Recently illustrator, photographer and writer (now published author), Garance Dore, made a stop on her multi-city book tour in Toronto for a book signing and soiree at one of our fave spots, Club Monaco.  We had the incredible opportunity to meet up with her at her publisher’s office, Penguin Random House, and have a chat with her before heading over to the incredibly chic event.

Two epic bucket list dreams checked off – 1. to meet someone I adore and super fan girl from the sidelines, Garance and 2. to be within the walls of one of the best publishers out there, Penguin Random House.  It’s no secret that I love books so to be able to sit and talk with someone I’ve followed for years, a trailblazer in my field who made it possible for me to do what I do AND to have said conversation amongst some of my most adored hard-covered spines, I was in absolute heaven.

There’s something to be said about Garance.  To actually be the person who you think she might be when reading her blog is a true mark of something I feel we’re lacking today, authenticity.  She’s real, she’s honest, she’s smart, strong and accomplished and she’s absolutely lovely.

Though it was an interview the magic of Garance is that she makes you feel familiar, like she’s an old friend and you’re just catching up.

So here’s the little chat I had with the incredible Garance Dore:

When you ventured out to write your book what did you envision it to be?

I wanted the kind of feeling, you know like when you read a really great magazine that when you’re done you want to keep it? That’s what I wanted, but for it to be written by one person.

I recently did a post on what I would tell my 21 year old self and I’m interested, what would you tell your younger self?

The most important thing I would tell myself is to relax a little bit.  From the outside you might have seen me and thought, oh my god, this girl is having so much fun but inside I was dying.  I was so stressed that I wouldn’t succeed, that I had to accomplish everything by 25….  You don’t.  That’s what I would tell that crazy stressed out 20 year old.  Relax.

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Where do you find inspiration?

It’s a collection of things.  Image wise I find inspiration on Pinterest but I’ve also been finding lately inspiration from the inside.  Discovering that we are all connected and go through similar things.  Seeing the common denominator.  Like getting older, how do you/we deal with that.  Being a failure, being a success, all of these things, and each time I explore these subjects it’s so inspiring to see the emotions that they create.  I find the human experience very inspiring.

 

If someone wanted to start a blog today, what would be your advice?

I obviously was very lucky with my timing, because what happened to me would be difficult to happen to anyone else today.  The level of work that people put into blogs is through the roof.  When I started I worked on it a lot but there was not a lot of other stuff.  Obviously I proved that after time I was able to stay in the game.  I think that today what’s even more important is to find your voice and edit yourself.  Right now the blogging world is all over the place but I think that it’s going to settle down and people are going to want to find authentic voices that they can follow and love and that’s what I’ve been feeling in what I do.

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What’s your favourite blog to read?

I don’t really read a lot of blogs because the reasons are simple; it’s work for me, I look at all of the things they do professionally so it’s like going to another restaurant when you’re a chef.  My father was a chef and when I went to other restaurants with him he’d be like; “oh the menu this…”  “order that because I need to see how they make it..”  So for me a blog should be an escape and if I do read blogs they are totally different from what I do.

What’s your favourite book?

A book by Francoise Sagan, it’s just a collection of her work and I go back to it when I’m not inspired because her writing is the best to me.

What’s your favourite place in the world?

It’s going to sound so cheesy but it’s anywhere when I’m with my boyfriend.

I love your candidness in your book with your life and your emotions, do you find it difficult to be so honest?

Never.  You know it’s crazy, each time that I think oh, I’ve pushed it too far, I think no, that’s just me.  My friends, they love it because I talk very candidly with them and it just opens things.  I have a friend that I speak with about sex and one day her boyfriend came to me and was like, “Thank you.  Thank you because she couldn’t even say a word about it before and now we’re able to share much more.”  That’s the power of conversation and openness.  So now, each time that I think I’ve gone too far, I actually have more people coming to me and thanking me saying things like, “I felt fat too.”  Or, “I felt like a failure.”  and it’s ok.

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How do you deal with negative comments?

It depends.  It’s like with everything, I think there are moments when you’re able to cope with them and there are moments when you’re more fragile and I just don’t look at them at all.  If I have a few days when I don’t feel like it I will have my team approve comments.

But overall, comments that are mean, yes it hurts but after a while you just grow to ignore them.  You grow a thicker skin and also you have to think about the person who does it.  It’s really ridiculous.

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Huge thank you to Garance & Club Monaco for this incredible opportunity and if you haven’t already picked up Garance’s lovely book I encourage you to treat yourself and/or add it to your Holiday wish list.

xx,

COCO

This is an excerpt from the article Love, Style, Life: An Interview With Garance Dore which originally appeared on http://cocoandcowe.com/.