Zoë Philippe: Artist

Meet Zoë Philippe: living proof of the connection between science and art. The first thing that you notice about her is that she is reminiscent of a painting of herself, with her platinum Rapunzel-style hair and grey eyes. But it’s her academic repertoire that is often initially met with incredulous shock and disbelief. She took four sciences for her International Baccalaureate diploma, as well as art, and is planning on enrolling in Ghent University, Netherlands for the medical program.

As a surrealist artist, her style involves a wide range of media such as charcoal, pastels, pencil, acrylics, oils and digital work, too. The inspiration for her beautiful, child-like approach to her craft is very relatable; her creations are often pivoted around a storyline that involves the fantastical. Her childhood love of Disney has been paramount to the development of her style.


“Disney movies, as well as the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises, greatly boosted my love for the fantastical at a young age,” she says.

But on a more matter-of-fact level, she has her preferred muses such as Lara Stone, Alessandra Ambrosio, Liv Tyler, Franscisco Lachowski, Sean O’Pry, and Toby Hemingway from whom she borrows physical features and creates new characters. From amongst her predecessors, influences of Norman Rockwell, Adam Hughes, Serge Birault, Rembrandt and Rien Poortvliet can also be discovered. Philippe’s assured passion for the surrealist genre has been reinforced by her childhood as well as by Liesje Philippe, her mother, who is also an inspiring artist.


Despite this assurance, the process of turning that inspiration into art is not an easy feat. According to Philippe, it is a “grueling process on both the artist and spectator.”

She believes that bringing a piece to life is so difficult because it means spending large amounts of time in order to clearly depict what she envisioned. Philippe believes that the quote, “Art is science made clear”, said by Wilson Mizner, should be taken to mean that “art opens our eyes to the greater meaning to life, beyond biological urges”, which is why converting concept into substance is challenging but also exciting.


“What I find so refreshing about art is that it is a step away from science as it is not restrained by theorems or facts,” she explains.

For Philippe, reaching the peak of one’s talent is not something that should necessarily be a budding artist’s goal.

“I believe that it’s a bit of a death sentence for an artist to proclaim they have created their best piece because that sets all their future art work in a meagre light,” she says.

Her extraordinary ability to expose the obscured connections between science and art is something which is both exciting to discover and look forward to, as she continues to hone her craft while taking on the world of medicine.

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