Interviewed by Joanna Reid
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Model, artist and general creative tastemaker Gabrielle Rul.
Discover what inspires this artist to create and beyond!
Interviewed by Joanna Reid
I’m good! Spring is coming back, finally the sun is starting to chase the clouds and it’s definitely a good thing for my brain.
I am based in Paris mostly because I am française. But I traveled a lot and I have to say I am always happy to come back here and I never get tired of it. Feels like home.
I have grandmas who were stitching and knitting a lot and I have always been fascinated with how you can get from a simple piece of fabric to a unique piece of clothing or how much you can embellish a garnement with simple techniques to make it yours.
I never thought I would do it but I met people who introduced me to this world and all the opportunities I could get and I thought why not give it a try.
Sketching and drawing is something really important to me. It’s like a way to communicate my emotions, at the end I look at my work and I see pieces of my life here and there that I have put on paper without even realising it. I like to see people reappropriate it to themselves and tell their own stories through my work.
I think modelling is quite time consuming sometimes and it doesn’t really give you space to express yourself. It’s for someone else’s vision that we are working for when posing but at the same time there’s a lot of quiet time. With a lot of down time and a lot of waiting. It’s impossible for me to consider doing nothing on the side. I need to feed my brain and make my hands work. If I just stay inert waiting for my agents to call me I would go crazy and depressed. It’s a cool job but really uncertain. I live in movement, I love to get things moving, to have perspective and manage my own creations. Boredom is something I fear, quiet times are something I fear and it’s up to me to make the most of the time I have free. Being an artist requires a lot of work, the important thing for me is to create, create and evolve. We never know what’s next but we can only get to discover it if we move forward.
I’m constantly thinking and analysing what’s around me. Personal stories and the people I meet is the basis of my work. But it needs time, some events trigger an idea. Then it grows in my mind and bakes for quite some time. I love to be up early and do sketches then the inking and then the colour comes last. But it’s a constant process and what I end up with is rarely (to not say never) what I first had in mind.
Colours are really important to me. The same painting with different colours does not tell the same story at all. It’s about light too. I can see it with the seasons, in winter I tend to use less colourful items in opposite to summer times. I sometimes close my eyes and like to imagine drops of colours and it represents my mood more or less.
I’ve been inspired a lot by museums and architecture. Not to say that I want to go all Renaissance style when I go to see an exhibition related to that period of history but it feeds my brain with scenes to draw ideas. Paris is an old city and you can feel it when you wander around the streets, it’s filled with old stories. So many people passed here through the ages and decades. It’s quite inspiring to know we are the continuity of these people and we all get to shape the mood and the energy of this city.
I have a jumpsuit in white denim that I found on an online thrift store. It’s perfect to not have to worry about paint stains, it’s like a uniform.
I just knitted a sort of sleeveless mohair vest, took me so long but I am proud of it.
I love clothes but I don’t really buy much. Most of my wardrobe comes from old pieces that friends or family wanted to throw away. I think it’s an amazing form of creation. An outfit can give you strength and confidence, some pieces are reassuring to you. It’s really interesting, in 2021, I see it as a way to be able to stand for sustainability. There’s so many ways to reuse fabrics or clothes.
It’s really complicated, as a fashionable art it needs to be beautiful, arty but also wearable and accessible. It’s quite a complicated equation if you add the notion of fair trade and sustainability but we definitely must all work on these problems. On runways you can see real artwork pieces but I think in real life it’s quite hard to be able to afford that. That’s where craft and creativity comes in. .
I always first get an idea then let it sit on a side of my brain. I might do some sketches but it’s a lot of thinking. Then comes the point where I feel I’m ready to start and find the right support and medium. I scrap scrap scrap, first a basic element then I develop a whole world around it. A few elements here and there to create a balance. I don’t know how or why but I always feel when I need to stop. I will then proceed to the colouring and voila.
It does. I can see a movie and start a drawing inspired by it. . A certain song will pop up and lead the painting to a completely different direction. I’m like a sponge. I take everything that’s happening around and blend it on paper. I’m currently reading ‘The Theatre Of Imagination’ which is about Quentin Blake right now and it really keeps me going for sure. He is amazing and it’s like getting into the little worlds that he creates. A way to travel.
Don’t look at what other people do. Don’t listen to what other people say. Listen to yourself first, don’t refrain and just go for it. Even if you’re scared, even if you have doubts. If you want to create, create, no matter where you are, you can always express yourself. It’s something you owe to you.
I’ve just finished working on an exhibition that will take place in Russia in September 2021. So right now I’m experimenting with wood and pastels, it’s a support I really like and that I’m starting to discover. I am thinking about how to create a brand in fashion maybe. I really want to do it, but do it right. Right for the environment, and right for the people that would be working with me.
I want to get back to horse riding but it’s another story I guess.