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Artist Zoe Boivin

Zoe Boivin is an upcoming Canadian painter. We are delighted to present our collaborative collection inspired by her latest trip to Morocco. It’s a visual explosion of colours and emotions on canvas and as they often say in Morocco “It’s a pleasure for your eyes”. We also had an inspiring little chatt with her, scroll down to read our little interview.

zoe boivin artist interview baba souk

1- How do you approach a blank canvas? Do you already have a plan? For example, have you already worked on some sketches or have you chosen a colour palette?

I love drawing no matter where I am. I always bring a small sketchbook with me so I can draw whatever happens to catch my eye. I take pictures of shapes that inspire me, often at the most unexpected moments (graffiti on a wall, an unlikely object in a room, some strangely aligned leaves on the ground, etc.) I then use these pictures and sketches as visual references in my studio that guide me when I’m working.

1- Par où commences-tu quand tu te retrouves devant un canevas blanc ? As-tu déjà une bonne idée de ce qui va se passer ? As-tu déjà par exemple fait des croquis au préalable ou bien as-tu choisi ta palette de couleurs ?

J’aime dessiner partout où je vais. Je traine pratiquement toujours un petit calepin avec moi pour faire des esquisses de mes idées et des couleurs qui interpellent mon œil au quotidien. J’aime aussi photographier les formes qui m’inspirent, souvent à des moments totalement inattendus (une section de graffiti sur un mur, un objet inusité dans une pièce, des feuilles drôlement placées sur le sol, etc.). L’ensemble de ces photos et de mes croquis me donne une base de repères visuelles qui seront ensuite disposées sur les murs de mon studio, et qui m’aideront à travailler lors de la création.

zoe boivin painter montreal

When I get to work on a given day, I let my feelings guide me. I take time to refocus before I actually start painting. I never set out with a specific idea. I often start with a few ink blotches that I have let dry on my canvas beforehand, this organic composition becomes the starting point in a piece. Then the dance begins, my hands guide me in the flow of the creative process. I listen to very loud music that helps me express my emotions with colour and images on canvas.

I always try to eliminate any resistance and give free reign to my intuition and emotions that guide my movements. I never choose colours or shapes beforehand; they emerge naturally in the process, and I am always surprised and even astonished at the results. Amusing fact: the process is really messy!

Au moment de se mettre au travail, je me laisse d’abord guider par ce que je ressens cette journée-là. Je prends toujours un instant pour me recentrer avant de débuter une séance de création. Je n’ai jamais une idée préétablie de ce qui va se passer sur la toile. Je débute souvent mes pièces avec des taches d’encre séchées que j’ai créées sur la toile au préalable, et c’est à partir de cette composition organique que je vais débuter mon œuvre.

Par la suite c’est une forme de danse, je suis à l’écoute de mes mains qui me guident dans le processus qui se fait dans un état de « flow ». J’écoute de la musique très fort dans mes oreilles qui m’aident à exprimer mes émotions en couleurs et en images sur le tableau – j’essaie toujours d’enlever toute résistance et de me fier seulement à mon intuition et mes émotions, qui guident mes gestes. Les couleurs ne sont pas choisies à l’avance, ni les formes ; elles émergent simplement durant le processus, qui me surprend et m’étonne à chaque fois ! Fait cocasse; c’est également un processus super salissant!

original painting by zoe boivin

Original painting By Zoe Boivin, 30″ x 36″ – Colombes

2- You often say that you paint your emotions and that your travels often inspire your work. This series was inspired by your trip to Morocco. Can you describe specific moments that inspired you?

zoe boivin maroc

One specific day, I was really inspired. We were in a bus with a lot of other people crossing the High Atlas region on our way to the desert to spend the night in a Berber camp. It was a long journey, more or less 10 hours, but time went by really fast. I was hypnotized by the seemingly endless snow-capped mountains and huge reddish-brown sand dunes with white striations, a veritable visual delight. Along the way, I worked in my sketchbook a lot, in the company of our bus driver Mohammed who sang along with the local radio.

2- Tu dis souvent que tu peins des émotions et que tu puises ton inspiration dans tes voyages. Cette série est inspirée de ton récent voyage au Maroc, peux-tu nous décrire quelques moments qui t’ont inspirée ?

