A Trip to Europe with My Art
Today I want to share how I ended up being fortunate to be able to travel to Europe with my art. Living in Canada, but originally being from Paris, France, I always felt that it is a great opportunity to work and expand my art on both continents. On a professional level, it is a wise move and on a personal note, it allows me to reconnect with my country of origin in a renewed manner. Before I worked on my art when I would go back to France, it would be a “back to the past” trip. Now I enjoy seeing old friends and family but I am also excited to have networked with an art community and a whole new group of people that speak my language, share my interests and vision of the world.
In January 2012, I went to Paris to: deliver a painting, participate in a filmed interview for the book “Un Nouveau Monde en Marche” (with Laurent Muratet from Alter Eco and Gandhi International) ; meet a new store for my greeting cards and eco jewelry L’Univers d’Esther; take care of my existing stores in France; meet Diane Saunier from Les Arts de l’Eveil (Arts of Awakening), visit galleries with my portfolio; I found a gallery space in a great location right downtown by the Modern Art Museum that will host my art in 2015 for a 2-month show; and I met fellow artists. One of the artist I met was Liba Stambollion. She owns a store in Paris that imports Fair Trade Indonesian furniture and paints very spirited, alive and somewhat surrealist animals and insects. She is an enthusiastic, intelligent, fun and radiant woman and we hit it off immediately. It happened that Liba just wrote a book on visionary art called Dreams and Divinities and to celebrate the launch of the book, she organized an itinerant art show that would go from Toledo, Madrid, Granada and Paris. She invited 54 visionary artists worldwide and I was one of them!
Instead of mailing the painting Our Journey, I chose to bring it myself to the show to be present at the opening in Spain, which is where I am heading as I am writing this. I have been reading in Spanish for the past 6 months to regain my skills; I could speak fluently as I lived in Sevilla for one year during a University exchange with my school of architecture… but it has been 18 years! This past month I have contacted and booked appointments with stores all along the way from Paris to Toledo, hopefully this should pay for all my travelling expenses. To make this possible financially, I will also be using carpooling and couch surfing as I travel.
In Paris, I will be meeting with the core group of Arts de l’Eveil to organize a “Paris Awakening” event to go along with my 2015 solo show and I will also meet other partners that I would like to include in the event (guests speakers that work toward the conscious world change and possibly sponsors to support the initiative).
Everything seems to be unfolding very naturally for me. I remember when I started, just a few years ago, I would look up online what other artists in my field of interest do and I was pretty much looking up at the profiles of the artists that will be at the show in Spain! One of the artists, Lukas Kandl, will be selling his painting for $100,000!
This is one of the things that helped me envision bringing my art oversea:
There is this upscale art show in Toronto called “The Artist Project”, it cost $2,500 minimum for a booth for 4 days. Some artists do very well, but many sell hardly anything hoping for that saviour gallery that will take them away from the life of the starving artist. I was considering doing the show, but then I realised: it cost only $800 to fly to Paris which leaves me with $1,700 for marketing, framing and other expenses. All I had to do is find the space to move this project to a reality, which I did! I hope I am showing other artists that it is not that difficult to think outside the frontiers of our local scene and that to be an international artist, especially nowadays, is a feasible goal.