Sandra Chevrier: Comics, collages and superwomen
Sandra is an artist whose work I’ve been following for a while now, in Montreal. As she is busy working and making things happening, I was unfortunately unable to visit her studio, but Sandra was kind enough to have a chat with me about art, passion, family and those little things that make your day. Single mother, extremely talented artist and wonderful person, Sandra is such an inspiration!
When you were small, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a tiny girl I remember telling my mother I wanted to be a hairdresser and I would charge her only a dollar to cut her hair!
What’s your major inspiration for your work?
I am a collector. Images, gauze, tea cups, music boxes, Chinese fortune cookie papers, neons, glass and ceramic heads… I have a lot of weird vintage stuff at my place, this inspires me!
When did you realize this was what you were good at?
I have always been into Crafts, when I was little I drew with my aunt instead of playing cards with the rest of the family. But it became serious when I was about 14, I did a portrait ofa child, and my God, I was so proud thatI was showing it to everybody! I still have this drawing, and honestly it’s not that good, but I am glad that because of it, that was the day that I found my passion. One of the greatest thing you can have in life!
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Mistakes doesn’t exist for me, everything we do, bad or good has a reason to be, it makes you grow and see the world with a different eye.
Is there any advice someone has given to you that has stuck in your mind? Or anything you would recommend new, young artists?
Feel your instinct and work hard.
When did you start including collages in your works? What other techniques have you experimented with and liked the outcome?
I started a year ago working on a new series called ‘’Cages’’. I used to work in a really controlled and hyper realistic way. One day, I was doing crafts with my kid, and just started painting with loose and heavy textures of paint on some old portraits of women I had made. I found that there was something really interesting there. And since then, I’ve been working on this idea for the last past year, trying new things, and playing with it.
Then for the comic book collage it is another idea that was born by ‘’accident’’. I was supposed to do a DIY project by covering one of my Ikea dresser with comic book but it broke so I didn’t knew what to do with these comics that I bought….that’s how the idea of creating these different cages came to life.
Other then that I am really use to working with traditional media such as paint and drawing,
Has being with family changed your work and yourself as a person in any way?
Oh my god yes, I was one person before my child and I am another one now. Life is more precious, more fragile, and more important to me. I feel that my son has given me power, energy; I want him to be proud of me. In his eyes I see that I am the most important person in his life, to know that there a little someone who depends totally on you, it makes me feel like a Superwoman. I know what LOVE is now!
Being a single mom is not always an easy thing, I am a really hard worker too, I have to make some sacrifice and time has become something really precious. It’s a LOT of organisation, and my needs often come in second, but I feel that I am a better person and I have more to offer and more to be inspired from.
Your art showcases many messages. Is there any one in particular that you believe crucial in transmitting to society?
The aesthetic is important for me, but without a social message it isn’t worth anything. The series I am working on at the moment is about women trying to find freedom from the cages of society’s twisted preconceptions of what a woman should or shouldn’t be. By doing so society is asking them to be superheroes. . I think that everybody can relate to this. not only women but men too.
You’re going to be participating in FIMA, how are those preparations coming along?
I am almost ready, my work is nearly done, a lot of new pieces; paintings, collage, and watercolors, there will be also T-shirts, silkscreen, postcards, posters… it is a lot of preparation, I just hope the weather will be good for us. I am really looking forward to meet new people and to show my Superhero Cages for the first time in Montreal!
Do you have any other upcoming projects you’re excited about?
So many, this is a crazy year for me! After FIMA will be the Decover magazine launchparty, then in august a duo in LongBeach CA. With the great Lora Zombie, in September I’ll be in a group show during NuArt Festival at ReedProjects gallery in Norway, and a solo there in November. Next year a solo in Kansas City in March then in April a solo at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco, and there is more! I am a lucky girl!!!
What’s your opinion on the urban scene and street art in Montreal?
I am happy that it is taking more and more place here, Urban Art is big on the International Art market, it was not really loud here in Montreal last year I felt that it started to gain interest from the public with Fresh Paint Gallery, PERMANENCE and now with MURAL festival it is going to be crazy, really looking forward to this. Urban Art is not an easy way to take when you are a woman but I am ready to continue to work has hard has possible and to create with my heart!
What makes your day?
Simple. When my son says ‘’Je t’aime’’ to me, for no special reason.
If you could have a drink with anyone, living or dead, famous or not, who would it be?
Probably Jeff Buckley, unfortunately dead.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Mostly for my son; a great mother. But about Art, I would like people to remember an emotion that they felt when looking at one of my piece more then me has an artist.