because of the deeper meaning I read into it, although it might not have been Edouard Manet’s intention,” she reflected in an interview with Freelance Wisdom. “No lines, no separations, no borders, no walls, just different people and nature coexisting next to each other. Very peace and love!”

Incidentally, Baum’s creative journey took her around the world, allowing her to meet and be influenced by different cultures and people. After finishing her design studies in Lyon in 2010, she worked for small and big design studios in Amsterdam and London, before finally moving to Berlin, where she’s currently based.

Her open-minded approach to the way space is organized and divided, informs Baum’s creative approach. Her work, based on blocks of color with no outlines or dividers, provides a somewhat utopic landscape where anyone and everyone is invited.

“Color is the most crucial aspect of my work, and when I use lines, they are to be seen as colored surfaces,” says Baum. “They are just thinner areas of color as opposed to outlines and dividers.”