It is a happy, happy day indeed here at Lou Lou & Oscar as we are joined by one of my favourite people, Chris aka avoir etc…, who is going to share a little about her life and work with us. Chris was one of the first people I met over at Flickr, I instantly fell in love with her delightful Amigurumi and soon discovered that a super lovely and intelligent person lay behind the work. I became smitten with a certain little cloud who has featured in these pages many times before, Cloudie of course! I contacted Chris and soon my Cloudie travelled across the sea to accompany me on my wedding day. Cloudie exudes love and sweetness, she helped calm my nerves as I held her inside my coat pocket before the ceremony. So, obviously Chris and her work are very dear to me. As if being a stellar maker of Amigurumi weren’t enough, Chris has recently published a book containing 25 original patterns, spreading the crochet joy across the world! Let’s get comfortable and say hello to Chris now.
Tell us a little about yourself, the media you work with and your creative process.
“I’m Christelle and I’m 35 years old. I live in Auvergne, a beautiful part of France surrounded by lakes and mountains, with Vincent my sweet lover and our two cats, Crapouille and Oby. We don’t have any children and we hope we will know this joy soon.”
“I crochet, I began when I was a teenager, but it was secret. I recently decided to break the silence when I opened my blog “à voir etc…”. At first, this blog was just an excuse to take breaks because I was very stressed by a terrible examination and after few months all the hidden creativity reappeared. Amigurumi-those kawaii (i.e. cute in English) crocheted toys- were a real shock when I saw them at first.”
From where do you draw your inspiration: music, books, people, nature etc?
“I was born in the South and I think it’s a big part of my work influence: something to share, something warm, something with light. Before going to University I didn’t know if I would like to study “Fine Arts and Architecture” or French Literature. I chose French Literature because reading is a passion even if Art is a huge part of my life but I always regretted Fine Arts. I do love poetry as well. I’m a big fan of Jean Cocteau. I love books like Le Requiem or Le Journal d’un inconnu and movies like La Belle et la Bête or Le Sang d’un poète and his drawings/paintings too.”
“Images, photos, drawings, paintings, Japan, the universe of children influence me a lot. I like Flickr for this reason, I can stay on Flickr for ages, choosing many favourites from everywhere, from artists or crafters. In fact, I’m contemplative. I can take a coffee in a bar and look at people on the street for hours, sometimes listening to what they say and imagining a complete story. I always take my notebook and write.”
“I listen to a lot of music too which in a way is included in my work; from the Smiths to Belle and Sebastian and Sigur Rós. I recently discovered Fredo Viola, a complete artist who explores different ways always with style and accuracy. You could ask what is the link between all of these things and amigurumi? Well, I just need music and images to create and to realize crochet plushies or crafts.”
If you could talk briefly about the background to one of your pieces which would you choose and why? Please tell us the story behind the piece.
“For the Amigurumi book, I worked very hard. And for the first time since a long time, I began with little drawings, because to draw is quite like something close to intimacy. My father has painted for as long as I can remember and perhaps I think I can’t be better than him. It took a lot of joy, like a child, to think about all the characters. My favourite is perhaps the Kilometre marker with a lil’host.”
“At first, I wanted to make a house. But, I had problems with the roof and little by little with all the corrections it became a little house with a bird in a nest. When I showed the characters to my friends, Séverine found that this house was no longer a house but a kilometre marker. So, it became totally clear. It was not a house but a Kilometer marker. Thanks Séverine!”
“And thanks a lot Lisa for giving me the chance to speak a bit about my work!”
*Credit for the super sweet image that heads this post belongs to Marie, Chris’ partner in crime at Happy Friends.
Thank you so much for joining us today Chris, it is so sweet to have good friends here at LL&O. I have so many inducements to learn how to crochet, I must admit that I am a little frightened to begin. My mother tried to teach me to knit and I just couldn’t get my head around it, perhaps age has loosened up my brain and fingers, if I pluck up the courage I will be sure to share the results with you!
There will be no interview next week as I need to bank some time to complete my submissions for Stitch Wars, I had a little wobble in confidence a couple of days ago but feel much more happy with the work I am planning to send off to Florida now. Comparing yourself to others is the devil, much better to get on with your own thing and enjoy the process. See you soon lovely kittens!