The Heroine’s Journey of Clarisse Chapal

What is the best thing that I love about my work? It’s when I don’t feel like I’m working, everything is so fluid and playful that I could continue working on the same thing for hours!
What is my idea of perfect happiness? When you feel so grounded that you’re not looking for any answers anymore. You accept the fact that there will be no answer, never, but you’re still able to keep on asking questions, tirelessly but peacefully. Waking up every morning without thinking about the following day. When you manage to enjoy every single detail of a really basic life. Aspiring to grand things without feeling frustrated if it never comes !
What is my greatest fear? Not being understood by anyone anymore.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Impatience. Exigence. There is an expression in French which says « wanting the butter and the money from it» which means wanting everything at the same time even what you can’t get. Personally I tend to also want the creamer, the milk, the cow, and everything related directly or indirectly to the butter. Which leaves me to be always dissatisfied.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Wes Anderson. He’s a film director and I have a design background, but I don’t identify myself to a specific profession. I don’t believe there is such a big gap within artistic professions.
What is my greatest extravagance? Walking bare foot everywhere at all times ? I don’t know people find it weird even though it seems completely natural to me, so I guess that’s an extravagance ?
On what occasion would I lie? I don’t lie really often, but what I’m doing a lot and disturbs my relatives very much it’s not saying things. I’ve got a lot of things that I consider mine only, they don’t have to be communicated in any way. They belong to me. In the best case it makes me look mysterious, and in the worse and most common case I usually take the responsibility of my silence…
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Being forced to work with people with whom collaboration is absolutely impossible. That drives me crazy.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When I do self-initiated projects. Starting something from scratch and doing it from A to Z by myself makes me the most fulfilled person on earth!
If I could, what would I change about myself? Nothing ? Because it would be pointless. I love myself the way I am. I try to be a better human everyday but I believe in natural growth, in the process more than the result. Changing something like that wouldn’t have any sense and wouldn’t make me any happier.
What is my greatest achievement in work? As a baby illustrator, I can tell that my greater achievement is an illustration contest I have won in France in 2017. Not something tremendous, but something that I had no expectations from, and that actually made me believe in myself more than anything else. I’ve never allowed myself to do illustration before because I always thought I wasn’t good enough. I also used to think that illustration was reserved to a minority of people that I would never belong to.
Where would I most like to live? On planet earth ! I belong to this world that’s all I know. I definitely belong even more to France, which I realized I’m missing a lot. But I’m a traveller, and if I had no family I would happily be one day somewhere and an other
day somewhere else for the rest of my life. So I would say France to settle, but I’m not sure if I really want to settle yet. India remains in my heart for sure, and South America is still waiting for me!
What is my most treasured possession? That’s a really good question. I think I’m an objects bipolar. I could live without anything I own and I wouldn’t miss anything. In general I don’t want to own too many things and every object has to be there for a really good reason. But I’m also a product designer and I’m obsessed with old objects. I go to any places where you can find some : second hand shops, fripperies, vintage markets, garage sales… Thinking that I own an object that has already belonged to someone else thrills me! I can’t really explain it rationally. The potential stories behind the objects and their unique styles whose are totally different from nowadays products make them look so special to me.
What is my most marked characteristic? Expressive.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Train stations and airports. Anywhere really. Looking at people, imagining where they are going, why, and how is their life like has always been fascinating to me. Before travelling the world, when I was still a teenager I used to go to the train station in Montpellier, not because I had to go somewhere but just to look at people passing.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? In the old part of the city center in Montpellier. Taking the sun on a terrasse, definitely the best thing to do all year long!
What books influenced my life and how? All men are mortal from Simone de Beauvoir is the first book that made me like reading when I was may be 15.
Who are my favorite writers? I just realized how feminist are my readings… because my favorite writers are Simone de Beauvoir, Anna Gavalda, and the most recent discovery of course is Elena Ferrante with my brilliant friend. Her ability to create such complete characters and reality is stunning.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Wow that’s a good question, I’m not a big music lover or expert as such. Generally when I discover a new music I listen to it until I get sick of it, and then I need to discover something else. So I would say : the first music that will get played on radio this day!
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I’ll keep it simple : probably a mix between Pocahontas and Mulan, free like a bird ! Feminist still… But for me those heroines sum up the self-liberation, by their non-dependence on men of course but also the total acceptance of their feminine selves in the most authentic and natural way.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Everyone that is doing what they really want to do at the moment they want to do it, no matter what other people are saying or thinking about it.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Mummy from Xavier Dolan!
What role plays art in my life and work? How to make it short ? It’s everything. I realized it quite late, after turning 18. Because an artistic curriculum was never exposed to me clearly before. It was not an option even in highschool. In our current societies where everything revolves around money, art is not recognized for its real value. But actually it is everything. It is truly feeling and understanding. It is looking at the world in the most interesting manner. Turning reality into something higher. More than just the medium and the technical aspect of painting, designing, dancing or acting that anyone can acquire over time, it is expressing oneself. It is a world where everything becomes possible. And it helps me in my everyday life, in the process of always acquiring more and more freedom, and disalienate myself from human conflict and stupidity.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My parents. Definitely. They’ve invested so much in me that we can definitely call them sponsors! Most people would say that it’s a normal thing for parents to pay the study fees of their own kids, but I don’t think so. To me it’s a way more than that, it’s believing in your children’s potential and supporting them when they need you the most! Becoming adult is not an easy thing, and I will never thank them enough for their love and support.
Whom would I like to work with in 2019? Les Jouets Libres which is a French brand that makes sustainable toys for kids and Orchestra which is a worldwide company specialized in children’s fashion.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019? Dave Hakkens, I’m totally admiring his work with the Precious Plastic project. I would love to get involved in such material experiments involving sustainable ways of making (recycling, reusing, biodegrading…).
What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on? I would like to publish my first children book.
Where can you see me or my work in 2019? At my degree show in June 2019 in Glasgow and London : the Product Design Degree Show of The Glasgow School of Art.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? That you should really try hard to find something that drives you in life because once you find it, it never goes away! I don’t believe that some people are naturally ‘passionate’ and some others can’t be. Same with talent. But what I do believe in is hard work and perseverance. I think passion is an intuitive process, always in evolution, it’s an eternal quest, not a definite aim to achieve.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Isabelle About, Lisa Kalt, Alexandra Kaleta-Pyrek, Lisa Revol, Catriona Wastell, Anouk Lewkowicz
How can you contact me?
clarissechap@orange.fr (email)
clarissechapal.com (website)

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