Une journée précise m’a beaucoup inspirée. Nous étions un groupe de voyageurs dans un autobus, et nous traversions la région du Haut Atlas afin de se rendre dans le désert, pour y passer la nuit dans un campement Berbère. C’était une longue route, plus ou moins 10 heures, mais le temps a filé très vite, car j’étais hypnotisé par la vue de la chaîne de montagnes à demi enneigée, celle-ci s’étalant à perte de vue. D’immenses dunes rougeâtres et brunâtres traversées de stries blanches, c’était un véritable délice pour les yeux ! J’ai travaillé beaucoup dans mon journal visuel durant la route, accompagnée par notre chauffeur Mohammed, qui chantait au son de sa musique locale.

zoe boivin morocco collection

We would stop to eat, take a break and enjoy a cup of mint tea (yummy) and the mountain monkeys would come join us along the road.Once we arrived at our destination, we set out at sunset to cross the desert on camels to get to the camp. The colours and shapes created by the shadows and the last sun rays of the day were so carved out, it was breathtaking. It felt like I was roaming and meditating on a large abstract canvas. Then we ate a traditional tajine dinner (with our fingers), and ended the evening with Berber dances and songs, under the brightest starlit sky I had ever seen.I will never forget this day, the most emotionally and visually inspiring day I have ever experienced.

Nous nous arrêtions parfois pour manger, prendre une pause et déguster un thé à la menthe (miam), et les singes de montagne venaient nous retrouver sur le bord de la route. Arrivés à destination, nous avons traversé le désert à dos de chameau, au coucher du soleil afin de se rendre au campement. Les couleurs et les formes créées par les ombres et les derniers rayons de la journée sur les bosses de sables étaient si découpées, c’était littéralement à couper le souffle. J’avais l’impression de me promener et de méditer dans une grande toile abstraite ! Nous avons ensuite dégusté un repas traditionnel de tajines (avec les mains), et avons terminé la soirée avec une danse et des chants Berbères, avant de se coucher devant le ciel le plus étoilé et le plus brillant que je n’avais jamais vu. Je n’oublierai jamais cette journée, qui était des plus inspirantes autant au niveau émotionnel que visuel!

baba souk moroccan homegoods

Finally, every moment I spent in the souks, whether in Fes, Essaouira or Marrakech, were incredibly inspiring.It is a unique experience to meander down the narrow alleyways, filled with people, sounds, odors, colours and crafts of all kinds.Despite the frenzy that can sometimes be overwhelming, I have fond memories of moroccan life where inspiration lies around every corner.

Finalement, chaque instant passé dans les souks, que ce soit à Fès, Essaouira ou Marrakech, ont été des plus inspirants. C’est une expérience unique de déambuler dans des allées étroites, remplies de gens, de sons, d’odeurs, de couleurs et de fabriques de toutes sortes. Malgré une frénésie qui peut parfois sembler envahissante, je garde des beaux et heureux souvenirs de la vie marocaine, où l’inspiration se trouve partout.

zoe boivin original painting kenza

Original painting By Zoe Boivin, 20″x20″ – Kenza

3- When did you decide to pursue painting as a career? What triggered it? Was it a hard decision?

When I was 24 years old, I went through a life-changing period in my personal life that made me reflect on my identity as a human being and as a woman. I was looking for my voice. I had done a bit of sketching before then, but only for myself.

3- A quel âge as-tu décidé de t’investir dans ta carrière de peintre? Quel a été le déclic? Étais-ce un choix difficile?

À l’âge de 24 ans j’ai vécu des changements importants dans ma vie personnelle qui m’ont poussée à de grosses réflexions sur mon identité en tant qu’être humain, en tant que femme. Je cherchais en quelque sorte ma voix. Je dessinais un peu avant cela, mais seulement pour moi-même.

zoe boicin painter montreal canada

At that moment, I was also working as a stand-in on the set of of the Xavier Dolan movie, The Life and Death of John Donavan. I found the experience very rewarding. It was very inspiring to rub shoulders every day with a young talented artist and watch him work. His drive and passion resonated within me, and I understood something very important: you cannot be afraid to do what you love and to follow your instincts.

À ce moment je travaillais aussi comme doublure lumière sur des plateaux de tournages en terminant mes études, et c’est ainsi que j’ai eu la chance de travailler sur le film de Xavier Dolan, The Life and Death of John Donovan. Cette expérience professionnelle fut très enrichissante. De côtoyer un jeune artiste talentueux et de l’observer travailler à chaque jour m’a beaucoup inspiré. Sa drive et sa passion ont résonné en moi, et j’ai compris quelque chose d’important : qu’il ne faut pas avoir peur de faire ce que l’on aime dans la vie, et de suivre son instinct.

original painting by zoe boivin, la vacances

Original painting By Zoe Boivin, 36″x36″ – La Vacance

I then started to share my work on social medias and to reflect further on my approach, to work on my technique, to become more confident as an person and an artist,etc. I started to work hard, even while we were filming. I would use my breaks every day to work on small collages in my exercise book, and I slowly integrated watercolours, then paint, and eventually all kinds of mixed media, all of this on mounted canvases that I now paint in my studio.

