Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Marie-Chantale Turgeon

Marie-Chantale emailed me recently to let me know about her work. Marie-C lives and work in Montreal, Canada, and is an art director, web designer, illustrator and painter all rolled in one! She has done web design for many clients within the music industry (Universal Records, Deutsche Grammophon) and has illustrated for clients such as Skirt! Magazine (USA), Figurati magazine (Brasil) and the Fox 2003 day planner. She is now into building meïdia, a creative studio where she teams up with collaborators to offer different services relating to new web technologies such as blogging and podcasting.

Whew! Wonder where she finds all the time and energy to do all that! And if this is not enough, she also recently self published her first book, First Thoughts on life, blogging and the creative process. I was so blown away and inspired by Marie that I could not resist finding out more about her through an email interview and sharing it on laissezfaire.


1. What made you start as an illustrator? How long have you been drawing?
My dad was a graphic designer for the local newspaper, he had his creative corner in our house's basement, and my mom loved fashion - she had fashion magazines hanging around the house, and since i could not read, looking at pictures is what i loved most.

As far as i can remember, that's how it all started at around age 7, by playing around with a pencil and creating my own magazines, cutting in my mom's fashion magazines on my dad's drawing table!

2. Can you describe your design process?
With time i learned (and i'm still experimenting!) to follow my feelings and intuitions. I work when i feel like, and if i dont, i allow myself to nap, go out for a walk, read and so on until inspiration is there. Usually ideas come when i write in the morning, when i relax or play around, when i'm out for a coffee alone or a walk.

I've been working for design agencies for quite a while, and i've quit this 9 to 5 world 4 years ago to be able to live at my own rhythm. To find and live with your own rules is something quite scary, but how much exciting and rewarding, i love it!

3. What is your typical day like?
It depends a bit on the season, here in Quebec we have a short but intense summer, and a long and cold winter, but i usually get up around 8h. This time is for me the most precious thing in the world - my phone is off, and i try not to rush to my computer to read emails (this is the hardest!!). So from 8h to 10h i'll often take time for myself to write. I write a lot, i have a 'private' diary and another journal from which come my books and blog entries. These 2 hours are the most important ones since i get many ideas from this quiet time.

Then from 11h to 15h i do all the stuff that has to be done, like reading blogs (!), emails, stuff to send out, bills, client work and so on.

Most of the time i stop around 15h, because my energy is getting low around that time, and its not worth to try to work. I take this time to go either for a coffee, for a long walk, or at the gym (this makes me really proud of myself and gives me energy - even if i dont like it that much!).

Evenings are often spent finishing stuff i want to finish for this day, or working on fun stuff, or reading. I do not watch tv, i think it's one of the worse invention - it drive all humans afraid, crazy and lazy instead of giving them the guts they need to realize their potential. But i like to cuddle in bed with my boyfriend, our 2 cats, and a good dvd :)

4. Can you tell me a little more about your book? What made you start on it, what is it all about etc...?
My last book just happened, i dont know exactly how. I just realized that i had too much that i wished to share, and that my blog could not be the right medium to hold all of that stuff. And since i write and love to draw, sheets of paper just started to pile over each other until i decided to make a book out of them.

The other reason, as the book is about blogging and the creative process, is that working in the web industry since years, and doing a lot of work with blogs, i got really sick of seeing people taking over blogs and categorizing them as 'marketing tools' only.

I felt like 'hey woooohey! blogs are much more!' - i think blogs are wonderful tools to expand our creativity and grow together as a whole. I am preparing a second book on this topic, but i wanted my first book, First thoughts on life, blogging and the creative process, to inspire people, to motivate them so that they take back the tools and use them in their own way - that is really important.
Creativity happens spontaneously, so does blogging.

5. Do you have any advice for other aspiring artists/illustrators?
Play around a lot. Make mistakes - no one can juge your art good or bad. I have this quote by Martha Graham which i always hang on to. It says it all:

“..There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to deternine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions…”

Thanks, Marie-C, for sharing your work and thoughts on Laissezfaire! Keep up the inspiring work!

(above) First Thoughts is available for purchase here (if you wish to have a signed copy) or here at US$28.

1 comment:

corine @ hidden in france said...

I loved reading this very interesting interview. Thanks.