Combining her love of cooking and capturing special memories on paper, Chantal Larocque began using utensils in the kitchen to shape petals and craft one of a kind paper blooms. Her imagination flourished as she brought more flowers to life, decorating homes and special celebrations all around the world. Chantal has just published her first book, sharing her tips and tutorials so that others can create their own floral art out of paper. We had a chat with Chantal to find out more about where she finds inspiration and what let her to start her own paper flower empire.
Tell us a bit about yourself Chantal
I’m married to a wonderful guy who is my #1 fan and the best supportive husband ever! Before I started my paper flower venture I was the proud owner of a little Café outside of Montréal. Cooking is one of my favourite art forms where I love to express myself creatively. I’m addicted to styling gorgeous table settings and gourmet food is my speciality.
Q&A with Chantal Larocque
What inspired you to start creating paper flowers?
When my father passed away in 2005, I felt compelled to create beautiful photo albums to remember and celebrate all the happy moments we shared. This lead me to discover the wonderful world of scrapbooking and eventually to the art of making the paper flowers. My little paper patch grew into an oversized garden and eventually to a magnificent realm - I became an expert and a book deal was signed!
What is your creative process for capturing each flowers unique form and petals out of paper?
I rarely sketch out my new flower designs or plan them in advance, I usually just envision the complete paper flower in my head before I start cutting the petals. It is similar to when I cook, I know exactly how a new dish will taste even before I start mixing the ingredients. I’m not sure how it all happens it just seem to work that way for me!
What has been one of the most memorable installations you have every created?
Oh, There’s a few! I think the most memorable would be the floral compositions I designed for the Celebrity Gift Suite during the 2017 pre-Golden Globes Awards Celebrations. I had just completed and submitted my book manuscript to my publisher, which was a huge accomplishment so to start the new year with such a prestigious project felt pretty awesome!
I also recently made thousands of paper roses for a DIOR window installation at Saks Fifth Avenue in Palm Beach and I was told yesterday the installation will be featured in 2 other stores in Miami! I wish I had some photos to share with you of this one.
Could you share some of your top tips for crafting out of paper?
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - As creative people we tend to be overly critical of our work and I learned a long time ago there is no such thing as an ugly paper flower - even something that isn’t perfect in my eyes can be considered so beautiful to someone else.
- Use what you have on hand - Paper flower making wasn’t very popular when I first started so I discovered that I could use objects I had in my kitchen drawers as tools. For example, I use a sushi stick to curl and a rounded measuring spoon to shape my petals. You don’t need to break the bank to start making paper flowers - be resourceful and use what you have around the house!
What are a couple of your favourite floral creations
I love my Peony of course and the Gardenia which is so lovely to add to any floral composition!
What will you be looking for when you judge this week's creative challenge?
In my book I teach people how to make fabulous paper flowers but there are also chapters where I share ideas on how and when to use paper flowers in different settings at home or at various events. This week I’ll be looking for people creating images featuring original ways to incorporate flowers, paper, silk or real into their lives and busy routine!