I have been very busy on design submissions for a couple of companies and also researching out new methods for some new licensing collections, including learning more about Adobe Illustrator - I mostly do Photoshop manipulations of my hand painted images but I have started exploring the world of vector art for specific collections I have in mind. It's very fun to learn new techniques!
So I want to dedicate this first post of July 2013 to an artist who does beautiful work with her own unique technique. Artist Amélie Gagné was born in Québec, Canada and from an early age showed an interest in art and all things creative. Throughout her life she has held various positions involving theatre prop design and construction, arts & crafts classes, and managing her own presentation design company.
She likes to call what she does "colourful and dreamy contemporary art, I like using simple shapes and forms and dressing them with fantastical patterns to create a dreamy atmosphere."
Amélie further explains: "Most of my work is landscape orientated using a lot of vibrant colours but more recently I started to do a lot of floral work, it started during the spring and then I became pregnant during the summer and I was more than happy to keep on this 'blooming' phase, pardon the pun..!"
I asked her for a description of a technique and tools she routinely uses for her art and she said: "I love starting with a darker background and progressively add my layers of light and colours, I like the effect of depth it creates. I used to work from black but I got tired of it and now I use a dark fuschia paint to cover my board or canvas."
She continues - "I love it when inspiration strikes and then I can't wait to get back to the studio and paint. After doing a bit of reading about instinctive painting I was excited to get a big canvas and try to let my fingers have fun with the paint, and now I prepare a lot of my background work that way."
Colors! Amélie loves colors, "and modern shapes of trees, flowers, seed pods and so on," she adds. "Sometimes a match of colours seen on an advertisement or on a piece of textile can get me going."
"I just had a baby boy so I haven't spent a lot of time in the studio lately. I also just moved house and I must say setting up a new studio AND a baby nursery has been quite exciting. The studio is still a work in process and I cannot wait to go back to my brushes - I have a few ideas for a new print collection that are really wanting to get on canvas!"
Amélie is very new to the whole licensing business, she tells me. She has read a lot about it to familiarise herself with the terms and the jargon, there are so many great blogs to learn from! "I have a few images under contract with an Irish based trade supplier of wall art. And fingers crossed, I may have landed a deal that would see my art on some products for a big UK based company, which would be unbelievable!" She is also on the lookout for an agent, "with baby William taking a lot of my time I think it is wiser to let an agent do some of the footwork. I think my work is quite graphic and would go well on a large variety of products, from tableware to cards and bedspreads," she comments.
To other newbies Amélie says: "Well this doesn't necessarily apply to being an artist but I like to have a 'Dream Big' attitude and constantly have new projects and motivations to keep me going. Also I think it's very important to find your own voice and your own style and not try to paint what other people are painting. I know in licensing you have to be very versatile but I think if you don't like what you are working on, it's bound to show at some stage!"
As for Amélie's future aspirations and goals she says: "Providing I will become a champion at combining motherhood and an artist's life, I would love to be able to make a living from a mixture of my original art and gallery sales and solo exhibitions that I have been doing for years and mix that with the licensing work so I can work smarter and create a sustainable income for me and my family. I love doing trade shows and fairs and it would be an absolute dream to do Surtex one day, like I said earlier, Dream Big!"
Amélie has recently entered a "Talent Search" organised by Lilla Rogers Studio.
See Amélie's website at: www.ameliegallery.com