Art is tricky. There are an incredible amount of definitions for what is and isn’t art, but what’s always key when creating art is making sure it comes from the heart. Bad rhymes aside, any artist will tell you that they want to create what speaks to them while communicating their feelings, struggles, and ideals through their work.
This is what makes art, well, art. And, so, that’s why we’re thrilled to have the very talented Myriam Thériault-Carrière on board with us in our latest edition of #Captain’sQuarters.
Illustration is your forte, but your acrylic work is just as outstanding. Right off the bat I see similarities between your work and that of Leonid Afremov, specifically his Yellow Fog series. Tell us a bit about your inspirations and how you’d like to inspire others.
Thank you, I absolutely love Leonid Afremov’s work. Before I start talking about my inspirations, I just want to say that I never thought I would paint in my entire life. I always said it was such an imprecise medium, (my drawings are extremely detailed, so paint scared the hell out of me). My cousin moved at the beginning of the year, so she reached out to me for a painting for her new home. I told her it was not my specialty, but I ended up loving it.
Autumn Love was my first commission ever. I’m still pretty new to all the painting techniques, but I’m exploring. Everything I do is internally driven. I want my art to be as genuine as possible. I don’t necessarily draw or paint something to inspire people, but if they can feel or relate to a certain piece, I’m more than happy. Every piece is a reflexion of an emotion, a song, a poem, lyrics, or a landscape I saw or imagined in my dreams. There’s a story behind everything I do.
I do what I do because I love it. It’s my life and vocation. Some people come up to me and say that they see that passion in my eyes and it inspires them to go after what they love. I can’t even explain how great that makes me feel.
How does your creative process generally flow, and what do you do to get yourself out of a creative rut?
Most of the time, concepts come to me at random times, whether it is for a painting, a drawing or even for a song. When I paint or draw something for myself, it’s easier, because I don’t have any specifications. Commissions are just as fun, but they require more discipline and listening to the client’s demands is crucial. I learn a lot both ways.
I’ve always been scared of the word ‘’routine’.’ There is nothing more boring than repetition. So, I like to change it up. Sometimes I get up super early and work on my craft, and sometimes I stay up late at night. I also have a day job. I don’t think artists should be ashamed of it. I never want to burden my art with stress and the thought of money to pay monthly bills. Financial demands can get tough and I want to be able to create freely.
How does your art influence your music and vice-versa?
I started singing and drawing almost at the same age, so I guess they both shaped me to be the artist I am today. Writing lyrics is hard, because I am usually in a vulnerable state of mind. With art, I can express a lot of emotions in ways I can’t articulate. I definitely get a certain balance with both.
Struggle is usually something that spurs artists on to create something meaningful to them, but your work communicates triumph. Tell us about your greatest achievement and how it’s propelled you to where you are now.
I wrote a song called ‘’Enough’’ and I am extremely proud of it. It talks about darker times while I was undergoing treatments for a health issue. Writing “Enough” and many of my songs has helped me with my introspection. As an artist, you have to sit and reflect.
What’s a medium you’d love to experiment with, and why do you think it’s so important to branch out and try different styles you’re not necessarily comfortable with?
I’ve tried a lot of mediums already, but I guess I could try to incorporate more colors in my drawings. It’s important to try new things, because it pushes you and helps you get out of that comfort zone. You should never limit yourself to a particular medium, but I do think having a particular style is important.
Finding that ‘’style’’ shouldn’t be your main focus, though. I think it’s the same with everything in life. Why would you force something? Effort is one thing, but forcing anything will end up looking unauthentic and not true to yourself. Everything will come naturally and it is a gradual process that can take years. I haven’t found my painting style yet, and it’s okay.
Every artist has that a-ha moment that tells them they want to be making art for the rest of their lives. When was that for you, and what made you realize it?
I don’t remember having that a-ha moment, but as a child, I was so shy. I was the quiet, observant & sensitive kid. At school, I remember my classmates would freak out, because my level of drawing was super advanced. I remember loving it and I guess I knew that I would be an artist. I’ve never seen myself do anything else and it’s been my outlet ever since.
Exploring different cultures is always something that makes me change my perspective on art and how I approach my work. How does this exploration impact you and your work, and where are some places you’d like to go to learn more about their forms of traditional art?
I haven’t traveled much in my life. I think it’s way more than traveling, it’s about DISCOVERING. Just getting out of your house and exploring gives you new perspectives. It could be as simple as a hike in a forest, meeting new people, walking downtown, attending a concert or going to a museum. Everything can give me new ideas, I just have to keep my mind open.
I want to go everywhere and I’m sure everywhere I go would inspire me for different reasons. I definitely want to go to Spain, mostly for their beautiful architecture. I would love to go to Asia as well, for their art, culture and breathtaking landscapes.
Off topic: tacos or burritos and why?
Burritos. I find it much easier to eat. Crunchy tacos fall apart after the first bite!
If you were stranded on a foreign planet and discovered you were gifted with the ability to manifest anything organic, what would you do and what kind of art in nature would you create?
Flowers, plants and trees! Nature everywhere. I would make pretty gardens and even giant plant sculptures. I would do everything I can to add a little love and life to this planet.
What are your favorite non-artistic things to do?
I love to read. My first language is French, so I read in French and in English. I like to alternate. I also like to run… such a good stress reliever.
What’s the name of your cactus, and does it bite?
Oh no… it doesn’t have a name. Sadly, I don’t name things and plants hahaha. I have to say though, one of the sides looks like a seahorse. And NO it doesn’t bite! I want to expand my cactus family!
If you could change one thing about the art world, what would it be?
I wish people took self-employed, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, freelancers seriously. Being an artist isn’t just a hobby, it’s a livelihood. People mistake “kindness for weakness,” assuming that, because artists are so passionate about their art, they would do it for free. It’s fustrating.
Another thing I want to change is the overall perception of tattoos and negative stereotypes. Tattoos are definitely becoming more accepted in today’s society. You can hate them or love them, but you should never see someone with tattoos as lesser than those without.
What advice do you have for aspiring creatives who are a touch lost or lacking direction/motivation?
I think the key is curiosity. Not just with art, with everything in life. If you feel like you’re hitting a wall or you don’t know where you’re going, you probably need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Trust your curiosity and see where it leads you. Curiosity helps with personal growth, new experiences, ideas and you’ll see… the possibilities are endless.
And there you have it, folks. Discovery, introspection, experimentation and stepping our of your comfort zone are some key things that every creative need to play with.
As always, we’re every so grateful to Myriam for taking the time to answer our questions, and we highly recommend that you follow her on Instagram, Soundcloud and Twitter to stay up to date with her latest work. You should also check out her website!
That’s all for now, stay tuned for the next edition of the #Captain’sQuarters.