HOW I WAS BORN

 

I spent 6 years in art school learning to think creatively, discovering materials and experimenting with them, and figuring out my artistic appetites. From that, I hoped to find my style and produce work which would be true to me. When I came out of art school at 23, I could feel I hadn’t nailed it yet. In retrospect I think I was probably 80% of the way there, but still I wasn’t making work which I knew would stand the test of time for myself. So when, soon after college, the opportunity to do something different came up, I followed that lead and went off the art road. This is how I started working for a video games developer, where I eventually founded and headed a translation & dubbing team. I had great fun for most of the five years that I worked there, and I learned a lot about a side of life which I would never have encountered had I remained seated at my studio bench that whole time. But after a while, I started longing for something else.

I quit my job in January 2013, with no plan to find another job. I wanted to go back to art and I had started drawing again, but I wanted to go further and rethink my lifestyle and my priorities. I spent a few months on my couch with my cat Artémis, reading and learning a lot. When summer came, I decided to go and spend some time on the West Coast. I was longing for the ocean and wilderness, but I also wanted to do something meaningful while I was away. For me, that meant volunteering on a small organic farm producing food for a small community. I could feel that that was the lifestyle that was appealing to me, and so I flew to Thetis Island, where I had found a farm that I could live and work at for the summer season.

A few weeks after arriving at the farm, I started drawing like I had never before. Work flew out of me as if some force which had been bottled up for years was finally exploding and running free again. And it was work that I was happy with, that felt true. This marked the beginning of a new artistic life for me. In a way, this year at the farm was my year 0 as an artist, and I understand now that everything before then had been leading to what was going to come out from that point on.

Up the tree

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