Fabric8 Finalist Profile: Helene Michau

JUN 4, 2013


Fabric8
— our annual contest to bring you eight bold, modern fabric collections from talented designers– is here again! You chose eight terrific designers from a field of creative entries in this year's Geek Chic-themed contest. Now they'll compete for the chance to start a new career as a professional textile designer by releasing a fabric collection through Robert Kaufman Fabrics

We'd like to introduce you to each of the Fabric8 finalists this week before voting on their final collections begins this Thursday, June 6th! Meet Helene Michau, Cassiopee on Spoonflower, a graphic designer hailing from Toulouse, France.  


I passionately love drawing. I'm a graphic designer, and everything I do begins with a sketch, even before I begin sewing or creating jewelry in my workshop. However I don't paint.  I use a black ballpoint pen or pencil, then I digitize my drawing and color it with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. It frequently happens that I draw with oil pastel or anything else and digitize at the end. 

Frida Kahlo is definitely my favourite artist. I love everything about her: the way she painted, the way she thought, the way she dressed in marvelous Mexican patterns, the place she lived. She was so beautiful!
I couldn't live without colors around me and it seems to me she's both the most representative and the most perfect user of colours, with Niki de St Phalle for whom I have a real interest too!
In my childhood I spent about two years lying on my bed, without moving because I was plastered from ankles to ribs (a little bit like Frida Kahlo) and I understand very well what kind of pain she felt. 
I'm sure that more or less this shared experience determined a part of my artistic life and why I feel so close to her.

I listen to many music styles, but for a long time now, I've had a real appreciation for Peter Gabriel and his Real World label. Thanks to him, I've discovered plenty of fabulous musicians coming from Africa and Asia. I often listen classical music too when I design. Especially Ravel, Mozart and Stravinsky.

As a great fan of the 1950s, as the furniture of my workshop testifies, I would like to have a conversation with the character played by Julianne Moore in "Far from Heaven".
I really loved this movie, the atmosphere, colors, costumes and story!

In my foolish dreams, I'd like to travel all the time, and spend time drawing!
I traveled a lot before my son was born, and I've never been as disoriented as I was in India and Nepal. Now I'd like to visit Mexico and the Casa Azul where Frida Kahlo lived. I'd like to visit Guatemala, Ouzbekistan, and Iran– I'm fan of their old architecture, and I would love to bring back some of their wonderful textile handcrafts.

For ten years I've lived in the southwest of France, in Toulouse, but previously I was living and working in Paris.

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