From ceramics and canvas paintings to upholstered chairs and artfully seamed cushions, Laetitia’s own work adorns the shelves and walls of her bright Hackney home. South African art, prints and objects feature heavily throughout the space, adding a diverse array of colour and print. Laetitia’s husband is of South African heritage and it’s clear that some of her work has been inspired by the bold, rich culture.
We talked about everything from the inspiration behind her work, her family history, the jump from fashion to freelance and her general love for life, exploring what this world of ours has to offer.
How did you come to be an artist?
I came to London ten years ago to study at Central Saint Martin’s University for my bachelor in Illustration & Graphic Design. I fell in love with London and throughout my degree I learnt a completely new approach to art and my work became much more daring and eccentric to what it was in Paris. I was always interested in art; my parents are both in the porcelain business and my grandma has always been very creative too. After University I went into fashion and became a print designer. I loved my job and the prints I was creating, but with the fashion industry comes a lot of waste and I couldn’t be as free with my work as I wanted. My husband has always been so supportive of my personal work and this helped with my decision about a year ago to leave fashion and start creating only unique artworks. My first exhibition has just gone up in Anthropologie on the King’s Road, which is really exciting.
What is your biggest career achievement to date?
I guess my biggest career achievement was to stop working in the fashion industry and start working for myself. It wasn’t an easy decision to make and was a very scary prospect at the beginning. It was definitely worth it though as now I get to spend 100% of my time creating things I’m passionate about.
Which place in the world inspires you the most?
I don’t have a place in particular, but I would say that travelling in general inspires me the most. To see so many different cultures, the way different countries and groups of people live their lives, the bright colours, the smells and the effect this has on the senses inspires my work hugely.
What are your favourite colour combinations?
Pink and green! You will be able to see this from my ceramic art and paintings, as these are two colours I use together a lot. I just love the way they compliment each other.
Do you have any favourite artists or creative’s that you particularly admire?
One of my favourite artists and big inspirations in life is Hylton Nel, a South African ceramic artist I had the chance to meet a few years ago. He inspired me so much and made me fall in love with pottery, which has now become an integral part of my work. He’s also a very inspiring man in general and made me want to live my life in a certain way.
When you’re not busy working, what do you like doing?
I like to go to London Fields and chill out in the sunshine with friends or eat tapas on Broadway market, which is very near to our flat. I also love going out and having a good old boogie with my girls somewhere in Dalston with great music!
Are you reading anything right now?
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer – a book I will come back to time and time again. It explores freedom of limitations, going beyond boundaries and finding inner peace within yourself.
What are your sustainability values and do they tie in with your work at all?
Yes this is a big part of my work and probably one of the main reasons I chose to take the leap to producing my own unique artworks instead of producing thousands of fashion tops each year. I think it’s important to give value to the objects we buy and know where they come from and the story behind them. I want to try to change the mentality of consumption and push my clients to purchase something no one else will have and live a more sustainable lifestyle. I also like to recycle vintage chairs and give a lost object a new story and dimension.
What’s your favourite Evermore scent and why?
My favourite Evermore candle scent is Flore. It’s so delicate and fresh, absolutely perfect for the summer months! I have also fallen in love with the colour of the box as well – a beautiful lilac tone.
‘Studio sessions with Laetitia Rouget’ is showcasing now in Anthropologie on King’s Road, Chelsea.