Interviewer – Marianne Jacobsen
I have been a huge fan of Chloe Trujillo from the moment I was introduced to her art. When I was introduced to her as a person – I realized, she is her art – and with that wherever she goes – it’s a more beautiful place for having her – and her CRU.
With that here is a chat with a friend of mine who is one of the coolest people I have ever met in my life.
CT: Hi! It’s been a crazy morning already!!!!
MGM: Well you have so much going on!!!
CT: Yeah I’ve been offered a few new shows for the surfboards and I only have them spray coated – but now I have this friend that does a proper bio resin coating so the boards can be protected. Every time we carry the boards they get bumps and scratches so I’m constantly fixing them so they are – you know
MGM: Perfect? Because it wouldn’t be yours if it wasn’t perfect?
CT: Yeah I guess.
MGM: Nothing wrong with that!
MGM: K I want to get to the questions and not keep you because I know you are super busy and I could chat with you forever!
MGM: First Question: Weren’t you a P.A. for the Scorpions?
CT: Yes I was. There was a time when I was a student and I hung out with them in the Metro and go to shows all the time because I was such a fan of music. After a while, I started making friends with everybody that worked the shows because I was always there. From promoters to bartenders to club owners – and little by little I would get invitations to go see shows – so that meant I got to see even more shows – so then I didn’t have to pay for them which is good when you are a student.
One time when one of my friends was working the Scorpions show. I was already in attendance at the venue. I think it was that their dressing room person had to go home. They asked me for some reason as I had good English skills, which is needed for that job – So they asked me if I wanted to do it and I said “sure!”. And that’s how it started. From there I got more offers from different bands. The Scorpions its funny, you know, my mother is German so I back then I spoke German, French, and English. Now I have a few others I can add to that.
MGM: Spanish obviously!
CT: Yes, Spanish and a little bit of Japanese I learned in High School. Yes, there is a lot of language here and there that I can feel comfortable to navigate. So yeah, Scorpions were a good time. I went on tour but mostly in France, Belgium, and Germany. I think it was because I had those three languages down that it worked out for me.
MGM: Who or what opened the door to art for you?
CT: Well my dad always listened to rock and roll. Always listen to metal and he would have AC/DC in the car, he loves Jimi Hendrix (who doesn’t? – mj). My dad is a music lover too and he has always had music around us. My mom was more metal than my dad, though.
MGM: Wow! Even that is cool! And as a teenager, you were more of a punk rocker right?
CT: Oh yeah! Yeah! I loved what my dad listened to the Killers album by Iron Maiden I would sit and watch the cassette tape go around and just the design it was like “oh wow” and then I can remember I could see Steve Harris’ name for the songwriting and I thought “Ok that’s STEVE HARRIS! Thinking he is Eddie from the cover of the album.”
Even then I was copying and drawing off the album covers – I loved it and I loved the music too so it’s always been part of my life. I always loved to sing along to all these songs and my dad would bring his musician friends over and one of them worked at Polygram and so he would also whenever he could, if he had tickets for a concert he would always invite my parents and then my parents would take us as kids to see shows.
My parents are both fashion designers. They would have shows and they were always looking for music for their shows too. So they would get music – not necessarily pop music – they would get everything! I can remember one show they had Danzig. It’s a real mix of music!
MGM: Sounds like your parents are cool.
CT: Thanks! Yeah, they are cool! I like them!
MGM: So you are like super number and book smart right?
CT: Well I attended University Marie Currie and it was math, physics, chemistry.
MGM: All the stuff I suck at!!!
CT: You know it’s funny because I still have my notes from these classes. I just got them back 2 years ago – they had been in my Dad’s cellar in Paris and my mom just decided to ship everything to me in a big box. I’m going through it – “what is this for?” but really I think it’s kinda cool to have and it’s so cool to see it.
CHLOE actually goes and gets one of her own notebooks and shows me. The notebook is covered in drawings and band logos such as Kreator.
MGM: Omg look at your penmanship! You have beautiful penmanship!
CT: Oh haha thank you!
MGM: So how do go from being in such an art and culture rich society like Paris, France and end up in America? Where and why did you decide to make the transition?
CT: Ok…so this is sort of a long story. I moved to New York First and then to Los Angeles.
I was very badly assaulted in Paris. I was a random victim of a serial rapist that was in Paris in the neighborhood.
One afternoon I was just going home to my apartment, just dropping some papers off and going to the chiropractor. I can remember what time it was and the duration of the fight. So this guy followed me. It’s like 3 in the afternoon so you’re not or shouldn’t be worried about things like that. Normal day.
It was right in the center of Paris so you don’t expect that kind of thing to be happening. I had entered the apartment and was climbing the staircase and he grabbed my arm and pulled me and we started fighting for around 20 mins. It was crazy because I really thought he was gonna kill me because he was just holding my head and banging it against the staircase saying that if I made any noise he would kill me.I couldn’t see him. I didn’t know if he had a knife or whatever. I knew he wasn’t after my bag/purse because my bag had fallen down the stairs – he could have just run down the stairs and out the door. So he was after something else.
