I like simplifying a drawing down to a blob of watercolour in a single colour, combined with just black lines. The messy uneven dreaminess of the watercolour wash with the more precisely drawn lines makes me happy.
This original drawing is available here.
When I need to relax, like REALLY relax and not think too much, I love to put on Moonstruck, or a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom com, an episode of Northern Exposure, or one of the Jason Bourne movies. They're comfortable like an old couch.
What movie or TV show have you seen a gajillion times that you find comforting?
Today I turned 47.
47 years old! Goddamnit. Some folks assume that I’m younger, based on how my drawings look. I’ve been drawing pretty much the same way my whole life, so I might age, but my work stays the same.
It made me realize that although I’ve been sharing my drawings online for 12 years now, you probably don’t know that much about me. Sure, I share little bits about what I’m doing with my work, but not a whole lot else. So I think it’s time we get caught up:
I grew up in a small town in Quebec.
I went to school in French, all the way through High School, although my family is English-speaking (we call ourselves Anglophones in Quebec, a term I later realized is not used in the rest of the country). I can still speak French a bit, but it’s really really rusty. Comment ça va?
I live in Victoria, BC with my wife and two sons.
My drawings are sometimes funny, but I’m often a pretty serious guy. I often have a furrowed brow. Sometimes people (mostly on Facebook) get mad when my drawings aren’t funny. What? Did I promise you that I’d make funny things all the time? No. My blog is called ‘Serious Drawings’. I’ll make my drawings funny when I want to, and when it makes sense to me. If you want 100% consistent funny, go follow The Oatmeal - he’s really good at it.
My drawings are often seen as positive or uplifting, but I’m not necessarily a super cheery fellow. I draw them as reminders to myself. There’s a quote from Carol Shields: “write the book you want to read, the one you cannot find”. I make the drawings I need to see.
Well, actually it's more complicated than that. Making art for a living is a delicate balancing act between making work that you care about and that OTHERS will care about too.
Okay, I just realized that the last few paragraphs made me sound like a grouchy grouch. I'm not, I swear! Ugh, this is why I don't write about myself...
Lots of people get my drawings tattooed. But I never design tattoos. It still feels strange to see my work on other people’s bodies. It’s a very odd feeling. But I’m honoured that my work has enough meaning to them to decide to make it a part of their lives.
Do I have any tattoos? Nope. I’m too afraid to get one, and it’s too much commitment.
I like fish & chips and hamburgers and sushi and yakisoba and coffee and dark chocolate (not all at the same time).
I like long walks on the beach, but a good walk on a trail in the woods is better because you don’t get sand in your shoes.
Okay I think that's enough for now!
I made these drawings for the April issue of Reader's Digest, which is on newsstands now. They accompany a funny (and rather Canadian) article about giving the family cottage a new coat of paint.
Reader's Digest hires a ton of illustrators for each issue, (an increasingly rare occurrence in magazine publishing,) a fact worth celebrating and supporting 🎉 🙌 . Love working with them!
This is my second time with RD; I did a commission for them back in 2014.
Available now (cover illustration by the terrific Leeandra Cianci):