Thursday, January 6, 2011

Janeen Koconis -- portrait of an artist and friend

Janeen is the propriétaire of the lovely apartment you saw on my recent post. She is a delightful former New Yorker who sold everything and moved to Paris three years ago with a few black t-shirts and jeans (and 200 books!) She created a thriving business called koco new york in 1989 the idea of which was "to bring meaning to the common greeting card and art into everyday life." She is both artist and author and her story sounds like a dream.

The apartment is exquisite and filled with her original art, much of which can be seen in the gallery exhibits on her website. She lives in the adjoining apartment and maintains two rooms of working studios. Holly and I enjoyed getting to know this talented artist who has adopted Paris as her own. There were many baguettes and glasses of wine (bottles?) during our time with Janeen... lots of screaming laughter, giggling until our sides hurt. Needless to say, we will be back.

Mary and Virginia should be there right now for the week!


Harman said...

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Shell Sherree said...

What a beautiful smile! You can see Janeen's stylish as well as creative. What a lovely time you've had!

Louis la Vache said...

hee hee...
And «Louis» notices that as a bonus, she's a Mac person!

Kristin said...

Hi! I'm so glad you visited me! I love Paris too. Actually I just found out I'm going there in March. Just can't wait! People say it's the most romantic city in the world and after having been there twice I couldn't agree more. I'm so looking forward to follow your blog along! Have a beautiful day!

Kristin xo

Cezar and Léia said...

She is adorable and very talented!I visited her website, and it's very impressive!
Congratulations to her!

Nina said...

Oh how wonderful. Her life does seem a dream!!! Thank you for this post. I was so curious!

Amanda said...

i love how you travel, and the people you meet. thanks for introducing us to Janeen - her life sounds like a dream come true - isn't it lovely when people actively participate in making their dreams a reality?

happy new year, dear genie♡

p.s. love your new foto!!

Jack said...

She has a good life, doesn't she. Living the dream.

James said...

Oh how I envy her. :)

Virginia said...

Oui, we are right here in Janeen's fabulous apartement and couldn't be happier. janeen is a delight. If I didn't know better I'd swear she was from the south! :))

I brought her over so she could read your dear blog today. She was so thrilled!

Alexa said...

Louis -- of course she's a Mac person—she's an artist!
And no wonder she's smiling—she's managed to do what most of us are too chicken to even attempt—and good for her!

Starman said...

She looks like the kind of person who would be great fun.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Harman -- Thank you for visiting my blog

Shell -- She is a genuine person full of talent and heart, now a wonderful friend!

Louis -- Yes, there are a lot of Mac people roaming the earth, n'est-ce pas?

Kristin -- Please come again... I'm glad that you like the blog and how fun to be returning to Paris in March!

Léia -- I read the sites before I arrived and was very impressed with her drive and her accomplishments. I was not prepared from "my research" for the warm, engaging artist Janeen

Nina -- She seems perfectly suited to this life as an ex-pat, comfortable with Paris and all that it has to offer

Amanda -- If I spoke 7 languages I could do better in other countries. It is hard to "meet people" when you do not speak Czech or Portuguese. It does not keep me from trying with sign language and a few native words (Thanks about the profile photo)

Jack -- Yes, but knowing her now, it took considerable hard work to establish her business in the US and some risk (!) to cut ties and move to Paris. She spent 6 months at the Sorbonne in a crash course of French, probably the biggest challenge.

James -- I think that I can live vicariously through this new friend with her adventures and successes without leaving all that I know to transplant permanently to Paris. It was a perfect move for her however.

Virginia -- You know, darlin', I felt the same way except she did not have that Southern accent. Have fun mes amies!

Alexa -- You are exactly right and I know that there have been some challenging moments over the 3+ years in Paris but she has resilience and resolve - yay, Janeen!

Starman -- Looks and "is" -- Hope you are doing well!