Five for Friday: Artist and Scarf Queen Isabelle Gougenheim
Five questions with artist and business owner Isabelle Gougenheim. Currently based in Chicago, Isabelle was raised in
Strasbourg, France. Her art is centered on graffiti and street-inspired images that she prints on silk and modal, resulting in incredibly luxurious, colorful scarves that catch the eye. Be sure to check out her gorgeous work at A+T, both online and in-store!
1. Where do you find style inspiration?
IG: I think that inspiration is everywhere around us; it can strike me while I’m having a conversation, walking on the street or even surfing the Internet. I feel like random everyday life moments can become the best design ideas; so I try to gasp for inspiration everywhere I can find it.
I remember, for instance, a time when I was visiting my hometown in France. I took a photograph of an old farmhouse window that had been there for 500 years. I had walked by it since I was a child, but taking this photo--at this exact moment--inspired me to design a scarf that reminded me of love and home. I placed the photograph in one of my scarf designs, and that scarf is still one of my best selling pieces today.
2. How would you describe your style?
IG: I feel like my style, like my art, has no boundaries. It can be defined as sophisticated, chic, as well as artsy and contemporary. I like to think that my style does not fall into a preconceived category: it is free-spirited and electric.
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
IG: Because I think that it is important to always look forward, I would have dinner with my future grandchildren that will be born in 2100 or even further, in 2300. I find it fascinating that life always goes on, and I’d be very interested to get to know all the details of what life looks like in one or two centuries!
4. What advice would you give to someone trying to get into your profession?
IG: I think that passion is an essential feature of the profession. Find your passion and do not be afraid to put in the hard work; the experience you will get from it will be much rewarding. Also, it is important to always be curious. Don’t put limits to yourself and your creativity. No matter what, follow your dream.
5. What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago?
IG: My favorite Chicago tradition is the Sunday walks I take with my family. We usually go to the local farmers market, in Logan Square; they sell the best food Chicago has to offer! I also enjoy walking around the city and along the lake to feel the unique Chicago vibe that has always inspired me!
Many thanks Isabelle for finding the time to chat with us!
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