J’ai alors commencé à partager mon travail artistique sur les réseaux sociaux, et à pousser ma réflexion sur mon approche, à travailler ma technique, à prendre confiance en moi et en mon art, etc. Je me suis ainsi mise à créer de manière assidue, même lorsque j’étais encore en tournage. J’allais faire des collages dans un petit cahier à chaque jour au moment de la pause, et tranquillement j’ai intégré l’aquarelle, puis la peinture, jusqu’à intégrer une multitude d’autres techniques mixed media, le tout sur des toiles montées que je peins maintenant en studio.

zoe boiovin artist montreal canada

Do you work as an artist full-time? What are your days like? Do you have a routine that allows you to paint regularly?

Yes, I am now a full-time artist. I work in my studio every day, and occasionally, I work on movie sets. I like to be immersed in the universe of fiction. It really inspires me in my work as a painter.

4- Es tu artiste à temps plein? De quoi on l’air tes journées? As tu une routine qui te permet de peindre régulièrement?

Oui, je suis maintenant artiste à temps plein. Je travaille en studio sur mes œuvres au quotidien, et je travaille encore à l’occasion sur les plateaux de tournages. J’aime le fait de m’immerger dans des contextes d’univers fictifs. Cela m’inspire beaucoup dans mon travail de peintre.

zoe boivin montreal artist

Original painting By Zoe Boivin, 30″x30″ – Aria

My ideal day starts bright and early with a walk outdoors where I can calmly observe nature.Then I get ready and go to my studio for a session not having even glanced at my computer or my cellphone.That’s how I keep my creativity , my dreams and my thought-process fresh in my memory. However, I also have to maintain a balance between my artistic work and my obligations such as office work, correspondence, emails, meetings, etc.The life of an entrepreneur and an artist both require attention. It is a wonderful balance, and I feel privileged to pursue such fulfilling work.

Une journée idéale pour moi est de me réveiller très tôt et de débuter ma journée en prenant une marche à l’extérieur qui me permet d’observer la nature calmement. Ensuite je me prépare et je me rends au studio pour y passer la journée en séance de création, alors que je n’ai pas mis mon attention sur l’ordinateur ou sur mon cellulaire ; la créativité, les rêves et les pensées y sont plus frais dans ma mémoire. Je dois cependant balancer la création avec mon travail de bureau, faire mes communications, répondre aux courriels, aller à des meetings, etc. La vie d’entrepreneur et d’artiste demande que l’on consacre du temps à tous nos différents « postes ». C’est une belle balance, et je me sens choyée de faire un travail qui me comble à tous les niveaux.

Thank you so much sharing Zoe! I hope you guys will have a look at the complete collection inspired by Morocco right here.

Stephanie

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6 Essentials For A Stunning Living Room

I know creating a décor can be daunting. Where to start? What to focus on? We’ve been there. Since we’ve been coming up with lots of options for our photoshoots, we’ve had a bit of practice and we realize there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. If you have no idea where to begin and you love that timeless classic boho living room style, you can easily recreate it with these 6 must-have items.

Essentials For A Stunning Living Room moroccan rug morooccan pouf

1.  A Moroccan Rug

Of course, you know I’ve always said a Moroccan rug can make a décor. Well, believe me, it’s true. If you prefer a classic style like this décor we shot at the Damask & Dentelle Apartment, I’d say go for a timeless Beni Ourain rug. It’s the coziest and it has that minimalist look that will never go out of style. Beni Ourain rugs are handmade and are made to last a lifetime. I know people are worried about getting a white rug but they can easily be cleaned by professionals. Since it’s made of natural wool, the stains will easily come out and your rug will look new again. We have a bunch online right now, have a look right here. If you can’t find the size you’re looking for, we can always look into a custom option with you, just get in touch.

2. A Velvet couch

Velvet adds tons of sophistication to a room. It’s rich, cozy and the trend is not going anywhere anytime soon. Pick a colour you’ve always loved. This teal looks pretty amazing to me. (The couch is from West Elm) I love its mid-century look.

