A chat with Amélie Charroin, textile designer and Kloke collaborator in France.
Give us a rundown of your creative path to date.
I have been a textile designer for over 10 years. I started by co-creating a scarf brand with a friend, milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre. We did that for 6 years and had a lot of fun, but it didn't fit our desires anymore. Staying small, taking shareholders, and growing… It was too complicated! After that, I mostly freelanced in the luxury and designer fashion industry until today. I've been collaborating with Kloke since 2017.
What projects do you have in the works at the moment?
I'm working on a self-published book that will come out in the fall. It's my second, Issue 1, Saint Haricot D'Agny, came out last year.
Did you start out intending to design textiles, or did something else lead you to that?
I've always been a textile designer. I started right after graduation and was lucky enough to have freelance projects, then co-created milleneufcentquatretquatre. I definitely had some financial struggles in the beginning! I'm from a fairly middle-class background and had no connection to the art world or creativity. But my parents made me aware of the beauty of life —of gastronomy, travel, seeing Europe by road trip, and camping. My father’s side has always been very ecologically minded. My grandparents did not have cars, and my uncle has had an off-grid home for more than 30 years, with a windmill in the garden. It has always inspired me.
What’s your workspace like?
I have almost always had an office in shared workshops. Since I moved away from the city 2 years ago, I have a room at home to work in. It's really new and very nice to have space to work on the floor.
What advice do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
That everything is going to be okay! Don't limit yourself, for lots of reasons —fear, finances, family expectations...
To what extent do you invite chaos into your creative process? What’s your relationship with chaos and order and what role do they, or struggles with them play?
My creative process is not intended to be orderly. From an idea, I always try to let myself go, a kind of wandering, free to go elsewhere. In the end everything is thought out, but realized in a moment of non-mental state.
Do you have any idea what motivates creativity in us, or why it is important to the human condition?
Creation is magic, it allows us to connect to ourselves and the world.
What’s the most important thing you have learned recently?
I have 3… Let the flow of life take over. You can't control everything and that's fine! …And being a parent is a great lesson in letting go!!!!
Have you had any mentors in life or creativity? Tell us about them and the impact they’ve had on you.
No one in particular, but many people!!! I've always had challenging and inspiring people in my path, both personally and professionally.