Artist Q&A: Simon Fortin
Get to know one of our Spring artists for 2019, Simon Fortin…
How would you define yourself as an artist? How would you define your work?
To be very honest, I would define my art and myself with the exact same words (not even being lazy), because my art is just another way to represent and express who I am and the way I think. So, I’d say very cute, bubbly, sometime dark, sexy, sarcastic and funny (at least I think I am)…
What inspires you to create ?
It is usually just a mix of what I’ve been seeing and appreciating with moments and emotions I been through It’s also very inspiring to travel , see new stuff and create new memories - these things are essential to inspiration and the creation of something fresh and new.
I’m usually more inspired when my life is unstable but I need the stability to be productive; so for my creativity, my rollercoaster life has been very helpful.
Do you have other artists or creatives you’ve been influenced by or find inspiration from?
All of my close friends basically inspire me on the daily, just by being 24/7 performance artists. I also feel like I’m more inspired by people’s drive & vision in general and I have been very blessed to be surrounded by the best of the best, not just visually but also musically and in so many other ways. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without the people who taught me to not be afraid of being real and to not give a shit about the haters.
What does your creative process look like?
I’m kind of picky with where and when I create. I feel like every artist has their special ritual to create or feel creative. I always need a snack besides me, usually a bag of chips (Miss Vickies/Doritos) or a bar of chocolate (Hershey’s cream and cookies) and a blue gatorade. I can’t create if there’s no music or a movie/tv show playing. I always need to feel like theres something going on in the background. I also need a very clean, comfy, warm, and spacious area space to work. After I have all that it just flows naturally.
A lot of your work has to do with questions of gender/sexuality, what motivated you to put these messages across within your art?
I think it’s just so important to be open about sexuality and gender identity, to not feel weird or ashamed to make art about it. I’ve been personally shamed for such a long time in my life about how I identify sexually and how I didn’t fit the gender norm. I felt like I needed to just be honest with my work and for other people to see different representations of gender and sexuality out there..
What do you want people to take from your work? How do you want to influence other artists?
I just want people to have the same feeling that I have when I see one of my pieces. I’m either laughing like “oh I really went there,” or I’m like “OMG its sooOoo cute”. Cuteness is powerful and is such an underestimated form of power/beauty. I want to influence other artists to be more productive and to not be shy of putting themselves out there, to stop looking at what other people are doing in order to feel inspired or constantly looking at the trends that are happening. I think it’s important to be aware of what’s happening currently in terms of art, but I think it’s more important to go find your own inspiration in the beauty of your own life and what you are experiencing and going through.
How do you combine your art with fashion?
I actually design a lot of outfits and clothes for my little characters. It’s also fun to draw looks that I would actually wear in real life. I cant sew, but I’ve been involved with fashion in the sense of making illustrations for designers and people who work in fashion.
Favorite piece of clothing you currently own?
It’s a super simple piece I’ve been wearing for over 5 years: a black over-worn, over-washed and over-sized hoodie with the punisher logo on it. No matter how either my style of myself evolve, this piece weirdly always fits with everything… It’s so comfy and it’s been through everything. (I’m actually wearing it as I am writing this haha.)
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Q&A by Carla Gras