Chrissy and I first met when she was facilitating the ‘Colour in Architecture Award’ for WAN AWARDS back in 2016 in London. I burst into the room late (having sat on a tube in a tunnel for what felt like ages) and the first thing I saw was this flame of red hair. I instantly knew this was going to be fun! And we have been friends ever since.
One colour we associate with Christmas is red so I thought who better to have on The Colour Couch this month than Chrissy Red – yes, that’s her name! She shares her love of colour and of course her love of red, what life would mean to her without colour and she shares some simple ways to bring colour into your life if you don’t know where to start.
What is your earliest colour memory?
My first most serious conversation about colour was with my Nana. I can very clearly remember her chatting with me when I was about 7 or 8 years old. She declared that colour should be worn widely and proudly. Especially on “young ones” as she put it. She said “lovely colourful colours, ‘uplift’ young ones. I don’t believe in kids wearing colours such as black, it’s too heavy and drags you down. Black should be worn by adults” I remember this clearly and having it resonate with me. Funnily enough, I never once saw her wear black and she had a strong connection to blues and in particular navy and light blues. Perhaps it ignited something in me or perhaps I never really grew out of my love for bright colours.
What does colour mean to you?
Life. Quite literally, I could not imagine a world without it. Colour feels like it’s in me on a cellular level. Perhaps being a little colourfully dramatic, but without it it’d be like you’ve removed oxygen. Colour uplifts me so much. I believe I would be pretty depressed and a very different person without it. Anything or anywhere, that has brave or unusual uses or blending of colour, has me attracted to it like some sort of colour Magpie.
Do you have a favourite colour or a colour that you find yourself constantly drawn to? And why?
Red, probably because it helped make me connect with an identity within myself that had been previously hidden. Although as I’m in my 40’s my colour love is entirely dependent on what I need. E.g. returning to the greens of nature to recalibrate I have such a strong love for different colours, all for very different reasons so it is no longer ‘a love of one colour at a time for extended periods’ anymore.
Do you have a colour that you least like? And why?
Browns. I am totally in love with this on retro furniture, crockery, lamp shades but 100% not to wear. Whenever I am convinced by someone else to ‘try it on’, I just want to take it off immediately. I have a real personal block towards this colour within clothing. I absolutely adore it on others, but when I put it on, it feels like it doesn’t vibrate within my energy field or something. It’s weird, but powerful. (Like opposing ends of magnets, it has to come off as quick as it went on) But who knows! Maybe that’ll change as relationships with colour have evolved throughout my life.
What do you think your life would be like without colour?
Answering this question has been the most challenging for me, probably because it literally strikes fear into me, to even begin to imagine a life without colour. I sit and think about this and my mind goes blank as if it’s self-protecting. It’s as if I’ve just been asked to answer what happens to us after we die. A world compiling of light and darks only, after living in colour is the removal of pretty much all joy. It would be the equivilant to me, of having oxygen removed from the planet. I can’t even mentally fathom it, but this is as good of an answer I can do to begin sharing what it might be like.
Were you ever afraid or wary of colour? And what did you do to overcome this?
I’m not sure that I’ve ever been afraid or wary of a colour, it’s more about how a colour makes me feel. I do know that browns in any colour when they are on my body, just don’t ‘feel’ right. It feels ‘heavy’ to me, like it has a high dose of ‘grounding’ within it, but way too much for my person. Not that I have a hatred at all of this colour as I love it in other places (furniture + interiors for example) but in a way kind of like Kryptonite is for Superman/Girl. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, but I am open to this changing one day as all my relationships with colour have.
If you could pick any colour and give it a name, what would that be?
RAINBOW 100%. This is because of what it represents to me but mainly for the joy it brings me visually. Also because it is the colour of PRIDE which is and has been extremely close to my heart since connecting to this event. It reminds me of the good that’s within humanity, the ability that we have to accept and love each other when we put all our ego and bullshit aside. It is a celebration and a place where equality, acceptance and kindness reigns King or Queen.
For anyone afraid of colour what would your number 1 piece of advice be?
In regards to wanting to add more colour to your wardrobe, pick a starting point with a colour that you are comfortable with or you’ve been secretly tempted by. Even if it comes in the form of adding an accessory. Accessories are a great way to allow colour to enter into your life and for you to begin relationships with them. I have a yellow bag that I bought that I wasn’t overly attached to and liked the shape more than anything, now I LOVE the banana bag and it’s colour is now my main attachment to it. I now throw bravely at an outfit that on paper it shouldn’t go with, and it does and it’s a liberating feeling! Colour bravery grows and a relationship solidifies for me, once I’ve bonded with the colour. I believe that it’s about always making yourself available to being open to colour, but ideally wearing what makes you feel good. Colours definitely have their own specific energies, so it’s what resonates with you most and only you can decide this. Colour is an incredibly personal choice and I think this is due to the emotional impact it can have.
Which colourful person do you most admire and would love me to interview for the On the Colour Couch series?
A friend recently directed me towards an Instagram Influencer who works with colour. Their Instagram feed is like a colour drug for my eyes! Katy Kay from Instant Goddess has a divine colour palette that being a colour Magpie, I am drawn in by. I would love to hear more about her relationship with bright, beautiful colours! Another brand that I recently discovered which is supportive of women who are 40+ and base themselves around empowering women through colour and sustainable clothing is Woolovers either of these two I would be dead keen to hear more about!
It’s wonderful to see that Chrissy used colour to connect back to her true self and now that she feels this connection is exploring bring more colour into her life. That’s the wonder of colour. It’s a personal journey of self discovery for the brightest and the more subtle of us.
Right now, as part of my supporting small and fledging businesses, Chrissy is one such business. She has worked largely for well-known global brands and works with international clients. With a desire to empower others using her 13+ years of marketing experience, she has chosen to support colourful small businesses, creatives, and innovative thinkers and very recently stepped out with @redpunksocial.
Wishing you a colourful day,