As a popular tattoo artist at Brooklyn's Saved Tattoo, Sophie C'est La Vie is known for her colorful and evocative work with a hint of whimsy. Tattooing is just one element of her artistic practice, which as includes painting, paper cutting and collage (her solo show A Rip In The Tide debuts tonight at Lucas Lucas in East Williamsburg!), and this multifaceted creative perspective resonates throughout her apartment, where one-of-a-kind elements and eclectic combinations are key. Below, we take a look around her space and talk about what it means to her to live alone in a home of her own.
Will you tell us the story of how you found your space and how long you have lived there?
I have been living in my apartment for only about four months now. I lived in my previous apartment for six years and had collected a lot of things, even some things that I couldn't really utilize due to lack of proper space. Finding the perfect apartment in New York is like searching for a needle in haystack, so when I embarked on the search for my new place I was really lucky that I had a weird clause in my previous lease that I could move at any point in my lease as long as I gave a 30-day notice. I searched for about a year and half or so, on and off, and saw a ton of apartments in that time with nice lighting, an outdoor space and space for a studio in mind. I found a few that were just okay, but when I decided to see this apartment, I was actually a little disappointed as I wouldn’t be able to see it in the day time due to the current tenant's schedule, and lighting was really important to me. When I arrived I immediately was like yes, this is the one. After taking a look around I immediately told the broker I would take it! And it was a wrap!
How would you describe your personal home interiors style?
I describe my home decor style as vintage bohemian eclectic. I love vintage and antique furniture but also am drawn to rich and exotic patterns from around the world. I travel frequently and enjoy picking up one-of-a-kind pieces from around the world to enhance the clean lines of my furniture.
What do you love most about having a space of your own?
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I love having a space of my own as it serves as my personal oasis where I can retreat and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday. I love New York and love living here. I always have a feeling of happiness when I’m returning home from a trip. Like "aahhh, home sweet home.” Having a cozy, vibrant space on top of that is the icing on the cake. Also being so lucky in this city to have an outdoor space, I love sitting outside and getting to relax in a quiet green space of my own.
You have a lovely in-home art studio. Does it serve as the creative space for all of your artistic endeavors?
It's great having the space for the my art studio. I spend time in here a lot of mornings, working on drawings for my tattoos before I head to Saved. In addition I’ve spent a lot of time working on pieces for my upcoming art exhibition as well as serving as my office for my online shop that I launched in the last few months. It's the epicenter for the majority of my artistic endeavors and it's good to have a separate room to do it in and the rest of the apartment to chill out in.
What are three of the most treasured items in your apartment and why?
Lets see, three of my most treasured items? I would say my three favorite things are a pair of antique scrimshaw sacred and immaculate heart plaques, my vintage coffee table, and a small crane lacquered jewelry box.
I love the heart plaques because the artistry is so impeccable as the hearts are enclosed in a casing that is about an inch and a half tall. I found them in a shop in Paris and they date back to the late 1800s. Truly a one-of-a-kind set. My vintage coffee table I love because it was one of my first vintage finds at a Goodwill about 12 years ago. It actually did not fit well in my last apartment and my bestie would constantly tell me to get rid of it for rectangular one as this one was square but I am just attached to the thing. Now it fits perfectly in my spot! Lastly the jewelry box is something I don’t take out often but it does mean a lot to me. My mom gave me this jewelry box and I’ve had it since I can remember. It plays music and has whooping cranes decorating the top of it. My mom has a favorite painting with the same cranes on it that was there all though out my childhood so whooping cranes have served as a pleasant memory for me. I love this jewelry box as it is a connection to my mom and decorative motifs that still continue to inspire me today.
How important is investing in your surroundings to you and why?
I think it is important to invest in your surroundings but it's not necessarily in a monetary sense. I think investing in quality pieces that will last and stand the test of time is always the best way to go. Pieces that can serve as heirlooms one day. These things can be found in many places: vintage shops, thrifts, estate sales, handmade pieces picked up on travels as well as good quality brands that make items that are will hold up. I feel like your home collection should be a balance of things that create a story of your style, your taste, the life you live and who you are as a person.