Meet Genevieve Simms, the artist for the upcoming issue 32. A renowned Canadian artist and illustrator, Genevieve has worked for over 50 clients, including The Walrus, Sled Island, and Maisonneuve. Get to know her here.
Subscribe by August 10 to receive Genevieve’s print, which will be revealed online August 8.
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Hi Genevieve! Give us the lowdown on who you are.
I’m an illustrator living in Edmonton, Alberta. I spent most of my growing up years in St. John’s, Newfoundland, but also spent a few years in Wabasca, Alberta and Calgary, Alberta, the former being where I attended art school. I graduated in 2006 from the Visual Communication and Design program at the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Since 2006 I have been making illustrations for about fifty different clients. My technique has always incorporated a variety of media and seems to be a bit of a moving target.
You’ve lived in a few different cities: from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Calgary, Edmonton, and briefly New York. What have you learned from these different locales and what do you like most about where you currently live?
I miss St. John’s a lot and would consider this my true home though it doesn’t seem likely I’ll be moving back there anytime soon. Calgary was where I spent my college years and is where I made some really good friends. I spent a year at the School of Visual Arts in New York on a scholarship after I graduated from ACAD and had a nice time there. There is so much to going on there all the time art-and-illustration-wise I would consider that time to be an important part of my education as well.
Edmonton is where I landed post college to regroup and figure out what I was going to next. I came in 2007 and remain here at present. I’m close to family and friends. Edmonton has friendly people, a small but warm and welcoming arts community, and what I consider to be ideal weather.
Did you find illustration or did it find you?
I believe it found me as I was unaware this was an occupation before my second year at ACAD. I had originally enrolled with the intention of going into textile studies. I took the graphic design elective in my first year, got hooked on problem solving and decided to choose the VCD program for my major. VCD is further divided into streams of graphic design, illustration, advertising, and character design. I found illustration this way, though technically I graduated from the character design stream.
Who or what are your biggest sources of inspiration?
I love to look at paintings, a hobby a took up while in New York. I have become increasingly interested in architecture over the past few years and have been inspired by the things happening in that field. Movies and books are also a pretty steady stream of inspiration for me.
What’s your favourite piece that you’ve created so far?
That is a tough one, but I would say this self portrait I did back in 2007 while I was in New York is one of the truest things I’ve done. Don’t ask what I mean exactly by “truest” but it seems like the right word. For me it represents an accurate record of a time and place.
When did you start to feel confident that you had found your own stylistic voice?
Still working on that one, and feel confident that I will be working on it still into my 80’s or death, whichever comes first.
What’s on your plate for the next year? Any new developments and exciting events?
In September I’m on my way to Belgium for a six week printmaking residency where I work on some silkscreening. I have also been working on an extensive book cover illustration project that will be published in the fall. This is something that I have really enjoyed and hope to do more of. I enjoy working with a longer narrative over an extended period of time which contrasts to editorial work which is mostly what I have been doing until now.
I also hope to be a little more active in finding space to show personal works and drawings. Something else I haven’t done much up until now.
Where can people find your work?
You can find my work on my ever-evolving website www.genevievesimms.ca I have also taken to posting process, sketches, and personal works via twitter and instagram @GDFSimms and gdfsimms respectively.
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Papirmasse delivers a monthly print with art on the front and writing on the back for $60 a year in North America and $120 a year overseas.