IN HER WORDS:
JULIE BÉAL, FLORAL ARTIST
I discovered Julie’s inspiring work on Pinterest. I was searching for a very special gift to offer you on the occasion of the Confidential Collection launch.
It’s funny how some encounters can touch you deeply. After a few calls and meeting her in person, the idea of a collaboration was evident… just like our friendship.
“It’s always a great task to talk about ourselves”, Julie wrote to me. So I hope you’ll enjoy reading her.
Tell us about yourself!
Graphic designer, photographer, gardener and mother of two little girls, I would say that I am passionate.
Originally from Lille, after a few years in Paris, I had the opportunity in 2015 to take the plunge and move to the countryside. And here we are in a town in the heart of France: Vierzon.
For me, this medium-sized city and the surrounding area turned out to be an ideal playground, a ground for my experimentation. It took me only a season or two to discover the garden and I haven’t stopped since. They say that I have green thumbs …
When did you discover your passion for flowers, especially dried flowers?
I came to the garden for the love of beauty, I believe.
I tend to be amazed by the sight of a blade of grass emerging, or by a drop of water reflecting the light. And I also needed to take a break from screens, to do something outside, with my hands.
Before our big move, I read a bunch of books on permaculture. I started by creating a large vegetable garden. And I followed a training course on seed reproduction and life preservation. I helped set up a seed library in the area with some friends. Then I discovered the world of flowers. I sowed them in my garden. A lot. Some edibles and others, simply beautiful to the eye, and beneficial to the surrounding wildlife.
Passionate by home decoration and design, I once wanted to grow my own interior decoration. And after a background in communication and marketing, it was an exciting challenge to create a few products to sell.
A gardener friend who has practiced floral art for a long time told me about her books on dried flowers. I dived into it. I discovered all the cultivable varieties. I wanted to revisit this somewhat outdated art and offer modern and poetic creations.
I had the idea to put some sprigs of my garden in flasks. The result charmed me. That’s how I started! I also made mobiles, combining flowers, a few touches of light wood and brass. I like their lightness, balance, their uniqueness.
What touches you particularly in this art that seems to escape the hellish pace of our world?
The beauty of the gesture, the pleasure of seeing a tiny seed becoming a flower.
To make them grow, blossom, transform.
The exercise of slowness, the art of patience, the learning of humility.
The poetry and the magic.
To become one with my garden.
What is your favorite flower?
I love them all.
I love their succession in the garden, their shapes and their colors.
I love their simplicity and complexity.
I love the huge pompom dahlia, like the simplest daisies.
I love the cultivated flower, like the wild one, the wanderer.
I love they can be sown again and again.
I love their names, their evocations, their symbolism.
They always bring me back to Present.
What are the steps to make a flask filled with dried flowers?
First, there is the selection of varieties, sowing on a warm layer, still in the frost of winter, preparing the soil, transplanting which is seeded according to the varieties, sowing in the ground for others once warmer days are back. Then comes the time for blossoms, for observation. They need daily care. Then at the right stage of their maturity, it is time to cut them. Full baskets of flowers. Happiness.
Then comes the time for drying. Several weeks upside down without direct light. The show is just as charming. I look up and the ceiling has become a multi-colored hanging garden. Then it is the stage of filling the flasks and storage.
About our collaboration: what enchanted you in collaborating with Atelier Aliénor for the Confidential Collection?
Our first phonecall was spontaneous, simple, natural.
The shared values in our respective work, the encounter of two worlds which respond to each other.
The quality and the style of the products you offer. Perfect match with Les Cueillettes.
Beautiful photos by Fabrice Le Dantec, Julie Béal
Video by Les Petites Routes