French singer Lou Doillon talked to WWD at the launch of her drawing collaboration with Benoit Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli of the artisanal ceramics brand Astier de Villatte. While visitors streamed into an uncluttered gallery space in Paris to see a display of Doillon’s notebooks and line drawings of hands and wrinkled fabrics, she told WWD how the collaboration sprang from artwork she posts on Instagram amidst a stream of coffee-mug selfies. Products include a thin, ceramic cup decorated with the outline of a hand as well as a book of her drawings.
WWD: Did you feel you were taking a risk posting your artwork on Instagram?
Lou Doillon: I loved Instagram when it started. As an artist, it’s rare the moments when you can express yourself absolutely a hundred percent the way you are. When I met Etienne Daho for my first album he thought I lived in America when I was in Paris, he thought I was a party girl when I was reading all day long at home, but because of the fantasy of the press world, in a way, people had no idea that I had actually spent the last 15 years living a bit in New York with artist friends but had mostly been in Paris reading, drawing and doing music.
So it was very refreshing to show my point of view on what I’m doing and it wasn’t frightening at all. Suddenly, I found myself in a network of illustrators. There is something of a bottle in the sea which I like.
WWD: How did you react when Astier de Villatte contacted you after seeing your Instagram posts?
L.D.: It was very surprising because I love Astier de Villatte. It’s so beautiful and precious, so the day they contacted me on Instagram was wonderful. I got so excited that I started drawing for them. They said let’s do two mugs and I said can I actually draw on the mugs and can I come to the workshop. Suddenly, I had made 17 mugs and made more and more drawings. Then they said, “Alright let’s make a book.”
Thank God we’re actually now releasing it, because I think they’re so crazy and creative that they’ve really woken up the worst in me — we could spend 25 years just doing stuff.
I used to do loads of selfies with my coffee mug waking up and that’s how we started doing the mugs, and that’s how it kind of all started.
WWD: What’s next?
L.D.: For the moment I might find a little corner in their workshop because they want me to do portraits, and they want to initiate me with oil painting which I never could do before because I always live in a tiny house with dogs and kids. Oil painting takes so long to settle that I’ve always done ink — if the dog walks on it half an hour later it’s pretty safe, whereas with oil painting it’s a drama.
If I could have a place in their workshop, that’s my dream.
WWD: How many years of your notebooks are on display?
L.D.: I think it’s the last 10 years but some are still at home. I got a tiny bit frightened of bringing them all here. I have all of my diaries in a suitcase in case there’s a fire. I always thought that’s the only thing I’ll take, just the suitcase. And obviously the kids and the dogs!
WWD: Your notebooks are written in French and English, do you speak a mix of the two at home?
L.D.: Absolutely! It’s good because you can just go for the easiest option, or what sounds the best. You are kind of always stuck between two languages but it’s wonderful. The French are so bad at English that it was a secret language for years. It is the universal language for every other country but in France it’s a secret language. That’s starting to change. A bit.