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Question 13: Does your everyday environment stimulate your creativity? In what way?
Yes it does. I must say that I‘m one of the lucky ones, if you call that luck, who has a studio at the Centre culturel Aberdeen. I started to breathe when I arrived there. The reason I say this is that before I had my studio, I was always working out of my home and doing a variety of contracts here and there. At the time, a lot of the free-lance work available was doing page layouts, because everything was done by hand then. Small newspapers or newsletters for associations, all done by hand, or drawings, this or that association putting out a special publication and who wanted caricatures, they asked me. I would go work with them and I found the people where I did these jobs… now I don’t want every place I ever worked in to feel I’m targeting them, because some of them were actually a big help to me. Sometimes, I’d go into these workplaces and I felt that the people there were so hung up that it ended up making me feel uncomfortable. You’re young, you know, just coming out of university from a visual arts environment, or students in music or drama. It was a pretty off-the-wall group. And then you find yourself caught up in the real world with real people who lived 9-to-5 lives, with husbands, wives, children, dogs, cats and everything else. I thought these people had such a narrow mind. I told myself: Am I going to live this way, around people like this all my life? I felt so stifled it was terrible. When I set foot at Aberdeen Cultural Centre I felt such a relief. At the time I knew Guy Duguay who had his studio in the building, and I found that it was a place where you could breathe. Yes it’s a place where artists don’t feel suffocated. You can dress the way you like, you don’t have to come in wearing high heels, all dolled up. I liked that. You could be yourself however you pleased in that place, and no one’s going to judge you by the way you’re dressed, your physical appearance. For me that was a big “Whew”, I could breathe. It’s also the fact that the majority of people there are artists. There are associations, there are all sorts of other things too, but the others are living on artist time, to their beat, and you don’t feel there’s a bias because they’re not artists. More open-mindedness, that’s what I found there, and it makes me feel good and want to be there. And when I get tired of it, I’ll just leave.