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Creative process - Interview with ZEPOL

Few of my creative tools in the studio

Where do you find inspiration?

EVERYWHERE! Really, it goes from: past experiences, my friends, family pictures (mines or strangers), hikes, magazines from other time (80s-70s-60s) with specific topics as Playboy, National geographic, outdoors books, cook books, instructions on pillow or other stuff, apron of a diner, sticker of the grocery store, certain views of streets, old metal dumpsters and walls where I wander, food packaging and other things we used in our everyday life.


The background is made with an agenda sheet where there’s one color per day given by my step sister one Christmas. The bird is from an article on hummingbirds in an 80’s national geographic. The ‘’Choix de l’intérieur” card is from an old Expo baseball card game I found in a second hand shop. The hand with a rose is taken from the illustrated book: ‘’Cake decorating simplify’’ I bought it in a value village in Toronto. I had to take it for all the pastel colors on the cover and inside pictures. I didn’t have a lot of images in that color palette and of different hand positions this book turns out to be was a useful discovery. The orange is from an orange juice advertising and the girl is an athlete I found in a national geographic again. I found her pause so graceful like: Ooh honeyy I’m yourrrss take my heart …. I knew I had to do something with her. What covers her eyes is from a plastic piece sealing the lid of an orange juice I bought once.

Why the title Mike? Well, once upon a time I met a guy, he was really nice, I liked him, one day he ghosted me so I made art.

The anchor on her chest is to remind the boat he had tattooed on his chest. The image I found was taken from an old mini staple box.

In my collage conception, I love the idea of creating new stuff and created stories with images that already exist. It’s always a long process since I have to search, collect and then find the ones that will go together after I find something to say. All this without internet. Yes folks, all my images are taken in the real world not printed out of any Google search. It’s magic how you can do stuff with literally everything around you.

But in my painting I have to admit that I feel something a little selfish of making more stuff in this world only for the beauty or the exploration of it…

Are you always in a creative mood?

I wish, but to be honest I quite often experiences small panics that totally blocs my creativity. For instance, when I ask myself questions like “Am I going to be able to continue doing my art, follow my precious intuition, do meaningful things that makes me truly happy and being able to pay my rent and save up for more inspiring adventures at the same time ? “

Same thing happen when I can’t commit to prison myself in a full time job or jobs that I can’t manage my schedule. I stress about money, my future, the time I won’t be able to create because I’ll be working on the job. At theses specific moments my stress grows and I feel I’m in the middle of a not-fun-none-sens and I need to realign everything. I hate that and it kills my creative mood.

It happened few times in my life where I committed to a job only to make money or gain experience in a professional field so I can stop stressing. But it doesn’t take long before I realize I’m giving my precious time to something not totally align with what I pursue in life. So what happen is that I quit or finish my contract over tired but then feel super confident and courageous again and my creative mood is back on 24-7 until another panic hits lol. Oh well we’ll see where it goes…

In a certain way how I hustle to find jobs, contracts, organize events, help friends in their jobs is quite an artistic process itself. It works and fills me up of new knowledge and often brings me enough money to be comfortable and save bits for my future dreams and responding to my need to create.

Would you throw away a piece that doesn’t work as you wish?

Rarely. Most of the time I will start more than one piece at the time, so when something blocs I can transfer my energy into another project. It’s crazy sometimes how I can find a solution on a problem while I’m working on something else. But it also happens to me to re-start a piece all over again. Either I remove the pieces the collage or hide it for a while and go back to it weeks after with new eyes.

In painting when something doesn’t work after a while of working on it, I sometimes cover some parts of gesso and keep only few sections that I love and re-start from there or completely I snap and repaint the total surface and start something new later. It’s a special feeling to voluntary erase something you put lot of work on, but it always gives me thrive to continue.

Why do you make art?

It a part of who I am. It balances me, drives me, calm me and most of the time makes me feel good.

It’s also a language for me. It’s a way of expression, I can vent frustration trough it or show the importance of different beauties in life. It’s also a good meditation that balances with my dance career.

Is the opinion of others important to you?

It’s always interesting and I could always get inspired by their opinion, but really, I don’t care that much. I do stuff because I feel I need to do it for something meaningful to me or to respond to a certain curiosity. Even when I have custom orders I imagine their mine with their expectations so I can stay authentic and be confident about the result no matter what others could say during the process.

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