Website : https://www.christellelequerrec.com/
Etsy Shop : https://www.etsy.com/shop/BoutiqueChristlArt
Instagram account : https://www.instagram.com/christl_art/
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Behind “Christ’L Art” we find Christelle. She lives in Le Pradet in the Var [France]. She makes illustrated creations : oracles, books, cards and bookmarks. In life, her passions are the artistic activities (drawing, writing, photography, sewing, etc…) and reading.
OJL : Hello Christelle
Christelle : Hello.
OJL : Four quick questions before getting to the heart of the matter.
As you live in Le Pradet, can you tell us what your favorite café is there? And what do you like to take there ?
Christelle : I don’t go to cafes, I prefer quiet, quiet places. But when that happens, my consumption varies between an orange juice and a lemonade (smile).
OJL : And what is your favourite park or place?
Christelle : The seaside, without hesitation (laughs). Preferably, where I grew up and learned to swim, that is to say by the rocks. I always feel very lucky to have been born in this setting and the sea soothes and inspires me.
OJL : Next, what was the last book you read ? And the last song you listened to ?
Christelle : _Regarding to the book : The last book I finished reading is “The Empire of the Angels” by Bernard Werber. I really like this author. I picked up this book without reading the back cover and I was happy to discover that it was linked to one of his novels that I loved : “Les Thanatonautes”.
_Regarding to the song : right now I’m listening the latest “Shaka Ponk” album on repeat. So one of his titles… Difficult (laughs).
OJL : Finally, do you have a quote and/or proverb that you like ?
Christelle : “Don’t take life seriously, you won’t come out alive anyway” by Bernard Fontenelle.
I find it inspiring… A reminder that sometimes we need to let go and enjoy our time on Earth.
OJL : Let’s talk a little about you now. How could you introduce yourself ?
Christelle : I would simply introduce myself as an artist.
I love creating, whatever the medium. I am a creative and curious person. With my own vision of the world around me. A vision that is sometimes… a little out of sync with the vision of others (laughs). And since I can’t find what I want in stores… I make them (laughs).
OJL : Who are the artists who shaped you ? Who struck you down ? In a few names and why.
Christelle : Since I was a child I have done a lot of manual activities. My first loves, which are still very present today, being writings and drawings. However, I don’t think I have any artists who have consciously influenced me… Nature and the fantasy world are my greatest fascinations and inspirations.
But I would still like to talk about Séverine Pineaux and Sandrine Gestin, whose art I appreciate which links texts, illustrations and fantasy.
I discovered them both by chance and when I read their works, I said to myself that this was the kind of book that I would like to create one day.
OJL : In your case, can we talk about a pseudonym?
Christelle : I didn’t want to have a brand name, since I wanted the human side of my creations to shine through. “Christ’L” is the diminutive of Christelle, with the “L” of my last name. “Art” was added since I do lots of different things, from simple illustrations to oracles and books. It gives me the possibility of touching about everything, while being understandable for the people who arrive at my store (laughs).
OJL : Let’s talk a little about your work now. What are you creating ?
Christelle : A lot of things! (laughs)
Mostly cards, bookmarks, oracles and books.
Illustration is my specialty. And it is from this base that I develop my products. On my store I offer items that are intended to be useful, durable and ecological. I like creating on paper because we know how to recycle it correctly and it is a sustainable material. When I make oracles, I choose a French printer with the “Imprim’vert” label. This printer produces quality. This is important to me because I want my divination games to have a long lifespan.
In all my creations I try to bring “handmade : outside of digital”. Indeed, for the oracles, I decided, rather than having cardboard boxes, to make fabric bags (sewn by me). For my illustrated book, I did everything by hand: traditional illustrations, cutting, sewing and assembly. The pendulum boards come with a handmade pendulum etc…
I find it important to bring a human touch, while we are increasingly assisted by machines. I like to create digitally, and I am very happy with the ease that printers and computers provide. But adding a little extra “homemade” gives the creations even more charm (smile).
OJL : How can you define your style ?
Christelle : I would say that I have a… variable style (laughs). I often lean towards realism, but the fact of alternating digital art and traditional art means that I don’t really know where to place myself (laughs).
OJL : What techniques do you use ?
Christelle : In traditional drawing, I love graphite and ink and I rework my creations digitally. I really like working with vector, which allows you to have a very clean line rendering. But for colorization, the pixels are more manageable (I use “Affinity” software for this purpose).
OJL : Can we place you a personalized order ?
Christelle : Of course. On the store there is currently only one customizable product (transformation of photo into illustration), but I remain open to customization requests (smile).
OJL : When and how did you open your store ?
Christelle : I wanted to do projects that were entirely mine. I have always drawn but had a lot of difficulty sharing my art. And launching my store was a way to overcome my fears. I started in November 2021, on Etsy, then I launched my own website shortly after with a first collection of illustrated cards and bookmarks.
Little by little, I wanted to develop my store, because I take great pleasure in preparing orders and creating new products. This is how I created two oracles, pendulum boards, stickers… And even books (a novel and an illustration book)!
OJL : Sincere congratulations. Can you tell us about these two works ?
Christelle : The first book is a short story called “Mamé”. This short story recounts some of the memories I had with my grandmother. I needed to engrave all the happiness she gave me. And to show what a great person she was. A person I loved so much.
The second work is called “Flowers”. This is an illustration book. In this case, 36 flower drawings were printed on drawing paper with a sandy texture. I would categorize it as an artist’s book, since in my approach, its form is just as important as its content.
OJL : Can we subscribe to your newsletter ?
Christelle : One day, perhaps (smile) I will suggest one. But for the moment, you can only follow me on Instagram (smile).
OJL : Do you have an anecdote about the creation of one of your products ? Or one of your sales ?
Christelle : The first oracle I created, “Runa”, was not at all planned ! Basically, I made little cards to learn the different runes…
But as I don’t do things by halves, I told myself that “Even if it means making memorization cards, they might as well be pretty”… A professional distortion (laughs).
The more I progressed in creating these sheets… The more ideas came to me… And as it was impossible for me to find an oracle with runes as I wanted, I told myself that I would create it and try to put it up for sale.
I wanted a little oracle, with illustrations and gilding. But gilding is expensive… And to get quality I had trouble finding a printer…
There is therefore a first version without gilding, with the format that I initially wanted. But the version that is currently on sale is the version with gilding that I wanted so much ! Although the format has changed to allow it to be priced reasonably.
Printing this oracle was long and difficult, but I am really happy with the final result and the opinion of the people who obtained it (big smile).
OJL : Honestly, bravo for all these efforts. Last question. You definitely have friends who are doing amazing things ! If you want to promote them a little, now is the time !
Christelle : I don’t have many artists around me.
On the other hand, I can talk about our family store. After my grandfather and my father, my brother now manages our horticulture store. It’s a small business in which you can find a billion things (smile) : animal feed, plants, seeds, but also a whole bunch of tools, decorations and treats (vegetables, small cakes and local honey). I really like this place, it evolves over the years and I hope it continues for a long time (smile).
The store’s Facebook account : https://www.facebook.com/toutpourlhorticulture/
And the store’s Instagram account : https://www.instagram.com/nature_provence_83/
OJL : Bravo for what you do. May Our Lady protects you.
Christelle : Thank you.