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Question 1: When and how did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
Why did you choose this profession?
All this began in grade 5 or grade 6, I was a zero in mathematics. The school teacher who taught that was Mrs. Roy, well I think she understood that I would never understand mathematics: she was psychic, I think. She used to say, You, Yvon, while the others do math, you will draw. She would give me pencils and paper and, I’d draw and draw, I’d have fun all through class, and I did this for most of the year. So I didn’t really pass mathematics. But, so whatever. So finally when I reached grade 12, I tried to take the arts class. There was the option of arts with Evelyne Coutellier and some other course that I can’t remember. Well because I hadn’t passed my other classes I couldn’t take arts. So I stayed that one year. I didn’t graduate, I went to Toronto. I stayed one year in Toronto. And since I had always been interested in museums and galleries, I went around to the galleries, to the Royal Ontario Museum, and went to see arts exhibits. I’d always been a bit interested in arts, and at one point I read the life of Vincent Van Gogh and all his letters. He had a huge correspondence with different artists. And I kept telling myself, my God, I could do this, it looks pretty easy. When I went to galleries, I looked at paintings and I said, I’m sure I can do this. Finally that’s when it really started. When I came back to finish grade 12, this time I had the opportunity to work with Evelyne Coutellier and she got on my case, saying, go on to Université de Moncton and take the art program. Well you know I couldn’t imagine that I could learn to do art, like in a real course. Finally I went anyway. At home, we had never, we weren’t pushed to get a university education. We’d never do that, we were supposed to go to work for CN. Our father had us all lined up to go to work for CN, so I was the first one who went to university. I was always reading as well, I read a lot about the arts.