Interview pour le magazine AlteRnaTive Trends – Automne 2008
I am originally from Paris, France, where I graduated as an architect. I met a Canadian, Dolphin, in Morocco where we were both backpacking around. Three years later we were married with three children! Dolphin had a job that he didn’t enjoy and we both wanted more out of life than a normal job and a pay cheque.
Having the kids was the major inspiration for changing our lives. We took a radical step and after a discussion on the last night of parental leave with our twins we decided that he would quit his job the next morning.
The entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and we were doing whatever we could to survive. Two successful businesses grew out of this, Sprouts For Life, a certified organic sprout business (that we finally sold) and The Funky Clothesline, a hand dyed and painted line of clothes that we still sell at festivals and craft shows throughout Ontario.
Being home and learning business skills out of necessity gave me the time and the tools to bring my art out and into the world.
Why did you get into the industry?
For me being creative and making a living with my art is a reflection of a life that has some freedom. That is probably the main motivation that brought me to the arts. Creating the life of the artist has been the main work. Each image drawn comes up spontaneously and seems to arise from first organizing a life that allows the space for it to manifest.
In our home by a river on the Canadian shield we have quiet winters and time for introspection and creativity. Observing and understanding ourselves has been the basis for everything we do in our lives and allows the inner ‘seeds’ to ‘flower’.
Did anyone inspire you or do you have a mentor?
I am fascinated by simple and symbolic imagery from various cultures throughout history. I like strong lines, vivid colours and images that defy time, that feel like they always have been here, that have beauty because of their simplicity. I have a fascination for ancient and sacred forms of art. To me they have the same power as the simple beauty we find in nature, perfect symmetry, incredible colors and intricate geometry. This kind of beauty moves me deeply, transforms me, it has an effect that I can’t put in words. In the truest sense nature is my mentor and source of inspiration; the closer we come to live with nature, in the physical and also deep sense of the word, the happier we are and the more harmony we feel inside and have in our lives. From this I explore healing and spiritual themes that manifest in symbolic and archetypal images in my artwork.
How long have you been doing this?
I always liked drawing and painting but the first truly inspired paintings arose ten years ago around the time when my twins were born and we quit our regular job. I finally ‘came out in the world’ with my art only two and a half years ago when I felt ready. I feel like I am just starting; it’s really exciting to see it happening and unfolding!
What do you feel makes you stand out from the rest?
My images are unique, stark, colourful and most of all meaningful. In this excessively over abundant western world we live in I am happy to contribute to the movement that is trying to put our bare feet back on the earth. Sharing this artistic gift with others has allowed me to come into contact with a great number of people in a meaningful manner which is a wonderful reward in itself. My images are like a unique language that communicates my insights and understanding that I discover from life lessons and challenges.
What have been your challenges, if any?
Taking the step to share and present one’s art to the world does take work; it takes a lot of determination, dedication, vision, and commitment. If I put too much energy into the business side of things though, I lose the main point which is to create; so the real challenge is to balance all these areas of living. Really being an artist became for me the ‘art of living’ and it is the best ‘job’ – or play! – I can imagine having.
What do you feel is your specialty, if you have one?
Right from the start I have been transferring my images onto brass, silver and semi-precious stones. With these art medallions I create a wide and eclectic line of jewelry.
Working on my art is not just about painting, it’s a form of communication, a relationship I have with the world. In reproducing the images on innovative, sensitive and beautiful mediums, people can have unique and meaningful images, wearable art, that they connect to from their own life experience.
What’s new or cutting edge in your opinion?
As I am going through the process of opening up different subject matters and bringing them to the world I realize how important artists are for the whole society. I never used to see that. I realize now that being an artist is not just about creating paintings to hang over the pretty couch but is also to convey ideas, open debates and sometimes push boundaries.
Anything else you would like to share?
Because of the way I have been brought up I never saw myself as an artist and would never have dared to imagine myself making a living from it. I met many people that have gone off the main path to pursue and fulfill their heart’s calling. The trade off from loosing some level of comfort and security -at least at first- is well worth it. I am proud to present to our children and others an open view of life that holds endless possibilities.