catherine is crying memories

rainy days make me sad. I just feel like listening to sad songs, curl up in a blanket and think about the past. rainy sundays are even more nostalgic. but somehow this gloomy weather seemed just right to talk about an exhibition called ‘pleurer des souvenirs’ (cry memories).

catherine d’amours, graphic designer and illustrator, is one of the hawt names in montreal right now. while the rain was pouring outside, we met at her cozy design studio, nouvelle administration, to talk about her upcoming showcase at local gallery espace projet.

from june 22 to 26, catherine will be presenting a series of introspective illustrations. drawing a lot in her skateboard years, she put illustration aside to focus on design. “I’ve been sitting in between two chairs for a while,” she says of her love for both mediums. that was until pregnancy brought back her desire to sketch.

“when I was pregnant, I was too tired to do anything. while my friends were going out, I stayed home… and strangely enough, started drawing again,” she explains. “I got familiar with new mediums, none of which I used before. I began playing with my paper collection to create collages, cutting and tweaking, adding drawings in black ink.” slowly, after integrating soft colors to her black and white stories, her playful creative process unveiled a more concrete art direction.

her fondness for nostalgia was also next level during her pregnancy – yup, she’s now the mommy of the cutest little fellow out there. “maternity is something beautiful, but despite its beauty, you’re also grieving your own youth somehow... you’re no longer the last generation, you’re giving birth to a new one.” her illustrations ended up being a way to mark with black ink this big moment in her life, alongside a new tattoo on her left arm.

beyond making her son proud of his mama’s art legacy, catherine wanted to build an exhibition that would establish graphic design as a medium deserving its place in art galleries. “yes, it’s possible to bring graphic design and visual arts together. yes, it’s possible to be a mother and still be as creative.”

new layers were quickly added on top of her upcoming exhibition. with her friends from atelier b, she started designing fabric and clothing. her launch event will have a live performance of camille poliquin (aka kroy, also part of milk & bone), one of her beloved friend and fan. catherine’s boyfriend, working in sound design, will be creating the musical environment of the showcase. “I tried to include those that were around me during my pregnancy, during my creative process, in this new project.”

looking at her drawings (and the artful teasers she posts on her instagram), it’s obvi that her exhibition will be beautiful – visually and emotionally. “I was a very dark and melancholic person, but with the birth of my son a lot of light came in.” it would’ve been kinda awesome (and incredibly cheesy) to follow this last quote by “and suddenly the sun came out” but no, I walked home, soaking wet. but sooo looking forward to june 22.

words by elisabeth labelle
photos by phil bernard

hair & makeup by janick davidson