Starting A New Career Path In Montreal

It wasn’t long after I moved here that I got divorced and then had these two small children to take care of and also these questions as to my own personal identity and path forward. And at that point, just given the complexities of a divorce, and the ages of the children, and just all of the pain that that encompassed, I realized in that place that I needed to go back to art because I had given it up for many years. I just let the practice die completely, and through that process of divorce, was able to reinvent myself, and was able to become somebody very different and that included being an artist.

Montreal was a perfect diving platform for that to happen. It just meant I sat around. I went to vernissages. I went to openings quite a bit by myself and forced myself to just sit in a corner. I was very shy. I was intensely shy at that point in my life and realized that in my process of becoming an artist, that I had to move out of that space, that I had to become somebody very different. Going back to that idea of going to openings by myself, I would force a kind of glass of wine into my hand and a wall to perch on, some corner, and just hope that somebody would trip over my feet or that I would bump into somebody and a conversation would start.

That was a way for me to confront becoming more extroverted, becoming more part of a community, and then I ended up finding a small gallery that hosted my work. I got this platform where I could start making stuff and kind of selling it. I didn’t really sell anything but I kind of picked up every small job that I could so that included telemarketing, construction, renovation, taught myself Photoshop, taught myself Illustrator, learned how to just take everything on that I could so that I could balance those precious spare moments of life to put that into art knowing that I had to become an artist not just for myself but for these two kids that I had and just was like a no fail situation.

I patched it all together, had this show at a gallery called Pangée at the time. And then through that show was given the space, the gallery space for about four months. And from that space, we created the En Masse project which was a real turning point in my own career in the sense of it being able to launch me into a whole stream of activities that very much defined the work that I do today.