Book review: Grimoire de Sorcières de Benjamin Lacombe et Sebastien Perez

Book Reviews

(In English, over here!)

J’ai trouvé ce livre chez le plus petit bouquiniste de la ville de Québec. Québec était notre ville escale en route pour Rimouski il y quelques étés. Le bouquiniste était littéralement rempli du sol au plafond de vieux journaux, d’anciens receuils sur l’agriculture et entre deux très vieux livres, celui-ci, beaucoup plus jeune, attendait d’être adopté! Cette semaine, je vous propose Grimoire de Sorcières de Benjamin Lacombe et Sébatien Perez.

La première chose qui frappe le lecteur lorsque ce livre ce trouve entre ses mains, c’est l’avertissement: attention, ce livre est maudit et on le lira à nos risques et périls! Ce genre d’avertissement, sur un livre de sorcières, nous voila rapidement embarqués dans notre propre histoire de Tim Burton ou de Neil Gaiman! Certains lecteurs seront intimidés, d’autres, comme moi, seront au contraire forcément obligé d’entamer la lecture!

Ce livre regroupe différentes femmes (fictives, divines, réelles, mais toutes mystérieuses) et les présentent. On découvre leurs vies, leurs amours, leurs difficultés et leurs objets préférés au travers de pages comprenant les illustrations magnifiques, mais souvent un peu troublantes de Benjamin Lacombe, des images d’artefacts et les descriptions de Sébastien Perez. Le lecteur et la lectrice auront réellement l’impression de feuilleter un grimoire: un livre vivant qui a été composé avec soin et intention.

Encore une fois, les illustrations de Benjamin Lacombe accomplissent leur rôle à merveille: légèrement inquiétantes, toujours précises et détaillées, elles emportent la lectrice et le lecteur dans un univers magique et délicieusement gothique.

Pour finir, ce livre est un bel ajout pour toutes les bibliothèques des apprentis sorciers et sorcières, mais aussi pour les amateurs d’histoires et d’Histoire. Le livre est magnifique et saura trouver sa place, négligemment oublié sur un fauteuil où votre chat noir préféré aime prendre le soleil!

Grimoire de sorcières, Benjamin Lacombe et Sébastien Perez, Seuil Jeunesse


 

Book review: Grimoire de Sorcières by Benjamin Lacombe and Sebastien Perez

(Unofrtunately, this book is yet to be translated in English.)

I found this book in the smallest bookstore in Quebec City. Quebec City was our stopover town on our way to Rimouski a few summers ago. The bookstore was literally filled from floor to ceiling with old newspapers, ancient farming magazines and between two very old books, this one, much younger, was waiting to be adopted! This week, I bring you Grimoire de Sorcières by Benjamin Lacombe and Sébatien Perez.

The first thing that strikes the reader when this book is in his or her hands is the warning: beware, this book is cursed and we will read it at our own risk! This kind of warning, on a book about witches, quickly embarks us in our own Tim Burton or Neil Gaiman story! Some readers will be intimidated, others, like me, will on the contrary be forced to start reading!

This book brings together different women (fictional, divine, real, but all mysterious) and introduces them. We discover their lives, their loves, their difficulties and their favorite objects through pages that include Benjamin Lacombe’s beautiful, but somewhat disturbing, illustrations, images of artifacts and descriptions by Sébastien Perez. The reader will truly feel as if he or she is leafing through a grimoire: a living book that has been composed with care and intention.

Encore une fois, les illustrations de Benjamin Lacombe accomplissent leur rôle à merveille: légèrement inquiétantes, Once again, Benjamin Lacombe’s illustrations fulfill their role wonderfully: slightly eerie, always precise and detailed, they take the reader into a magical and delightfully gothic universe.

Finally, this book is a great addition to any wizard or witch’s apprentice’s library, but also for History and story lovers. The book is beautiful and will find its place, carelessly forgotten on an armchair where your favorite black cat likes to sunbathe!

Grimoire de sorcières, Benjamin Lacombe et Sébastien Perez, Seuil Jeunesse

Book review: The Art of Adornment, Gibbs Smith Publishers

Book Reviews

(En français par ici!)

This book has followed me around for years. I found it 10 years ago in the clearance bin of the Montreal Fine Art Museum, and just had to bring it home. I liked the sleek design and colorful cover. Today, I’m sharing The Art of Adornment, Design, Fashion, Art by Gibbs Smith Publishers.

This book is a collection of quotes on design, fashion and art. What’s really interesting to me though is the selection of patterns that accompany each quote. The publishers have done a great job curating patterns from many different cultures and traditions. It is mesmerizing to discover each page and get lost in each pattern and design.

It also feels incredible to have full colour book. In more intricate designs, the colours really bring everything together to create an almost hypnotizing effect. This is the kind of book that is so much fun to flip-through when you want something light and inspiring. I always find myself tracing the patterns and knots to try to figure out how they work.

Overall, this small book is a great addition to any bookshelf. It is very interesting to discover quotes from all around the world on art, design and fashion, while also getting lost into patterns, knots and designs. It would also make a great gift for your artsy friends who has everything. Finally, if only to fall into a world of colours and intricate details, this book is worth a flip through!

The Art of Adornment- Design, Fashion, Art; Gibbs Smith Publishers


 

Book review: The Art of Adornment, Gibbs Smith Publishers

Ce livre m’a suivi pendant des années. Je l’ai trouvé il y a 10 ans dans le bac de liquidation du Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, et je devais absolument le ramener à la maison. J’aimais son design épuré et sa couverture colorée. Aujourd’hui, je vous présente The Art of Adornment, Design, Fashion, Art de Gibbs Smith Publishers.

Ce livre est un recueil de citations sur le design, la mode et l’art. Mais ce qui m’intéresse vraiment, c’est la sélection de motifs qui accompagne chaque citation. Les éditeurs ont fait un excellent travail en sélectionnant des motifs issus de nombreuses cultures et traditions différentes. Il est fascinant de découvrir chaque page et de se perdre dans chaque motif et chaque dessin.

C’est également incroyable d’avoir un livre tout en couleurs. Dans les dessins les plus complexes, les couleurs font vraiment ressortir l’ensemble pour créer un effet presque hypnotique. C’est le genre de livre qu’il est très agréable de feuilleter quand on veut quelque chose de léger et d’inspirant. Je me retrouve toujours à tracer les motifs et les nœuds pour essayer de comprendre comment ils fonctionnent.

Dans l’ensemble, ce petit livre est un excellent ajout à toute bibliothèque. Il est très intéressant de découvrir des citations du monde entier sur l’art, le design et la mode, tout en se perdant dans des motifs, des nœuds et des dessins. Il ferait également un excellent cadeau pour vos amis artistiques qui ont déjà tout. Enfin, ne serait-ce que pour tomber dans un monde de couleurs et de détails complexes, ce livre vaut la peine d’être feuilleté !

The Art of Adornment- Design, Fashion, Art; Gibbs Smith Publishers

Weekly News 08-06-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Hello friends,

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

What a busy week! As you saw last week, I finally received some proof copies of my book, Agatha’s Journal. Well this week, I’m starting to work on promotional material and a kickstarter campaign. It’s a lot of work, and I have to admit it is not my favourite part of the process of creating a book, but it is fun to share more details about the creation process with you!

Head over to my website for more details on the book!

New in Store

The shop is back to normal with both digital and physical products available!

Two new prints are available at the store. I have to say I really like them, and I’m really happy to share them with you!

Click on the picture for more details!

I’m re-re-re-reading,

I don’t know what it is about this book, but since I read, or rather listened, to it last year, I keep coming back to it. I am now reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman,for the fourth time in a year, and I still love it!

Eleanor is such a lovable character. She is incredibly funny and so vulnerable, and I wish she was my friend. All the characters in the book are written with sensibility and are realistic in the most positive way possible. The story is mysterious and intriguing. My only complaint is that this book is such a fast read. Maybe that’s why I’m reading it over and over again!

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Weekly News 07-29-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Hello friends,

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks because of family issues. To deal with my own worry and sadness while having to compose with different reactions was exhausting, so I took a break from the newsletter. I’m happy to report that I was still able to create and refocus during these hard weeks. I’m also very happy to be back and to write you all!

One thing I’ve reflected on a lot is social media and its place in my life and in my career as a visual artist. It is very difficult for me to be intentional with my use of social media, but it is something I’m looking forward to do in the future. I realized that I was creating content FOR Instagram while I should be focusing on creating and THEN sharing to Instagram. This is such a huge shift in how I’ll interact on the interwebs, and I feel a lot better about it too: less pressure, less screen time, more fun and creation!

The second thing I thought a lot about is my art and the direction I want to take with it. After drawing everyday for the last year, it was time I stopped to think a little. I’m really excited for this more focused and, again, intentional creativity, and I hope you will like it too! I really want to create beautiful art the inspires you to take better care of yourself and of your environment. This translates into creating more sacred art that can be used as tools for reflection and meditation and also creating more tools for relaxation and well-being. I’m really excited about all of this, and I’m so glad I gave myself the time to think, to feel and reflect on what I want to do.

New in Store

The shop is back to normal with both digital and physical products available!

Two new prints are available at the store. I have to say I really like them, and I’m really happy to share them with you!

Click on the picture for more details!

Youtube

I’ve received proof #2 for my story book project, and I’m really excited about it. It has been such a blast to create the story and the illustrations, and it’s quite something to hold the final book in my hands. I’ll be sharing more about it soon 🙂 In the meantime, here’s a short video of the proof #1. Enjoy!

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Weekly News 07-01-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Hello from the new atelier!

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

What a move this has been! We made about a thousand trips between the old house and the new house to bring over plants and other delicate things. I’m really glad we are done now! We’ve spent a few hours setting up the atelier, and I am so happy to have my space back and running! I’m really excited to see what gets created in this new space.

I’ve sent for proofs for the Lovely Flowers coloring book, and the first one arrived yesterday. There are a few funks, so I updated it and wait for the next proof to come. I’m really excited to share this project with you soon.

I also sent my sketchbook to the Brooklyn Library! It was hard to let it go, but I’m happy to have brought it to an end and to have a complete project. I also worked on the storybook version, and I’m waiting for some proofs to arrive. I cannot wait to see them and to share yet another book with you!

New in Store

The shop is back to normal with both digital and physical products available!

And, a special surprise: with the move, I found some old cards and decided that it was time to let them go. So, for the entire month of July, I’ll be adding some of these lovely cards to all of your physical item orders for free! I really love these cards and some are still my favoutires, but I need room to create new things. Out with the old, in with the new!

No coupons needed, so it’s really simple and easy!

I also added a new coloring page and the corresponding greeting card and print for all the plant lovers out there! When you spend 2 full days moving plants, you realize that you have a plant family!

Click on the picture for more details!

Youtube

The final flip-through for my Brooklyn Sketchbook Project! I had so much fun creating this book, and it’s so much fun seeing it complete!

One last thing…

Our cat was so stressed by the move that she thought she was a dog. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing!

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Weekly News 06-17-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

We are currently in the process of moving houses so this newsletter will be the last one for June. I’ll be back at the beginning of July! Adulting takes time and so much energy!

In the studio, I’ve been finishing up a few projects. I’m done with my flower illustrations for my Instagram challenge and will be uploading the last ones this week.

I also decided to turn these illustrations into a coloring book! I really like the flowers I drew for this challenge. I feel like I learned a lot through each drawing. It was also a really relaxing experience to really observe flowers and then draw them. I hope that colouring them will bring you as much joy and calm!

The digital versions of the coloring book and the Brooklyn storybook are done, but I’m waiting for the move to be over before I order proof copies. I’m so excited to see both of these projects as real books! Stay tuned for more news on both books in July.

I read…

I ordered this book a while ago, but the font is so small that I can only read it little by little because of my concussion. Nonetheless, it has been a very interesting read.

The Moomins were one of my favourite cartoon family as a kid, but Tove Jansson is so much more than the Moomins! It was really interesting reading about her experience living in Finland during World War II. It was very inspiring to see how she used her art to support peace politically. It’s also a bit intimidating to learn that she started publishing illustrations in magazines at 14!

What I love most about this book is that it includes colored pictures of her works which range from sketches to full paintings. The author is very detailed in her description of Jansson’s life and relationships. It really feels like a complete portrait of a complex artist.

New in Store

Over here, in Canada, Mother’s day was last month, and Father’s day is this month. That’s why I have been working on some pictures to celebrate dads!

These cute little bears are both available as coloring pages and coloring cards. I really enjoyed imagining what kinds of activities papa bears could do with their cubs.

I hope you’ll find them cute and check them out!

Youtube

The last page of my Brooklyn Sketchbook Project! I hope you’ll like it!

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Weekly News 06-10-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

I’M DONE!

Yup, that’s right! I’ve completed all the illustrations for the Brooklyn Sketchbook Project! I’m also done with the paper version that I’ll be sending of to the gallery, AND I’m also done with the book version both to be available in French and in English. It has been a very busy week!

I’m still considering a few things before I send out for proof copies. I want to give myself a few days to forget about the project to come back to it with fresh eyes.

Here are a few pictures of the paper version I’ll be sending to Brooklyn. I love that it feels like an old fashioned scrapbook. It’s simple, but effective I think! It also really helped to have an assembled version to figure out the layout of everything.

I drank…

Hot chocolate! To help with anxiety and stress, I’ve turned to chocolate. I make two versions of this drink and both are delicious. I find that the ingredients are so comforting, and it really helps to take the time to prepare something like this each morning.

Warm Hot Cocoa
– 1 cup oat milk
– 1 tbs raw cacao powder
– 15 drops of rose glycerate or 1 tsp of rose water
– 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
Mix everything together over the stove except the rose extract. When warm to your taste, pour in your favourite mug and add the rose extract. Enjoy!

Cold Cocoa
– 1 cup oat milk
– 1 tbs raw cacao powder
– 1 banana
– 15 drops of rose glycerate or 1 tsp of rose water
Mix everything together in your blender. Pour in your favourite glass and enjoy!

My favourite rose glycerate is made by the lovely Chantal. She harvests wild roses and prepares them in all sorts of ways. Check her out!

New in Store

Over here, in Canada, Mother’s day was last month, and Father’s day is this month. That’s why I have been working on some pictures to celebrate dads!

These cute little bears are both available as coloring pages and coloring cards. I really enjoyed imagining what kinds of activities papa bears could do with their cubs.

I hope you’ll find them cute and check them out!

Youtube

Another one for the Brooklyn Project! I hope you’ll like it!

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Weekly News 06-03-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Hello everyone!

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

I really hesitated in writing this week’s newsletter. Current events are starting to take a toll on me, and I wanted to skip it. However, I decided to go for it anyways because I love connecting with you and sharing positivity and good news!

2:  That’s right! Only 2 illustrations left for the Brooklyn Project! This means that I should be able to start working on the layout this week! How exciting. I cannot wait to share more with you!

I read…

I went back to classics, Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea this week. I love Anne: she is so lively and fun. The descriptions of nature and Avonlea are also so relaxing and detailed.

It is a really quiet read, and if you are working on some mindless tasks, all the books of the series are available as audiobooks on Youtube.

New in Store

Over here, in Canada, Mother’s day was last month, and Father’s day is this month. That’s why I have been working on some pictures to celebrate dads!

These cute little bears are both available as coloring pages and coloring cards. I really enjoyed imagining what kinds of activities papa bears could do with their cubs.

I hope you’ll find them cute and check them out!

Youtube

Another one for the Brooklyn Project! I hope you’ll like it!

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Weekly News 05-27-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Hello everyone!