He ripped my pants, I had underwear on luckily and I can remember thinking in that moment, “I’m not gonna let this guy …” and then the adrenaline kicked in and I got so strong! We fought for 20 minutes – it seemed like hours! Eventually, I guess he realized he was not going to get what he wanted from me and he turned around and ran away. So I started chasing after him! My pants are all ripped, my face is all covered in blood. I stopped myself just as I got to the doorway to the street, I realized, “what am I gonna do?”
Next, all my neighbors are chasing after this guy and two women, one took me in her arms and the other called #18 which is equivalent to 911 back in the day in France.
So this is the event that triggered my move from Paris to the U.S. It was a hard time then and I had kind of given up on a lot of things in my life that I loved. So I took that experience as a wake-up call and just reassessing my life and what was important. I could have lost it right there – but I didn’t – so there’s like a purpose, there has to be something.
So as part of my recovery as I refused police “victim assistance” I knew it had to be my own plan. And that is when I opened up a lot to the spiritual tools that I have today. I started learning a bunch of different healing modalities and inner self-work. I realized I had almost given up on painting and singing and all the things that were really important to me.
MGM: So almost like the struggles are what bring beauty from within?
CT: Yeah! Definitely, he kind of helped channel that! In the Springtime a friend contacted me about auditions in New York. And before this happened I would have never said yes, however, the state of mind that I was in, I thought, “What do I have to lose?”
You know how sometimes when you are supposed to do something everything lines up?
Even though the audition was in New York, a relative helped me find an apartment and let me stay there as long as I needed – everything lined up.
From there I did some Cabaret shows in New York and I started to paint again. I am not in any way saying that any of it was easy. I was really hard because I didn’t know anyone and my English – that is another story in itself about where I lived in New York.
MGM: So with your art – do you think it has a lot of emotional reflection in it?
CT: You know in the very beginning when I started painting again after these events. It was really a release of whatever emotions I was feeling inside and now I feel that even more so. It’s really like a channeling. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to paint until my brush is on the canvas.
MGM: I know besides canvases and surfboards you have found a calling to Foulards (fancy name for big beautiful scarves) – what made you choose that medium?
CT: Well the first idea came when I was selling prints of my artwork on my old website, the first version of it – which was supposed to be just artwork. And that’s when it hit me that it would be great to be able to print on something that can be worn – something cool.
CT: Yeah I really believe that us as humans – we all have something that we want to do, something that we desire and I’m not talking about material stuff I’m talking about a purpose, you know.
MGM: Yes! I love the way that each Foulard has its own name! So it is actually a piece of art being worn as an accessory.
CT: The good thing with Foulards or handbag (which Chloe also designs and sells) can really make an outfit. Like you can wear an old shirt and jeans – but when you add a scarf it just adds something special to it.
MGM: Well you have a natural flair for fashion and all things cool Chloe… As I said when I saw your interview on the Playboy Channel – “You are So NOT LA!” How do you cope?
CT: Honestly, you just have to know the right people.
MGM: I remember when I asked you what it’s like to be a “Rock Star Wife”? And you said, “You can only go shopping so many times Marianne before you have to find your own calling.” I never forgot that.
CT: Yeah I really believe that us as humans – we all have something that we want to do, something that we desire and I’m not talking about material stuff I’m talking about a purpose, you know. I know I am guilty of being a chocolate addict. However, a lot of the overeating and over shopping and what you see are maybe buffers for the pain that you have because you have not found – I believe that everybody on the planet has a purpose or some kind of goal or some dreams they want to achieve.
I believe that it is really important to express yourself. I believe that some people have forgotten that maybe – because it’s easy to get caught up. I’m not saying I never get caught up in things.
I find now though that sometimes it is even hard for me to be on vacation from work because work is part of what I do and who I am. I don’t feel complete unless I’m painting or creating. I have a problem putting pressure on myself because there is so much I want to put out that I end up feeling like – there’s so much stuff and so little time! I’ve slowed down a little bit, though. I’ve come to realize that it’s going to come out anyways. Dealing with all the sides of the art including the business can slow down my creativity.
I remember when I asked you what it’s like to be a “Rock Star Wife”? And you said, “You can only go shopping so many times Marianne before you have to find your own calling.” I never forgot that.
MGM: Well – I don’t know about slowing down. Since we met in 2013 you have gone from Foulards to a published author, illustrator, you are now a clothing designer featured in New York, London and Milan Fashion week on top of all the awesomeness that you already are.
CT: You know, thanks for mentioning that because I’m always so hard on myself and I forget my accomplishments.
She moves so fast that by the time this has gone to post – she’s done everything she talked about – and a bit more! Hard to keep track with all this magic happening!