Je Suis Trop!
TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH
Originally a “line” from the improvised, bilingual madness that was Frenchie Friday during Lockdown Level 4 in 2020 (see my Instagram stories or #frenchieseams for explanation), “je suis trop” was brought into being for my sister Kate as a birthday present this year.
The Je Suis Trop SUMMER EDITION TEE is now available.
It means “I am too much” in French and is pronounced like this. There’s a French R sound in there. Sorry, I know that’s hard. Frenchie was absolutely too much. An outrageous, weird, very personal, life-affirming thing to do, choosing to morph into a pidgin-French-speaking cross between Julia Child and a brunette Brigitte Bardot every Friday afternoon made my Level 4 isolation less, well, isolated.
Apparently it helped a bunch of other people who turned to Instagram for entertainment and distraction during that time. If you were a fan of Frenchie, thank you so much for your AMOUR! It kept me turning up and wanting to make classic French things... . I remember Pierre Gordon's paté was pretty intense to make but I ended up eating it ALL myself over two days. Not recommended by health professionals on the internet. They're probably not French.
I'll get around to editing some highlights together one day (will I? I really don't know; there's a LOT of content) but in the meantime...THIS is how you can keep Frenchie in your life! Parisians are renowned for their strength of character. Be like the Parisians.
My sister Kate and I love this design and we want you to have it, too. Especially if you’re “a lot”. We are. We see you. We want MORE, merci beaucoup!
The cursive writing is all mine. I decided to learn how to write nicely a few years ago after being introduced to the work of legendary drawing teacher Betty Edward. Her system of "drawing on the right side of the brain" has influenced the way I make art, and her ideas about the importance of handwriting have stuck with me. I was never proud of my handwriting at school. I could always draw and nailed all my Art assessments but my teenage written hand wasn't particularly elegant. As an adult, I wanted to change that.
Je Suis Trop was drawn with my finger tip in Adobe Fresco on my trusty iPad. It was then machine-stitched with care by the embroidery team at Positive Image in Newton, Auckland, Nouvelle Zélande. The team cuts out a special foam inlay and then embroiders over the top of it to give the script a 3D-profile. It’s fiddly (I'm really grateful to them for going this extra mile) but it looks LUXE.
After I did the first run of sweaters, people asked for screenprinted tees. Summer came and they got their wish. I rearranged my hand-written artwork and put it on old school black and bright-as red tees. Kate has shared these with her community and the Je Suis Trop message is spreading far and wide.
In the words of my fave electronic duo, Bob Moses:
Too much is never enough for me.