We’re expanding our series and taking you the reader to the gorgeous city of Paris, a city full of creative, cultured and talented artists. We talk to Tiggy Thorn, a club kid who turns out incredibly well-executed looks. Read on to see how his visions come to life, the most creative creations, the French drag scene and the wonderful Kindergarten party full of artistic people.
Dragadventures: How did you get started in the drag scene, what inspired you to make it the career you have today?
Tiggy Thorn: I started by just going out and having fun in the Parisian queer night scene, then started to meet some drag (there were so few at the time!) and found out slowly that I wanted to be a part of it! I’m not sure about calling what I do with Tiggy a “career” Tiggy is my way to express myself in an artistic way and to create a reflexion around the body and the gender. I was in need of a way to create and explore and everything came in place pretty naturally.
DA: What’s your favorite part about performing as Tiggy? Is there any part of your drag persona you make sure to include in your off-drag life?
TT: Well, first of all, I do consider myself a clubkid and not a drag queen; as far as I love drag, and as far as the lines between the two are getting super blurry, I don’t really feel the need to be « feminine » in my artistic process. It’s more about getting out of my brain a fantasy character that has no defined gender.
I’m also not performing a lot actually, I like to think what I do more as a project, I go out, I get drunk, I dance or I smoke cigarettes, in the club like a regular person just enjoying the party! Although, I do host a lot and I just love to talk to people: you have this totally different approach when you’re dressed up and people are so much open to laugh and have fun with you because they don’t feel threatened by you.
Nowadays everybody is scared of everybody, suspicious, we are all so obsessed by our image and the way others see ourselves that it’s way more easy to have a simple contact with a creature than with other ‘human beings’. Which is pretty sad. This is actually the part of Tiggy I like to include in my off-club kid life; being confident in talking to anybody without feeling threatened by them, being open to meet new people. Most of the time when you feel threatened by someone he/she actually feel as threatened by you so be the smart one and go talk first, it can lead to beautiful friendships.
DA: Your drag is essentially a work of art with the amount of detail that is exhibited. How do you go about concepts when designing costumes?
TT: I have different ways of working, it can be a big theme that I want to explore or just a color/a material that I want to work with. Inspiration is everywhere so you just have to be open to it all the time, I take a LOT of photos of everything I see that I like (my iPhone albums are a mess) and I always have a notebook and about 35 pens in my bag because I keep losing them. I sketch a lot of different things and at the end of the day, maybe 1% of what I draw take to life. I think it’s super important to edit your ideas and just keep the best of the best, mixing them, to have pure idea juice.
I also work closely with an amazing photographer @ranobrac and a super costume designer/3D artist @kaan.has who help me to keep on working in a smart way and who are not afraid to tell me when I’m doing shit. I think it’s important to have friends around you who can help you go as far as they know you can go.
DA: Without a doubt your makeup is incredible, do you have anyone or anything, in particular, influencing you?
TT: I’m inspired by a lot of people, mainly by the whole queer scene in Paris, if you don’t know the Paris queer scene you should really look it up, it’s getting big and all the people who are working here are so different and so interesting. Paris is very varied and clubkids/drag are really not afraid to showcase who they are. That is actually so motivating you should get influenced by the people surrounding you before searching across the globe, get the energy of your own city, your own friends! In a more general way, I’m influenced by first art (masks and sculptures), simple and graphic lines, made such a long time ago yet so contemporary, mixed with a very Japanese-kawaii energy. I always loved bright and punchy colors, faux fur and textures, child toys, stuffed animals… I like to have fun when I’m creating Tiggy and I always want people to have fun watching me.
DA: In the makeup aspect of drag how did you get involved in creating bolder looks?
TT: As I was saying I don’t really see myself as a drag queen so there’s that (laughing) Although, I don’t feel like I’m creating « bolder looks », I do me, I’ve always loved colors and stuffed animals as I said so it’s just a natural path for me to work this way. I would feel super awkward being a super fishy queen, not that I have anything against that, it’s just not me. You should always do what your gut tells you to do, even if it’s not ultra « fashionable ». For me club kids and drag is not about fashion, it’s about creating your own parallel identity who tell a story about you.
DA: There are a lot of younger people who are incredibly talented in the makeup industry – what advice would you give to those who are starting out or feel they could never get to a confident level?
TT: Does that means I’m an old cunt now? The only advice I can give is to be true to your own vision, you don’t have to do pretty, you don’t have to do fashion, you don’t have to do perfect the only thing you have to do is to do you. When I look at a creature I like to see a project, to see a point of view, to see a difference. It’s dumb as fuck to try to cover what you have with codes when we should not be controlled by any rules. You don’t need to put pressure on yourself because it’s supposed to be your way of expression just go for it and do whatever you like to showcase.
DA: Out of all the fantastic looks you’ve showcased, which one have you loved the most be it through the conception or the finished product?
TT: This is super hard because I’ve been wearing each look for a different event, either a gay pride, a party… So in my mind, they are all really connected to memories so they are all really special. In a plastic way, I think that the one I like the most is the one with all the plastic bubbles, it’s super simple yet it was very effective and everybody thought it was real balloons. The one I have the best memories with is probably the yellow one with the stuffed flowers on top because it’s the one I wore one year ago at the first Kindergarten party (the queer and club kid party that I co-created with @lemarmoset in Paris), it was an incredible night, so rewarding after we worked for almost 6 months on the concept!
DA: The Kindergarten party has been a success, how did the idea come about and what were you most excited about regarding the launch?
TT: That was a good transition wasn’t it. The party actually exists for a year now! We celebrated our birthday in September. The idea actually came from my friend Marmoset who was searching for somebody to create it with him so I went for it! It’s working super well because we both have totally different profiles, he’s working with the DJs and the club directly and I’m the artistic director; we are also working with an incredible collective of great people too, like @klaus_wiekind, @anna.nnss, @jacquichmele, @ranobrac, @laviedabdel, @pfldu16 etc. If you pass by Paris don’t hesitate to come say hi!
DA: The French drag scene is full of incredible talent, with it varying from chic to club kid. Do you feel French drag is more art/culture aesthetic wise when compared to say UK drag?
TT: Well, that would be a pretty shady thing for me to say. I don’t think the French clubkid/drag scene has a more art/culture aesthetic than the UK, I do love the UK scene too! The story is that in France we have a very long history of burlesque but that’s quite all it’s been approximately six or seven years that the clubkid/drag club scene really started to grow and now it’s getting bigger every day. Paris is full of super creative people and I think the UK is full of amazing people too. When we’ll have a little more money it’s actually super possible that we can get people from the UK come and perform at the Kindergarten Party.
DA: Who do you think our readers should keep an eye out for in the French drag scene?
TT: Well, all of us! The scene here is really interesting and we all have very different aesthetics and ways of working. If I had to pick 3, probably @cookie_kunty because she’s one of my closest friends and an incredibly hardworking and creatively limitless person. Then @klaus_wiekind because his work is so precise and visually fascinates me. And @le_filip because she’s the funniest cunt I’ve met (also kinda pretty too sometimes).
DA: What would you love to happen in the future, are there any future projects in the pipeline?
TT: I’d love to be able to move Kindergarten in other cities or even other countries, that would be the ultimate dream. I do have a lot of projects going on, especially one big but I can’t talk about it right now 😉 stay tuned!
Stay tuned in and updated with Tiggy Thorns social media below: