Meet A Miista: Sandra Chevrier
So we’ve decided to launch a new category on the blog today, let us introduce Meet A Miista: a catalogue of worldly gals who are a testament to our brand.
And without further ado, meet our first Miista, Sandra Chevrier.
After drooling over her work on last night’s post, we decided to host a follow-up interview and declare her our first Miista:It went a little something like this...
So Sandra, we’re going to steer clear from typical interview questions.
The icebreaker: So when you were a kid, which comic books, if any, did you read?
Not even, Ah!!! Cages started when I was doing crafts with my (then) 2 year old son. I found an old sketch of a woman’s portrait and passed over it with heavy textures of dollar store toll paints. I found the result very striking and thus the very humble beginning to a lengthy series. The transition to comic book collage happened upon embarking on a DIY home project. I had an old, small and cheap IKEA dresser that I had planned to cover in comic book collage, not long after planning this small home project, the dresser broke. I was left with a broken piece of furniture and dozens of copies of comic books that I had picked up at a nearby flea market, so I put them to use, and thus the comic book cage series. I work with mix media; watercolours, pastels, acrylic, china ink, collage. But I am presently working on an all hand painted Superheroes Cages series.
If you were a comic book Superhero, Heroine, or Villain who would you be?
Batman No superpowers, just very smart, wise and powerful. He would win against all others. Also I am very intrigued by Poison Ivy, nobody’s immune to her charms!
Right, now about your work, what or who was the first thing to inspire you to use comics?
Working on a series called Cages that is about women trying to find freedom from society’s twisted preconceptions of what a woman should or shouldn’t be. These women encased in cages of brash imposing paint eventually evolved into the comic book series that masks their personality and symbolizes the struggle that women go through of having these false expectations of beauty and perfection. They also depict the limitations society places on women, corrupting what truly is beautiful by placing women in these prisons of identity. By doing so, society is asking them to become superheroes.
There is also a certain melancholy in these different faces as if these women experienced a situation that they did not wish upon themselves-as if they were ‘slaves’. The works are an offset of American comics, synonymous to entertainment and fun. This is exactly the goal of the series - a daily struggle against that which is imposed by society and the very expectations we impose on ourselves.
I keep myself busy in many ways; single mom, business woman, artist, the household, romance, errands. It puts a lot on one’s shoulders. We overwork ourselves. We are all slaves to something or of something. And in comic books, despite all the playfulness of the thing itself and all the “POW BING BAM,” superheroes are also fragile. For example when Superman loses his battle against Doomsday, the image of his red cape tattered and planted in the ground as a fallen flag has intense beauty and incredible power. This is just one example among many others. We are merely human men and women and we are entitled to the flaws and errors.
Do you or did you ever develop your own comic characters?
Creativity is the result of experimentation and evolution. I think, write and sketch a lot. When I find an idea that I love, I want to play with it until I have no more fun. I used to create different characters, nothing similar to Superheros, just random figures in my sketchbooks, but they definitely had their own personalities.
La Cage quand la réalité dépasse l'imaginaire "The Cage of Reality Beyond Imagination"
So we know that you briefly explained your fixation with eyes in your interview with Chasseur Magazine a while back, but we want to know more on that. The idea of the Female Gaze is a powerful theme, tell us how you feel you’ve touched on this in your work?
To me Art is not only a way of expression it is a language in itself. At first, it was a liberation of something that I was holding inside. I used it has a released just like you can use a journal.
When I first started to ‘’be an artist’’, I used creativity to liberate my inner demons, at that time I did a lot of self portrait and eyes, eyes, eyes, all the time.Art is still a way to express myself, by showing the struggles that women and so that I go through everyday. There is a lot of me in everything that I do. The choice of working with the eyes, was more instinctive than a decision, I paint female because they are a part of humanity and of who I am. Often the subject is not necessarily about female but humans, but fragility and emotional matter are easily perceived in women eyes, the mirror of the soul. You can feel a person when you look into their eyes, i guess it is my way to express myself through these gaze.
How do you come up with your titles? Such as “The Cage and the Sound of the Drum,” “The Cage in a Life that Eludes Us in the Hands,” “The Cage Where People Cry” and so on…
They all start with ‘’The Cage…..’’ And I often will choose a sentence of the comic books that I put at the bottom of the pieces. It reflects the idea, the emotion or the story behind the Artwork. So Example for the ‘’The Cage and the sound of the drum’’ the sentence that was on this piece was: ‘’Ploddin’ along to the beat of one drum or the other...’’ Then I try to create a title that is strong but also poetic. I’m a Romantic!!!
We looked at your blog and your Instagram, too. Your Wooden Octopus and your “Sur en air de…” posts are pretty rad, too by the way. But what is your favourite thing to blog about? And to post on IG?
Works-In-Progress might be my favorite things to post, cause they’re also something I like to see in other artists pages.
I do use IG as a work tool, so you can see a lot of my work there but also works in progress. With internet and social medias, the Art world has become less cold than it used to be. Before you had to go through a gallery to have access to the artist. Now you can enter their studio, look at their process/ feel the sweat and the love they put into their Art. I’m also into Fashion, so you can see a lot of my wardrobe there!!!
Sur l'air de la complainte de la butte
Sur un air de Mistral Gagnant
And your picture from a while back, when you’re wearing our shoes posing next to your painting, is amazing. How did you first hear about Miista?
I was looking for a special pair of shoes for an opening I had in Norway 2 years ago, I found the Amaya Miista shoes in a cute little boutique in the Old Port of Montreal, I might say they still are my favourite pair of heels I own!