3. A charismatic light fixture

This will add tons of style to your room. Look around for gorgeous vintage options at your local flea markets or shop around the web for some stunning options. This one is from West Elm again but I’ve seen lots of options on Etsy.


moroccan rug morooccan pouf Essentials For A Stunning Living Room

4. A Moroccan Pouf

It does it every time. Just add a Moroccan pouf or two in your living room and it instantly creates a low seating option that makes for a warm, cozy atmosphere. You’ll see you’ll want to hang out in that room. Gold is also one of our go-to options. It looks great in all sorts of decors and it adds light and texture to a room. Our classic Tan leather Moroccan pouf is also a sure bet.

moroccan rug morooccan pouf Essentials For A Stunning Living Room

5. A statement piece on your wall

An easy one! Add something large that has character to your living room wall. It could be a big vintage map like this one (from Damask & Dentelle Apartment), a big painting is always a good idea, it could also be a framed poster or a piece of fabric you love. Framed fabric is an inexpensive, fun solution. Vintage maps are also always cool. They add a bit of a Brooklyn flair to the mix.

6. Colourful throw pillows

You’re almost done! You’ll need a few textured throw pillows. We LOVE our one-of-a-kind Boucherouite pillows because they have this pretty amazing mix of weaved colours – but as long as your pillows have interesting texture and colours – they should work!

moroccan rug morooccan pouf Essentials For A Stunning Living Room

These are the 6 key elements you’ll need to put together a stunning living room that has tons of personality. Start with these 6 items and you’ll see your living room decor will come together pretty easily. Of course, afterwards, you’ll add your plants and a few treasures to make it your own but following these basic rules will give you an amazing start! – Stephanie

Pictures: Baba Souk
Location: Damask & Dentelle Apartment,
Styling: Camille Picard

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Mini Gemstone Guide & Healing Properties

We’ve been having a bit of a new age moment at the Baba loft lately and we thought we’d share our latest obsession. My friend and collaborator Camille is really into stones and their healing powers. At first, I thought she was a bit “woo-woo” but it turns out, after hearing about it so many times, I’m now really into it too! I’ve been gathering a little collection of semi precious gemstones for our jewellery section and I feel they are so pretty and special. And if they can help us feel more grounded, I say hell, yeah!

We’ve rounded up our favorite gemstones into a mini guide and looked around in books and on the Internet for a bit of info on the properties of each gemstone. Fun fact: apparently, when we choose a gemstone for ourselves, our intuition guides us to pick the stone that will help us the most. Try it. Let your intuition pick the rock you prefer in the mini guide below and then read its short description below. Does it match your needs? (I’m always drawn to rose quartz, I guess I need a bit of peace and calm, ha!)

gemstone,guide,glossary,healing,powers

Calligraphy by my talented friend Emeline Villedary. (Thanks Em, your handwriting is oh so very pretty.)

The ritual: Ok, this part is absolutely optional but Camille says we need to purify our rocks once in a while so they can heal us better. It’s an energy cleanse! You can do this by burning sage or Palo Santo (Obsessed with that smell too). I must admit it’s a bit woo-woo for me. BUT, the smell is so nice and calming, so why not?

gemstone,healing,powers,stone

Howlite
-Awareness and learning
-Relief from old emotional pain
-Brings about calm, relaxation and kindness
(Our mala necklace is made of howlite beads)

Rose Quartz
-Place it near your heart to help purify and open up.
-It’s a stone of unconditional love & peace
-Good for self-esteem, it’s calming and reassuring.
(Check out our rose quartz necklace and our mala necklace that includes rose quartz)

Crystal Quartz 
-Helps memory, concentration. Frees from mental block.
-Stimulates the immune system and stabilizes the body
-Great for healing skin burns.
-Harmonises your chakras.
(We have some pretty cute earrings made of raw crytals)

Amazonite
-The stone of intuition
-Inner revelations enhancer
-Stimulates dreams
(This hamsa hand bracelet is made of amazonite)

Amethyst
-Helps to balance emotional ups and downs
-Helps with focus
-Centres your emotions
-Dissipates anger, fear and anxiety
-Helps stimulate your energy flow
(Have a look at our very pretty minimalist necklace with amethyst)

Geode
-Will purify a room and reajust the energy level
-Acts on your body to relieve anxiety, worries and stress.
(Check out this wonderful geode pendant)

Hope you’ve enjoyed our mini gemstone guide. Peace & Love. -Stephanie

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Inspired By – Bathrooms

This is my latest guest post for The Marion House Book. As we just moved into a new little house, I’m trying to put together our new space and create something that feels like home. I realize the room I’ve always neglected is the bathroom! For some reason, I have never really put much effort into it. This time, I want to make it feel good. Here are a few inspiring ideas I’ve found, maybe they will inspire you too! Have you ever thought of adding simple touches like a few pieces of art, a bunch of plants or great shelving in your bathroom?

themarionhousebook

Stephanie

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