Nature edition: Meet the artist Perrine Honoré

Come and find out about Perrine Honoré, an artist who took part in the Nature edition.


Can you introduce yourself in a few words? Where are you from? What are you passionate about?

My name is Perrine Honoré, and I come from the south of France, from a village near Nice. I've been based in Barcelona for eight years now, and that's where I started my artistic career.



What's your background? 

I went to fashion school in Sweden because I've always loved sewing - it's one of my main hobbies, along with pottery. However, I really enjoy exploring other, quite different media. The fashion world wasn't necessarily for me, so I decided to make a change and go into graphic design at a school near Paris. After I graduated, I went to Barcelona to do a Master's degree, which was very theoretical and focused on design research. I realised that I spent all my time drawing, and Barcelona is where I started going to galleries to show my work. In the meantime, I decided to open an Instagram account as well, because I thought if I wanted to make a living from what I so loved doing, I had to show my work. One thing led to another, and I immediately felt at home with urban and street art. Urban art echoes a lot of what I feel and what I want to convey through art, because it's generous, there's interaction, and the entire creative process is visible. Through urban art, we leave a little piece of ourselves in a given context. 

I also work on lots of different media, not only because I love exploring but also because it's essential to diversify your activity if you want to make a living. My work includes an activity book for children, textile designs, and a number of collaborations and art performances.

Do you also do voluntary work?

Yes, I do more community work, such as in hospitals, but I also try to bring people together through art. What I like about my job is that when we arrive, it's essentially for the fun part. The fun, for instance, of decorating an office, or working with children to create a mural... it's really great to see all this bring so much joy.

What are your sources of inspiration?

When I was a student, I was quite obsessed with Aztec, tribal, African, and Australian art - I've also always been very attracted to colour. One thing led to another, and I started to get interested in other painters, but it's true that everything Spanish appealed to me, which is one of the reasons why I decided to go to Spain to do my Master's degree. There's also a very Mediterranean edge to what I do and what I like.

Have you taken part in any other collaborations?

It's a fairly recent departure for me because I was working mainly with cultural organisations at the start, but brands have been contacting me for about two years now.  It was both extremely exciting and a bit stressful because of the ethical conflicts that come into play depending on the brand. You have to make the right choices to stay yourself. At the moment, I'm very true to myself; I don't mind turning down collaborations at all.

The collaboration with Opinel is perfect for this because nature is the subject that brings all my values together. Then, having visited the premises, I realised that all the things you say are not just surface values: they are at the core of the brand.

How did you come up with the idea for the designs on the knives?

 I like to work in a register where both figurative and abstract come together because I like to give everyone room for interpretation. I find it interesting that people have the power to make an image their own and that everyone can tell themselves a bit of a story. Given that there is a volume and that there is no real sense of looking at the image, I made it like a firework where the image has no specific structure. The idea came to me quite spontaneously; I'd done some sketches of different elements like flowers, animals and plants. The feedback I got from Camille (the Art By Friends artistic director) was to merge the three proposals, and I tried to find complementary colours that would stand out on the wooden handle. I sent in my design without doing a mock-up, and Camille gave me positive feedback. Everything clicked straight away in terms of positioning and colours... This is undoubtedly because my work is quite modular and allows the process to be simplified.

What do you like most about your job?

Everything! But a big part I appreciate is the infinite freedom in the field of possibilities. With illustration, we can draw whatever we want, even things that don't exist - there are no limits. I've always had a vivid imagination; I could spend eight hours in my room on my own when I was little; I was in a world of my own.

What I like most of all is travelling, meeting new people and never being stuck in a routine. Ultimately, it's all about letting yourself be carried along by the opportunities that come your way. 

Do you have a preference for one of our Opinels?

Well, I fell in love at first sight today with the little Opinel N°02 keyring, which is incredibly cute. I love it! But originally, I liked the N°08 because that's the one I was given. 

N°08 Stainless Steel

The must-have N°08 carbon steel knife has a beech wood handle.

Available in our stores 

What made you want to work with Opinel?

In our family, there's a real sentimental link with Opinel. We had a family home near Lake Annecy, so there's always been this link with Savoie, and we're a family that's very keen on hiking, excursions and nature... There's also been a lot of scouting, and Opinel is part of a scout's life.

The Opinel was a very symbolic gift in my family when I was a teenager because, in a youngster's mind, they realise they're becoming a grown-up, so it's time to learn how to handle a knife. We've all had a knife in our family; it was a sort of custom.  And my father recently sent me a photo of his N°13, which he got when he was 10 and which is now 50 years old. And now, he's very proud to say that the name Honoré will go down in Opinel history. 

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