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Carolyn Lorraine

Carolyn styles the Elsie Tunic and Della Pant in black linen.

Chicago artist and photographer Carolyn Lorraine caught my eye a while back with her dreamy photos and impeccable style. I caught up with Carolyn to talk about life, inspiration, and creating.

All images by Carolyn Lorraine.

When do you feel most inspired to create?

Inspiration for me comes from many different sources and at different times throughout the year. Most of the time, I find inspiration through music, as well as looking at inspiring images curated by other artists.


Your style is so ethereal. Describe what you’re drawn to.

Thank you so much. Nature and minimalism are two things that I'm drawn to and they resonate with me during my creative process.

Can you describe any item you own (garment or object) that holds special meaning?

In 2017, I took a trip to South Korea with my family where my sister currently resides. While there, I purchased an evergreen wool coat that I absolutely love. I wear it every year and to me, its the most warmest and beautiful garment I've ever owned because it reminds me of a happy time. It was my first time traveling abroad—words can't express how excited and nervous I was for the experience. Ultimately, I had an amazing time in South Korea.

"My fellow women inspire and influence me to the fullest. I was raised by a single mother and through that, I witnessed the true strength of a woman."

What are you passionate about, and how does that influence you in your day-to-day?

I'm passionate about the earth and our environment—it's one of the reasons why I've become committed to a minimalist/sustainable and ethical lifestyle. Along with that, my fellow women inspire and influence me to the fullest. I was raised by a single mother and through that, I witnessed the true strength of a woman. All in all, I'm always curious and excited to get to know other women who have created businesses with the same ideas and philosophies that I believe in.


Have you read any books recently that you would recommend?

Lately, I've been collecting random books that are relevant to what I'm feeling at the moment. It's never a thought-out thing—I usually end up in a bookstore when I have some downtime, and recently, I ended up purchasing a book called Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, who was an entrepreneur who founded the company Zappos. Also, I just recently finished reading an informative book called South Side: Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Y. Moore. It provides an in-depth analysis about the formulation of segregation, as well as its impact on people of color.

Who has been a guiding force in your life?

My significant other, James, has been a big help and very supportive with everything I've been trying to accomplish in my creative life. Sometimes, I'm too critical of my work, and from time to time, I can spiral down into a rabbit hole of negative self-talk. However, James helps to reassure me that everything is coming along the way that it should be.

How do you practice self care?

Yoga sessions help to ease my mind and body. Also, I put aside time to watch my favorite Korean dramas—I've been watching them since I was a teenager, so they always help to put me in a good mood. Listening to music always helps to soothe the soul.

What are your most played songs currently? 

Lately, I've had a very eclectic taste in music. I've been into a lot of Bossa nova, Desert Blues, and Saharan-African Music. My most-played songs are "As Gotas" by Rosalia De Souza, "Diariamente" by Marisa Monte, and  "Kalamoujar" by Etran Finatawa. 

What brings you joy?

Nothing else matters than my happiness and peace of mind. How I try to achieve that in life, is by creating meaningful art in hopes of inspiring other women—it means the world to me.

Find Carolyn at @carolyn.lorraine or

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