Laetitia Rouget on Upcycling Material for Art, Making a Career Shift, and Anxiety

Name: Laetitia Rouget 
Role: Artist / Designer 
Based in: London
Age: 31

This week on ATEM we featured up and coming artist @shoopy.studio . Laetitia Rouget is a French creative living in East London. Favored by tastemakers from Vogue and Town and Country, Rouget’s art studio is named after her nickname for her husband: Shoopy Studio . Laetitia’s work is all about celebrating women and female form as well as sustainability, with all of her interior pieces focusing around recycling materials and fabrics she already owns.

We talk about her journey as an artist, how sustainability and womanhood informs her art practice, and her thoughts on mental health and anxiety.

1. In your words, who are you?

 I am a French creative living in East London. My work is all about celebrating women and female form as well as sustainability, with all of my interior pieces focusing around recycling materials and fabrics I already own. 

2. Give us a day in your life.

Monday was a nice day ! I woke up early and painted on my plates in the morning, I had a lovely lunch with a friend on broadway market, and then painted on canvas in the afternoon.

How much time does it take for you to produce a new ceramic plate piece, from connecting the design to the physical production? 

I would say 2 weeks. I don’t have my own kiln so there a lot of parameters involved; that is something I can’t control unfortunately.

3. Describe your wellness regimen if you have one. What are some actions you take to keep yourself well (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually)?

I wake up early every morning, and start my day with a hot shower and a nice breakfast. It’s important for me to get mentally ready for the day, even though I [can] work from home. When I feel stressed, my secret is to close my eyes, breathe for a few minutes and try to think positively. Finally, drinks with my girlfriends and a good dose of laughter is also definitely keys for my happiness. 

4. How do you feel about talking about mental health? Is it something you feel comfortable enough to talk about with family, friends, and professional colleagues?

I feel open to talk about all these discussions, and I believe it is important and healthy to talk more about it. 

5. Have you ever experienced poor mental health and/or anxiety? If so, would you be open to sharing your experience with it?

In general I am usually a happy person, but yes I have anxiety. I usually manage to control it on my own and try to think about something else. I am now aware of when my body is reacting to anxiety and I know the only solution is to breathe, be calm and take some time.

6. You have always been working in the arts sector, but you only recently made a transition into fine art after pursuing a career in fashion for 6 years after graduating from Central Saint Martins. How did you know you were making the right move, and why did you feel motivated or compelled to change your career? Did you have prior experience with ceramics?

I couldn’t see myself working as a print designer all my life and I was always thinking to do my own thing one day, but I never had the courage until I met my husband who really pushed me to take risks.

I was tired of producing hundreds of designs every month– it was always the same and I wanted to work on a product that had more meaning to me and could properly feed my creative mind. I then started to explore ceramics deeply and ended up producing my first collection along with opening my first solo show last September in London. I was so happy and proud of how much I learned in a single year on my own and hopefully this is only the beginning. 

7. Many of your pieces explore femininity and the female body as a subject. What do you think motivates you to put that in your work? On your plates? On your canvases? And why are they almost always naked with bums out? (Any particular reason?) 

My work has always been about celebrating women and their shapes. I love the generous curves and elegance of womens’ bodies and try to represent my vision of our bodies through colours, lines and emotions. 

8. What are your thoughts on operating Shoopy Studio on Instagram? Nowadays, many artists rely on social media platforms to expose their work to new communities, and it’s a different kind of promotion that didn’t exist or was not traditionally supported particularly by those in the fine art realm. What are you thoughts on your relationship with social media as a consumer, but also as a professional artist? 

I consider myself as a creative more than an artist. So in my case, I think Instagram is a fantastic platform to meet people, and to show my work to a wider audience. I like to talk directly to my customers, and share with them a little bit of the process in my studio. I think it is good to put boundaries with social media thought, and not solely concentrate on this. However, it’s a good way to learn. 

10. What is a brand, organization, or an item in the wellness space that you are in love with?

I am in love with Zazi vintage, a German brand that not only sells beautiful products, but tell us about wellness, yoga and the power of communities. 

Interview by Susan Im

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