By Claire Brayford
I love to write - love notes, quick messages, thank you notes - and my Mont Blanc pen writes beautifully - I love that you have the little bottle of ink too. Basically, anything to do with a pen makes me happy. Sending something personal and handwritten is a different level of communication. A hand-written note adds so much more meaning to your words. It takes time and thought, it carries so much emotion, and it is a beautiful thing to receive. I think today we communicate more than ever – I text with my family every day – but we don’t hand write any more and it's a shame.
These are a part of me – I wear them all the time. I walk a lot around the city and I always have them on. I talk through them on the phone or I listen to music when I’m working on illustrations. I listen to a lot of everything – The Beach Boys when I feel happy, dance music and hip hop when I want to dance, pop music when I’m walking. I listen to it when I want to feel inspired - or to dance in the shower!
Love x Style x Life is about elegance and style but also something deeper than that. It talks about love and life and living with elegance of the heart. The most important thing I have learned is that elegance is about who you are on the inside, how you are with people and having inner confidence – that will make you stylish and beautiful. It will make people love you. Not over-bragging but having a strong sense of self. That is elegance. Everything in the book is new – so all the illustrations, all the words and pictures - nothing is old. It has been quite a project.
I like to surround myself with lots of photographs that I take myself - I print them as I go. I don’t want my photos to be imprisoned in my phone - they can’t be trapped, they need to see the sunlight. I am not as interested as I was in street style photography. I still love to take photos of people who are not models, who have a life and talk about fashion and what they wear every day, but I am not so interested in shooting at Fashion Week. It has become an industry in itself and it’s not what inspires me.
5. My aesthetic
I’ve crafted my aesthetic along the way. When I started my blog garancedore.fr at 31, I definitely knew who I was and that helped me. I like to keep a realness and humility to what I post. I try not to pretend I’m perfect and I’ve found that everyone has the same doubts. People respond to shared experiences and mistakes. And what I have learned is there is not one way to share the things that you have experienced.
I would describe my desk as relaxed/borderline messy. I have lots of pictures around and inspirational things. I am not very organised (in a good way), I like to be free and not too structured. I always like there to be a lot of light. One of my goals of life is always to be in bright light - it makes me happy. The one thing you probably wouldn’t find on my desk is a box of chocolates. I hide these things because I would mindlessly eat them all day.
Sometimes I will get an illustration in one or two hours, sometimes it takes me days and my team are very conscious of that. My drawings are about strong, independent women – feminine, minimal and beautiful. She comes from my mind and things I see - I have an idea and then I begin to draw. I created my stationery collection for Rifle Paper Co because I wanted something people could touch with their fingers. My work was mostly on the internet so it’s not very tangible but this people could feel and hold in their hands.
I always take all of my jewellery off when I am working - I can only wear very tiny rings as everything else just bothers me. I am a typical woman - I wear jewellery then leave it all over the place. But I love to stack a lot of gold bracelets - I have a lot in my wardrobe.