Artist Feature: Cécile Gariépy
This year, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the SeaVees Crew collaborated with the talented Montreal-based artist Cecile Gariepy, in order to create a unique, optimistic print honoring those affected by the disease.
Cécile’s work is playful, with an emphasis on color, composition and character design. When designing the art for this shoe, she was inspired to make a bold, inclusive statement that highlights the need for awareness around Breast Cancer. Not only is the print beautiful, but 10% of proceeds from each shoe purchased will be given in support of the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
We asked Cécile a few questions in order to better learn about her personal artistic approach, the process of creating this limited edition print, and any advice she may have for other aspiring artists.
Tell us about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do.
My name is Cecile, I'm from Montreal, Canada. If I’m not busy drawing, I can be found walking my dog or baking a cake.
Can you walk us through a typical day in the life?
A few years ago, I used to work all the time! But I slowly learned how to make a profession out of illustration. Now, I have a fairly fixed schedule: I go to the studio in the morning at 9am, and I work there until 5pm. After that, I leave the job where it belongs (at the office!). I go home, do sports, see friends, talk with my dog, cook food, watch movies, and all that makes me very happy.
Whats on your ideal painting playlist while working in the studio?
I listen to all kinds of different things depending on my mood, but I often come back to my dearest love: funk music.
What creatively inspires you and your work?
I love humans very much. I love their facial expressions, their gestures, what they say, what they believe. It's an inexhaustible source of inspiration, and on top of that, it's free!
How would you describe your artistic style?
It's hard to describe something when it seems instinctive, but I would say that I create lively, vibrant, colorful illustrations that are often tinted with a touch of humor.
What did your creative process look like when designing the pattern for this shoe?
I didn't beat around the bush. We have to talk about breasts, so let's show breasts! I tried to represent a variety of them, to give the possibility to identify with them. Also, by choosing as few colors as possible, it creates a repeated pattern that looks a bit like a landscape. I like the fact that you can see several images in these simple shapes.
Any advice for young artists? What are some lessons you’ve learned?
It may sound cliché, but I think there is no other way to do it than to really be true to oneself, to be authentic. There's no point in borrowing a neighbor's personality: you already have one! You have to believe in your means and trust yourself.
To stay up to date with Cécile and her latest projects, follow her on Instagram at @cecilegariepy.