Montreal-based illustrator Sandra Dumais finds inspiration in the everyday moments of life; those things that could almost go unnoticed.
She uses a combination of traditional methods of inks, watercolours and markers and transforms them digitally to create rich and colourful textured images that tell these stories through maps, portraits, or the Anatomy of a Heart series.
"I feel there is a specialness to the ordinary, in fact the more ordinary an experience is, the more interested I become. The stories of parenting, of being part of a family, or those stories hiding in our favourite cities and neighbourhoods. These things that make us humans at once so different but really connected."
Her work can be found on various surfaces (fabric, paper, stationery, posters - and soon - giant mugs!) She is currently working on a children's book about bullying, a comic book for young kids, and a personal collection of illustrated children's poems.
Hi, I'm Sandy - Artist, Writer, Giant Kid and medium sized mom.
I've used this template of questions from one of my retail partners to create an about me page. Enjoy!
Tell us about the moment you realized you were an artist.
I have always made things, and needed to make things.One strong memory I have is from grade 3, when Mrs. Parker set us up with easels and paint and let us paint all afternoon at school. I remember mixing yellow and white paint, over and over again, and covering an entire sheet of paper in this colour, being totally zoned out and feeling a bit euphoric from the different textures. I couldn't stop thinking about it after that, trying to recapture that feeling of being in the zone.
When you’re stuck creatively, where do you go (physically or mentally) for inspiration?
When I feel stuck it's usually because I need to walk away from my work for a bit. I always head outside in this case. Usually doing something mundane, taking a walk, running an errand, going to grab a coffee will shake my head up a bit and make way for new ideas. Or, on the contrary, talking to a creative buddy or a my husband about where I'm stuck can enlighten me. I've recently moved into a shared studio space which has been a life saver for this reason.
When you’re creating a piece, describe the scenario in which you envision your work living.
I work on a lot of maps. When I'm creating them, I try to really be in that space - whether a city (map of Toronto, ex) or in nature (Canadian Wilderness) and I try to imagine the feeling it will evoke. Is it calm, or quirky, what is the palette? Same goes for a project I'm currently working on - a kid's book. I try to get into the mind of a kid. What they want to see is very different from what we adults want to see. They want whimsy and love-ability, colour and strong emotion and relate-ability.
Can you recall a particularly touching reaction to your work?
I have had several mothers cry while looking at the Anatomy of a Mother's Heart. This is a perfect reaction, because I believe that is the most pure emotion coming from somebody who is a mom or is thinking of their own mother. Tears and a smile. **This work has been recently expanded into a series in collaboration with Uncommon Goods ! Six hearts in all, available in signed screen prints (made in Montreal) and oversized mugs! Stay tuned :)
Please have a look around my site and drop me a line. I love getting emails from people stopping by to read here.
**Wholesale inquiries are very welcome! Please contact me, Sandy, at hello(at)moonandsparrow(dot)com to get your paws on my wholesale catalogue.
This is my Visual Bio, an ongoing personal project.