Pascale Malilo is a Belgian illustrator that loves that certain technique called “pecking” (“picotage”).
After her interior architecture studies, Pascale Malilo (born in 1962, lives and works in Brussels) started working at several architecture firms. But it seemed almost, like there was always something missing. Wanting to change her life, she then decided to study graphic design. And so she dived into the brave world of graphics- where she remained, and kept on swimming for the past twenty years. Since 2000, she has been drawing a series of objects reminiscing decorative arts, most of the times in an unconventional situations creating a certain poetical feel. Since 2007 , she started a series of drawings, evoking the inventory of a natural science museum. She does this with the help of the “picotage” technique. These drawings are obtained by punching out little wholes with a fine needle, creating outlines and patterns – others are created with the help of glue, gold leaf, nail polish or walnut stain.
We fell in love with the work of Malilo the second we first saw these images. How could we not. No question mark.
Note this: Picotage dates back to the eighteenth century and is a method of block printing that was also known as pinning. The wood carver, unable to cut very fine dots in relief in his wooden block, developed the technique of studding the block with brass pins. These different sized pins would be strategically placed to create the effect of highlight and shadow on the printed cloth. The original and very accomplished skill was very laborious and is no longer used as a printing method, but the look that it created has remained part of our vocabulary, as it captures this old-fashioned block printed look.