Chloé Baudens known also as Klava is a traveller and an artist. She is passionate about the Slavic culture and open to what the world has to show. On daily basis she lives in Toulouse, France but most of the time she spends on travelling and sketching. I've asked Chloé few questions about how did she start drawing and what are her traveling plans. In between you can find her artwork - more of it you can view on Etsy (and buy some of her works) or access the portfolio on Flickr.
We've met in a hostel in Ulan-Ude in the late evening. You were sketching one of your drawings. What were you doing in Ulan-Ude ?
I was coming from Ulaanbaatar when we met in Ulan Ude. I had spent the last 26 hours on the trans-Siberian playing guitar and partying with the Mongolian students traveling to Irkutsk. Knowing I was going to meet these guys again, I wanted to give them an illustration of our journey seen by a foreigner.
That drawing has been the first one of many others!
Why Mongolia and Russia ? What in particular do you find interesting in these countries ?
I fall in love with Russia when I was a child. As a little girl, the Saint Basil Cathedral on postcards looked like a mountain of lollies. As soon as I turned 20, had saved enough money, I made my way through Europe and Russia. One there, I lived one of the most beautiful experience of my life in Krasnoyarsk climbing and living with locals in the Siberian Stolby forest part of Altai. Since, I have never stopped being passionate about my Slavic culture and traditions. I spent the last two years working in Sydney and spending my free time travelling around. When it felt time to come back to Europe, I decided to reach Europe traveling through Siberia for the second time. I wanted to come back and discover the Baikal lake this time, but also I knew Siberia would have considerably changed in the last 5 years. I have not been disapointed! Visiting Mongolia is part of a different story. With China, they were the last two countries I was missing out of the Silk Road! It was time to fix that for the good sake of Marco Polo!
Having seen so many places, what is your most daring dream of a destination to visit ?
Of course, Bering Strait. Have at look at the Bering Strait crossing project, is not it outrageous? What Jules Verne mentions in his book “César Cascabel” published in 1890 will may be existed in 2045!! I can not wait!
That looks challenging ! Changing the subject a bit.. How did you start drawing ? How did this passion emerge ?
I don’t remember when I exactly started drawing. I guess I started painting with colored pencils like every kid, at the nursery. This passion of mine probably emerged when I was watching my dad painting and drawing, He draws on every support he can find. At home, a sculpture was usually made out from the butter or a giraffe appeared on a wooden cheese package. When I create, I can choice to be a child, a lady or a traveller…
What kind of a traveler are you ?
The one who is travelling with a mascara, hairdressing scissors, the tiniest bag possible and watercolor painting.
The one who forgot her trekking shoes, Swiss knife, ultra thin and light clothes, map, compass and the last reflex camera!
What's your next trip ?
I am actually travelling at the moment. I drove to Montpellier yesterday morning to meet up with an old Slovak mate I met while I was studying in Bratislava and a Japaneese friend I met about 8 years ago in Lithuania! We were picking apples together in a remote monastery near Kaunas. She reminded me that we used to shower with the frogs in there! Today, I am in Lyon for the Festival of Light.
Otherwise, the next trip? I will decide when I get a job!
Thank you Chloé, it was a pleasure to talk with you.
All drawings, images and photographs in this article are copyrighted (c) by Chloé Baudens also appearing by the name Klava. All rights reserved. The materials have been used under the author's consent.