She was born in Sept-Iles and received a bachelor's degree in graphic design from the Université du Québec à Montréal. After completing her studies, she specialized in illustration. Arsenault has won awards from competitions sponsored by Communication Arts, American Illustration and Applied Arts.
In 2005, she won the Governor General's Award for French-language children's illustration for Le Coeur de Monsieur Gauguin; the text was by Marie-Danielle Croteau. She won the same award in 2013 for her illustration of the graphic novel Jane, le renard et moi with text by Fanny Britt; this book also won the Joe Shuster Award for outstanding artist, the Prix Bédélys and the Prix Réal-Fillion and the English translation Jane, the fox and me was named to the New York Times list of the ten best illustrated books for children for 2013. Migrant, illustrated by Arsenault, was named to the New York Times' list for 2011. In 2012, she won the Governor General's Award for English-language children's illustration for Virginia Wolf; Kyo Maclear provided the text.
- "Isabelle Arsenault". Kids Can Press.
- "Conférences de diplômé(e)s de l'École de design" (in French). UQAM.
- "Jane, le renard et moi" (in French). Les Éditions de la Pastèque.
- "La BD Jane, le renard et moi sur la liste du New York Times" (in French). ICI Radio-Canada.
- "Isabelle Arsenault dans le palmarès du New York Times". Le Devoir (in French). November 15, 2011.