During a sunny afternoon, we had the chance to meet Rachelle Cunning, who has gained a following on Instagram much because of her art and beauty. Natural, bubbly and spontaneous, Rachelle answered our questions in between two photos and three fittings. A wonderful person, enjoy.
Cocktail Brut : Hello Rachelle, could you introduce yourself in a few words?
Rachelle : I’m Rachelle, artist and illustrator born in Dublin and I've been living in different countries such as The States, Ireland, Norway, Holland, Belgium, England and France. I studied in New York and did my art studies in Paris. And now I work full time as a freelance artist. I’ve moved a lot, I’ve lived in 8 different countries, 12 different schools and 24 different houses.
Cocktail Brut : What did you study?
Rachelle : I went to Parsons in New York and then I came to Paris to start les beaux arts to finally end up at Parsons Paris where I studied Art, Media & Technology. I learned a lot of things on design, websites, graphics etc. I wanted to learn something new, that’s why I focused on the digital part. I got my diploma in 2017 then I directly worked as an assistant at an interior decoration office. At this time I still didn’t think I was an artist. Since I was 15 I had been drawing but I still couldn’t accept what I really was. Then I had some personal problems that made me go back to Norway for some time. Once I was there, I understood that I was really only made for the arts. I had it in me since my childhood.
Cocktail Brut : How did your account grow in Paris ?
Rachelle : I came here with 800 followers! And today I have the luck to be followed by more than 13 000 people. I have a lot of friends who are influencers but me I’m very much concentrated on the art. If that is a way to get more visibility and therefor more projects, I’ll do it! But I’m not really someone who loves events and such. When I go there, it’s because I can see an interest for my career as an artist. I’m keeping that very professional.
Cocktail Brut : What does your everyday life look like?
Rachelle : I share my time between my art (that takes up practically everything), my friends and I also work in a little boutique with a team that is like a second family. I do about 5-7 personalized illustrations per week. I also have a lot of projects with brands. Recently I’ve started working with Simone Rocha and Hotel Cost.
I came here without a contract and I’ve given everything to my work. In the beginning, I made illustrations of pretty famous people on the internet, like Maria Bernad, Taylor Lashae, Chloé Lecareux… And these people liked my work and shared it!
Cocktail Brut : What’s your zodiac sign?
Rachelle : I’m a libra !
Cocktail Brut : What do you like about the french culture?
Rachelle : Oh, there are so many things! I think first of all, the cinema. I also really like that everyone strolls around. It’s very different from New York. I like hearing the accordion in the city when I walk around on the streets, yes I know it’s a bit cliché! While everybody is having a glass of wine and smoking, I love observing the smoke cloud that surrounds the scene. I love the little details. There is a particular feeling here. I’ve lived in several cities but Paris is truly the one I prefer. When I wake up early in the mornings and I go out on the streets, I see the reflection of the buildings on the ground that has just been washed. With the light of the day, it’s so magnificent. And I also feel really good at my place, my apartment.
Cocktail Brut : What inspires you on a daily basis?
Rachelle : Everything! The people, their histories, what they wear, the vintage. I also really appreciate Salvador Dali. I try to not look to much at other artists to be able to stay true to my art. I feel really romantic so I also really like poetry. The book Le Parfum for example. Everything that inspires me personally, is the Baroque, the Renaissance and everything that is a little bit Vampire! My art is also very based on the body, it’s a little bit therapeutic for me. My illustrations, is what I would like to be whereas my paintings are more what I am or what I’ve been through. I show them less on my social media anyway, in particular my serie ”Menage a trois” which I will reveal at an expo in Paris I’ll do this fall probably.
Cocktail Brut : Your work comes close to fashion. You paint certain clothes or accessoires on photos of you. Could you tell us more on this subject?
Rachelle : So I like costumes a lot and I wanted to take them into my paintings. Normally, I cannot wear them on the street and I wanted to transport the people from another univers. I really like seeing how people dress, see how they have confiant in them if they put something on in different ways. Its the way of expressing yourself that speaks to me. If I could, I would wear the artistic costumes you’ll find in paintings! In New York I did it a lot and I find that here in Paris it could quickly make you seem a bit crazy.
Cocktail Brut : If you had to choose one clothing alone to wear all the time?
Rachelle : I would say a pretty dress in black lace. Sexy, classy, you can do whatever you want!
Cocktail Brut : What are your favorite pieces from Cocktail Brut?
Rachelle : The pink ruffle top, no doubt!
Thank you Rachelle <3