On new years, we usually take stock of all the good and bad that happened in the previous year. We list big achievements, great events, all the things we did and also, unconsciously, all the things that did not happen, that we did not do. With social media, this achiever mentality has become even stronger and comparison to others leads us to feeling small, inadequate and less fortunate.
That is why, 2018 ending, I decided to draw the little things that made up the past year and that I hope would mark 2019 as well. The little things, the ones we cannot really list, that we cannot achieve or own : the first snow in winter, the blooming spring, the vibrant colours of summer and the cozy feeling of autumn. Some years are less spectacular than others, achievements are smaller and successes less numerous. But, be patient and be kind because the biggest changes are subtler. They cannot be listed, achieved or owned.
●Valentine's Day (2019)／情人節 (2019)
Happy Valentine Day! No need to spend a fortune on a gift for your loved one(s)... Give them a letter, a home cooked meal, a drawing, an invitation to dance or simply your full-attention. Oh and also, this special someone can definitely be your own self!
●Magic Windows(2018)/Fort Galaxy (2018)/Living Library (2019)
Lulu & Popo live in a magical house. We call it “magical” because adults are gonna read this too. Of course, if you are a child (or if you are part of this rare breed of adults who have decided to secretly remain children) you know there is magic in everything. The ordinary is an adult construction.
Nothing is quite ordinary in Lulu & Popo’s living room. Behind two heavy pink curtains are hidden enchanted windows. When you look through them you can see all four seasons at once: autumn, winter, spring and summer. Often, the two friends spend the morning watching the show in their pajamas.
Nothing is quite ordinary in Lulu & Popo’s playroom. Fort Galaxy is the cosmic place they go to when they have a bad day: there they are free to think, sulk, scream and cry. But they can always count on their friends to pull them out of the darkness.
Nothing is quite ordinary in Lulu & Popo’s library. No phones and no computers allowed but, really, who needs them? The books, here, are alive: the characters get out of them to perform their stories and sometimes, the friends get inside to play a part. Oh! And there are marshmallows too.
Nothing is quite ordinary in Lulu & Popo’s house. But nothing is quite ordinary about their friendship either. Who thought humans and pigeons could be extraordinary friends? Certainly not adults!
●The Taipei Serie : Paris-Taipei (2019) /Coffee Or Tea? (2019)/ Stay Young, Play Mah-Jong! (2019)
I was so very lucky to be invited by Res & Shirley Lee to Taipei for Chinese New Year as part of an illustration projet. It was my first time ever in Taiwan and, being kindly hosted by the family, I got to experience Taipei in a very authentic way. I completely fell in love with the city, its people and its food. I got the chance to meet amazing friends (Becky, you are one of them) who welcomed me with enthusiasm and warmth. This trip is very dear to my heart and opened a world of creativity to me. So I tried my best to honor this lasting impression and to represent my feelings through my drawings.
Paris-Taipei really is my first impression of Taipei, as I arrived from Paris : I felt like an adventurer in an urban jungle. What surprised me the most is how plants, trees and buildings coexisted almost as if they were one same entity. I was also amazed to discover paper books were still so important to taiwanese people and as a former literature student & book lover, I wanted to showcase this. For me Taipei is an open book, full of mystery. I am sure I only have read a single page of it!
Coffee Or Tea is a nod to the opening of Res Lee's coffeeshop Maison des Pigeons that was the reason for my visit. During my stay, I worked on a few doodles involving my pigeon and the coffeeshop. Back in Paris, I realised that these separate drawings would look awesome reunited on a poster. The finished result has a playful and fun feel as well as a very 70's vibe.
Stay Young, Play Mah-Jong was inspired by several things : old people who are young at heart, playfulness with a tiny bit of cheating (because it's more fun that way), Coolidge's Dogs Playing Poker painting and taiwanese emblematic animals. Aside from the ordinary but remarkable pigeon, I depicted the mysterious and strong Formosan black bear, the friendly and cackling taiwanese blue magpie and the sweet and nocturnal pangolin. As for the game, I replaced poker with Mah-Jong, a game that has always intrigued me but that I have never played. Please forgive me any error in the game's depiction.
●The Strolls Serie : Fall Strolls (2018) / Spring Strolls (2018) / Summer Strolls (2019)
Living in Paris looks exciting and glamorous, but as I grow older I realise how much I crave nature. It looks like the city mouse has turned into a country mouse... Any occasion to visit green and wild landscapes is celebrated and cherished. But on the days where I am stuck in my urban life, I escape through my drawings and go on imaginary strolls with my dear pigeon. Each season brings its unique feel, we walk until we are tired and come back as happy as can be.