When I first started my blog, there were only illustrations and texts.
I love illustration. I could spend hours — actually, I do spend hours — illustrating, erasing, starting over. I’m never satisfied. I always feel like I can do better.
Illustration allowed me to express a lot through my images, but not everything. That’s why, a year after I started a blog known only for illustration, I started adding photos.
My point of view evolved. I had just moved to Paris and everything I was seeing caught my eye. Photography came naturally to me.
The first time I posted photos on my blog, they weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms. But this is an illustration blog! Why are you posting photos?
It’s tough to read negative comments. It’s hard for a young blogger and hard for a more experimented blogger as well.
Honestly, for a little bit I wondered if I should just listen to them. For a few weeks, I even opened up a second blog just for photos.
And then I realized I didn’t want to do that.
My blog isn’t some commercial project where I have to meet the audiences expectations. It’s not a TV show that will get cut after two episodes if it isn’t producing results. It’s an artistic platform. The one that gives me the most freedom and allows for a lot more experimentation.
My photos were a little clumsy at first. It wasn’t clear what I was trying to do. Scott was one of the first to encourage me, by the way, even though I was following a trail blazed by him.
A few months later, the photos brought the blog to the international scene. A photo needs no explanation. More than an illustration, I understood, photos know no boundaries.
But the more important thing is, I had found a new passion, a new way of expressing myself.
This whole thing taught me something important: you have to do things that excite you and try to communicate that enthusiasm the best you can. You can’t please everyone… But if you look for your emotion, what is true to you deep down, the rest falls into place. Illustrations were still around, and texts too. Photos simply integrated themselves in.
Fast forward a few years later, “street style” has blown up.
It’s great, and there are a lot of photographers doing amazing work, but the problem is that outside the fashion shows now, it’s kind of crazy.
There are thousands of photographers bumping into each other to get shots of more and more elaborate outfits, even more dressed up than what’d you see inside of the shows. The clothes feel very new, the photos become a little repetitive, and everyone photographs the girls that have become the street style celebs without even really questioning their looks.
They all have the philosophy of if it’s her, it must be good. And actually, they’re usually right.
And we won’t even get started on the system that was put in place by the fashion brands. The New York Times does a good job of it here.
I get what’s going on here and really, I don’t condemn it. It’s normal that a system adapts as things evolve.
But for me personally, I felt like it was time to find a new way to communicate.
But what was I to do? Stop going to fashion week?
That would be stupid. I love fashion. I love the shows. I love what I see, everything I learn, and that every time I feel like I’m going on a new adventure.
And somewhat coincidently right about at that time, I bought a new camera. And one day, just like that, I realized my camera had this little button on it… VIDEO. Ever since, I’ve loved it.
I started experimenting. I started posting a few videos on the blog. I put them together myself on iMovie. I love how it shifts my work and allows me to share things with a more lively medium.
Above all though, it inspires me!
Then it hit me: I want to do that during fashion week.
I’ll make videos for the internet. Not for television. Someone had already come to me with that idea, but since I never watch television apart from Anthony Bourdain’s (eternal love) No Reservations, Saturday Night Live (even more eternal love) and a few other awesome shows that are only in the States, I never went for it.
I threw myself in. I surrounded myself with a little team, found a sponsor as shooting video is expensive, and off we went.
As I often say to my friends and those around me, Pardon My French is still in an experimental stage. (Maybe you get why I have so much respect for Net-à-Porter. They trust me even if the show’s just beginning. That takes guts.) We try a lot of different things and work incredibly hard.
If you knew the nights I spent last season not sleeping because I was editing and changing an episode completely at the last minute risking scorn from the entire team (thanks to all of them for their patience), or thinking of a better way to shoot something at two in the morning. Or not getting sleep because I was totally stressed out, thinking that this time, I set the bar way too high.
Take, for example, the voice-over. At the beginning, even though I was imagining video diaries, I didn’t really imagine doing it as a voice-over. But when splicing together the shots we had, we realized the one thing that was missing. My voice. On top of that, since the start of this blog you’ve told me again and again that one of your favorite things is what I write to you….
I did my first voice-overs locked in my room all alone except for a glassof vodka at 12 cigarettes (at the same time), to cool my nerves. Like, shit… Seriously? It’s not easy to talk alone into a microphone.
The first ones I did over and over again 12 or so times. Okay, 20 times. Yeah… 30.
But when you do a project like this, it’s like you’re making a baby (okay, I don’t know about that myself, but that’s what I hear): once you have it there in front of you, you forget everything you did to get it there. And so then you make a second and it all comes back to you.
And we’ll need to do a bunch to get the point where I can be proud of the result and really show fashion in the best way possible on the Internet.
I am really talking about the Internet here. What good what it do to have an internet show that copies TV shows? Everything still has to be invented, and to invent it we must try.
There you have it. I wanted to explain my approach to my blog and how I work, how I challenge myself and how I learn by doing.
I mean if Woody Allen wanted to come give me a film class, I’d be right there with him. Or Larry David. Or Anthony Bourdain. Or Kristen Wiig. Or… Okay, calm down now Garance. Back to the blog:
The photos, illustrations, and texts will always be here. They are a part of me and so naturally, part of my blog. They actually get fed by every new experience I have.
As for the rest, we’ll see.
The only thing I can promise you is that in the future, I’ll never use tired material just because “I found the formula that lead to my success.” I’ll always be questioning my passions, question what I should be devoting my energies to, and what I see. My blog will always evolve with my point of view.
I’ll always try to find a way to open to you the doors that have been opened for me.
Otherwise, honestly, I’d have no interest.
PS : I read all of the comments, even if I don’t respond to all of them. I always am interested in your point of view.
PPS : For those of you with technical problems with the videos, please don’t hesitate to tell us exactly what’s going on, what navigator you use, all that stuf…
If they’re just not working on the blog for some reason, you can always see them on my YouTube channel (you should subscribe!!!) but we’ll try to fix the problem ASAP.
PPPS : Thank you to everyone who sent their words of encouragement. There were so many of you and really, nothing quite puts the wind under my wings more than your enthusiasm.
Such big hugs to you all!
Translation : Tim Sullivan