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

I cannot believe this: only 7 illustrations to go for my Brooklyn Book!!!! Happy dance!!! I’m so excited to be almost done with this project, but I’m also enjoying it so much. I cannot wait to share more of this with you! In the meantime, here’s a cheeky exclusive preview.

Small panic moment in the studio this week: I ran out of my favourite Hooker’s Green (named after William Hooker, a famous botanical illustrator. I mean, what were you thinking about?) and realized that the stores were out of it. I was able to find it in the end, but it made me realize how dependent on supplies I was. Normally, I wouldn’t really worry about not having a specific color and mix my own, but since I’m working on a book and want the pictures to be cohesive, it was a slight issue (read complete uncontrollable panic). So it made me really curious about making my own pigments and paints. Something new to explore!

I’ve reading…

This was such a fun read! I love books with old houses, family dramas and multiple narrators. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell did not disappoint!

The story starts with Libby receiving the keys to a prestigious house on her 25th birthday. The house belonged to her biological parents, which she knows very little about except that they died a strange suicide-cult-ritual death. I won’t spoil anything else because you should read it!

I really liked how the story was told through different characters. The story itself is simple and explores themes of manipulation, global warming, family and belonging. It was a really entertaining read that kept me turning page after page.

New in Store

Yes, I know, I’m not done with the Brooklyn Project yet, but I’m already starting to work on the next one. For this new project, I’m exploring cartoon characters, and I wanted to play with this a little bit. I really enjoy using my mom as inspiration for cartoons because she has a signature hairstyle. It’s so recognizable, it makes for the cutest character.

So, of course, I made her into stickers. Because it’s so warm here (hello summer!), you’ll find mini-mom ready for the beach!

The best vegan lemon pie

This dessert is perfect for summer because you don’t have to bake it! I used a pre-made pie shell, but you could of course make your own or even make a cookie crumb base for this to keep everything out of the oven. I’ve been obsessing over this pie and can’t get enough of this zingy lemon taste!

Here’s what you need for the most delicious lemon pie filling:
– the juice of 4 lemons (about a cup or 250mL)
– the zest of two lemons 200 mL water (3/4 cup)
– 250g sugar (1 cup)
– 50g or 5 tbs corn starch
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 generous pinch of turmeric powder for the colour (optional)

Mix everything in a saucepan until the corn starch is well dissolved. I use a metal whisk for this. Place on medium heat and stir continuously until it thickens. Place in your pie shell and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Enjoy as is or with some ice cream!

You are very welcome. 🙂

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Weekly News 05-20-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Hello everyone!

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

Another week filled with some paintings for the Brooklyn Project. I’m down to only 10 illustrations to make! I cannot believe it. I’m so excited to get moving on this project, and I’m enjoying the process so much. I’m also looking forward to the end result.

I’m also working hard on my Instagram lined flowers challenge. It’s a lot of fun to have this side project which is still artistic but a lot simpler than the Brooklyn Project. It’s also really nice to have a routine of drawing something new every day. It really forces me to learn new ways of looking and drawing.

I’ve been listening…

I’ve been struggling with lots of anger and anxiety these last few weeks, and one thing that has been helping is listening to soft, soft, soft music. My current favourite is this one. Every time I listen to this music, I’m transported to the beach, and it helps me relax a little. Try it out!

YouTube

We are keeping on with this week’s theme: line drawings! Take a look at how I created the lilies 🙂

New in the Etsy Store

This week, I’m adding two new sticker sheets. The first one, I created for myself but decided to share. I’m a big fan of my planner, and sometimes I just want something quick to keep me organized. I’m also a big fan of Skillshare, but it’s sometimes hard to go on there regularly. However, by keeping track of my lessons with these stickers, well I’ve been learning new skills every single week. Yup! They are such good stickers!

The second sticker sheet is made with my flower line drawings. I like that they are black and white. I feel like it is a lot more sophisticated and minimalist than my other sticker sheets. One fun thing: since my sticker paper is matte, you can color them and make them truly your own! How fun!

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