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An Ode to Colour and Balance: Meet the Artist Catherine Lavoie

2 Apr 2019

Catherine Lavoie sees art in her soup, in her cereal, and in her ramen as well.
Her daily life is an endless source of inspiration. This spring, she shares her overflowing creativity with us in an exclusive collection of T-shirts featuring pretty, colourful, and minimalist prints that suit her to a T! Let yourself be won over just like we were by this artist and her artwork.

Photo credit: catherinelavoie.com / simons.ca


A BRAVE AND CREATIVE STORY

 

Catherine creates whenever she can. She doodles in her notebook, designs on her computer, makes pottery… In her converted in-home studio, every day has its own rhythm, but it’s always a beat that her imagination can dance to. And she loves that!

A few years ago, Catherine left her job as a full-time designer at Simons to devote herself entirely to her artwork. It was a leap of faith that she doesn’t regret. “Leaving everything to do what you love can be stressful, but you have to stay positive. Stress destroys creativity. You have to believe things will turn out ok and have faith in life.” Today, having been brave enough to take the leap and having persevered are some of her greatest sources of pride.
 

INSPIRATION IN A THOUSAND AND ONE COLOURS
 

“Just a wall in front of me could inspire me. Often, it’s the colour combinations in everyday life that attract my eye and speak to me.” Travel and the everyday are her biggest creative playgrounds. Her favourite destination? Japan. The balanced and minimalist aesthetic that reigns there really resonates with her own style. “What inspires me about travelling is the fact that I’m escaping the day-to-day and exploring something unknown. I discover new light and new colours.” 

Everything comes back to colours, since Catherine has a real love story with them. “When I was a designer, choosing colours was what I liked best. I was like a little kid in a candy store when I got palettes and saw all these different possibilities.” We’re not surprised to learn that when Catherine was young, she could spend hours playing with the Paint program on her Windows 95. This young pro at designing on the computer is now positively thriving.  

WHEN ART MEETS FASHION

Creativity even follows Catherine into her wardrobe. Her style is all her own, being at times minimal and at times very colourful. For her, colour blocking isn’t just a current trend. She’s always loved to wear bright, contrasting shades. In the summer, she enjoys putting on vivid geometric prints, like those found in our Bauhaus Studio collection at Twik, as well as sleek and original motifs, like those of Marimekko.  
 

For our Contemporaine team, it seemed completely natural to entrust this artist and fashion specialist with designing the illustrations that decorate our new collection of organic cotton T-shirts. We gave her carte blanche. Five illustrations were finally chosen that are distinct, but still share the same sleek, colourful, and fresh aesthetic. Each one was first drawn by hand, and then replicated on the computer. Here they are!

A harmonious work of art, despite the dissimilarity of its elements.
The different shapes and colours manage to balance each other out. “I think this pattern reflects my work well. It's the search for balance through minimalism.”

A delicious and tangy illustration of summer flavours.
The orange and lemon look fresh as can be in this simplified adaptation. “I love everything about food and I especially love citrus fruits, because of how they look and their bright colours. They scream summer and are super cheery.” 

A digital collage that explores balance by playing with transparency.
Nuances contrast with one another while still harmonizing well together. “This palette makes me feel good, as if it reminded me of a memory. As if, when I was younger, I'd owned a piece of clothing in these colours that I loved. As if I'd always loved these colours.”

A combination of sleek shapes that celebrates sweetness,
grace, and beauty.

The round silhouettes and soothing colours complement
each other beautifully. “I wanted to create a pattern that evoked femininity
while still using the same aesthetic formula to find balance.”

A stylized landscape that's sunny and warm.
This print portrays an agave plant using a very minimalist design that's almost abstract. “It's one of my favourite plants. I realized that after a trip to San Pancho, Mexico, that I took with my boyfriend. It's very emotionally significant to me.”

Are you inspired? Shop the T-shirts right here.

“I’m very proud of this collaboration. I started my career at Simons before leaving to work exclusively as an artist. Then, Simons recognized my work and approached me to collaborate with them. It’s kind of like coming full circle.”

In the future, Catherine would love to see her designs on blankets, tablecloths, and rugs… Who knows? Maybe you’ll see them soon in our Simons Maison department. In the meantime, you can add her artwork to your decor by visiting the Online Only art section on our website or by touring Fabrique 1840, our showcase of unique Canadian creators. She has produced elegant, geometric illustrations inspired by pottery that are printed on top-quality paper in a limited series of 35 copies, all of which have been numbered and signed.

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