I met Émilie at work a few years ago and we hit it off immediately, at least on my part. She’s super funny, generous, beautiful and a great human being. She’s a big fan of Florence and the machine and Lady Gaga, and she has a kick-ass style just like both of those two women. This has been an extremely interesting portrait and I hope you will enjoy as much as I did. She answered all my questions with honesty and I thank her for that.
Name/ Émilie Lafleur
City of residence/ Québec
Astrological sign/ Aries
I’m often perceived as \ people tell me I’m/ I have “resting-bitch-face”, dead-pan, sarcastic, but the legend has it that I’m funny when you get to know me.
Job/ Barista, visual artist
What does a day in your life look like?
Usually I wake up way too late because I probably stayed up in front of my computer screen or at my drawing table until the wee hours. I forget to have breakfast, then I hop in the shower and straight off to work. If it is a normal day, chances are that I will be one or two minutes late and will be excused by making a good Gandalf joke like “A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to”. After about ten lattes, I get back home with my cat and I play video games or draw till death comes.
What object you couldn’t live without?
Trick question because most of the objects I couldn’t live without come in pack, like my PS4. It is worthless without my TV and my drawing table is worthless without crayons, but I’d say all objects that allow me to express myself artistically.
What is the question you wish people asked you and what is the answer?
Question : Do you love me?
Answer : Yes
What is ‘’home’’ for you?
I’d really like to name a place or moment where I feel at home, that must feel great and reassuring, but I don’t see one. I think that the only moments where I feel at home is when I’m in my head, in my bubble. You know when you listen to a song that makes you feel nostalgic or when a smell brings back memories, that for me is ‘home’. I can go anywhere that I want to when I’m in my head. It’s rarely clean and tidy but it is the ‘place’ where I feel good.
What would be your dream job?
Concept Artist for Bioware which is the person that designs the characters, costumes and places in a video game. Just like in books or movies, the characters and places where they evolve are created by an artist and I dream of being that person.
People might not know but you are a very talented artist. Could you tell us more on your art (what it is called, where you learned it, for how long you have been doing this)?
First, thank you. I have always liked to draw, as far as I can remember. I completed a DEC in visual arts and media and after one year studying History in University (yes, you read correctly), I switched and majored in Visual Arts at Université Laval. I did some video, I painted and drew a LOT. Today, I do illustrations. I don’t feel like opening the debate on ‘’what is considered art’’ but unfortunately, I think there are still too many people that consider comic books and illustration as a job or a hobby rather than an artistic practice or a real form of art. For me, art is not a matter of talent, but rather of intentions and following that concept. I feel that I’m an artist. Drawing is one of the only activities where I never see time go by.
Do you have any tips for us on drawing?
Take the time to look. Look at what is surrounding you at all times. If I were to tell you the word ‘bear’, you’d know what it looks like. Now try drawing it in the most realistic way possible. It is almost impossible if you have never taken the time to truly look at it. People, more often than not, believe that they can’t draw, but I think it’s more a matter of them not knowing how to observe. A drawing done by someone without any experience can be as interesting as one done by a professional. The best examples are drawings done by kids. They draw at the best of their abilities and never think that they are not talented.
What is the personal objective for you in the coming year?
Spend time all by myself. Move. Rediscover what I like and not what I think I like. Nietzsche said that the two things that make the human suffer the most are the past and the future. One brings sorrow and regret, the other brings anxiety and gives the impression to be out of control. I’d like to learn to live in the present, throughout the next year.
As a female gamer, do you ever feel discrimination when you play or discuss this subject? Have you always played video games and what are your favorites?
Aahahah! Ironically, the most discriminating people towards women gamers are other women gamers. People in general are more surprised by a woman gamer then anything else, as if the fact that I wear mascara and that I’m at the 30th level in The Division made absolutely no sense. Video games are a passion of mine and have been since my NES (you know the first Nintendo, where you had to blow in the cartridge). You can find all different art forms in video games such as music, storylines, visual art etc.
Lots of people are mistaken by thinking that games are summed up by Super Mario and racing games but the industry has surpassed the movie industry in the USA. Did you know that? Online gaming is for a lot of people a type of social life and an occasion to create bonds and be social. I have found that I’ve learned English way faster through playing Zelda then in high school. Without being the most popular games, here are a few of my favorites : Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Zelda Ocarina of Time, Red Dead Redemption, The Division, Final Fantasy, Silent Hill, GTA and the list could go on and on.
You have an amazing sense of style. Has fashion always been a passion of yours and how would you describe the perfect Emilie outfit?
Like drawing, fashion is a way to express ourselves. Forrest Gump was right when he said, “you can know a lot about someone by looking at his shoes”… I must admit though that I don’t over think or analyze when I put an outfit together. It comes to me rather naturally. I wear things that I find comfortable and cute and I really don’t care about it fitting. I often wear oversized shirts or Japanese animation t-shirts with long dresses. I shop in thrift stores and sales only. I find it totally delightful to give back life to a piece that looked like nothing in particular before. If I could have the swag of the Friends characters, I would definitely have put together my dream outfit.
Who or what influences you the most and has been your biggest inspiration and why?
Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Morrissey, my mom, my ex… Gilles Miller, David Gaider, Tori Amos… Daddy. Influences are tiny bits that we collect and they end up making who we are. If I had to sum up what influences me the most, I’d have to say music. I can’t live without music. I have what we call a life soundtrack, a song for each moment. I think we can also find inspiration in people that we hate or that make us come to the conclusion of what we want and don’t want in our lives. In this sense, my ex was also an artist and made me realize that I didn’t necessarily like things I thought I liked.
One band/ The Smiths
One book/ Moby Dick
One blog/ Look for la Fabrique Crépue xx