LIFE IS AN ART: MEET THE ARTIST JESSICA VALOISE - PART 1
Read the french version here
I was reflecting on life after reading an article "I have no luck" by Jessica Valoise. I didn’t know her before reading the article; my mind was immediately blown away by her philosophy on life. I agreed on every aspect of the article she wrote, letter after letter – word after word. I was hooked by the veracity of her thoughts. We all have the opportunity to paint our life beautifully. Luck is 1% the rest is YOU.
A creative multidisciplinary designer, Jessica Valoise, masters visual art perfectly, whether it be photography, painting, writing or production. For me, Jessica is more than just a simple talented artist, she embodies freedom, passion and humanity. We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to chat with this gorgeous and inspiring woman and share with you her art and philosophy on life.
It always begins with a Dream
Can you describe yourself
My name is Jessica, I am 27 years old and I am a visual artist, painter, photographer, and producer. I am from Paris and have been living in Montreal, Canada for the last three years.
When did you realize, you wanted to make art your principal activity?
After my studies in psychology, I took a one year sabbatical to give myself some time to evolve before tackling the last part of my semester. I had found a lot of time to create, draw and paint… then friends began ordering my creations, then friends of friends and so on and so forth. I had ‘’beginners luck’’ that allowed me to have a life that I never thought I would have. Little by little the idea that I can live by my art along with the freedom that came along with it began to really sprout in my mind, and for the past seven years I have made sure this was the case.
You followed a typical path, with a degree in Psychology, one would think that nothing predestined you to become the artist you are today. How did art take a place in your life; what was the breaking point?
Art was always present in my life, moreover, when I launched, it was obvious for a lot of people. I had always painted and drawn, I played the piano, I danced, played the African drums, I always tried new things, made jewelry, pyrography, sculptures... My teachers in elementary school and high school always encouraged me to follow this path. During my psychology studies, within reach of being a researcher, I didn’t have a lot of time to create. I went to class, I danced, did my work, went to class danced and did my work... That’s all I had time to do! As soon as I took a break from all that, art came back into my life.
With a lot of work, sacrifice and determination, we can reach our goals. What are 3 valuable tips you would like to give to women who wish to undertake and live their passion?
- Assert-yourselves: it is the first tip I would give. If you want to do something, do it, don’t wait for someone to ask you or to validate you, no one will wait for you and no one is waiting for you, it is completely up to you to say, ‘’Hello, I’m here and you need this’’. It is up to you to give yourself the legitimacy to do what you wish, no matter where you start, or where you are from, whether you know something or not, whether you’re already in the field or not. The important thing is to go for it, full force.
- Make your goal your lifestyle: once you have decided to make a living of your passion, your life and actions need to revolve around your goal. In fact, it is as I said in the article on luck: your dream; you eat it, you breathe it, you keep it, everything you do goes towards it, at all costs.
- Keep learning and keep improving yourself: socialize with people in the field, go to 5 to 7s, follow trainings, read books, inspire yourself, study the biographies of those who have succeeded, not only in your field but in general. Challenge yourself, but never doubt your success and always ask for constructive criticism from professionals.
You juggle with your 3 passions. If you were to situate yourself on a ‘’self–fulfillment’’ scale on 100, where would you place yourself?
It’s pretty hard to say... Because when I look back, I tell myself that I never would have thought I’d be doing what I’m doing, and what I’ve done. I still have so many projects that I’d like to get done, professionally but also personally. We are not even aware of the unlimited capacities, that it’s very difficult to rate yourself on a scale. But in any case, to answer, I would say, 35.
You are an hardworking woman, balancing in between your personal life, travels, art exhibitions, and projects. How do you manage to balance everything?
Actually, it’s the hard part about this profession… It is knowing when we can let our job come first or not.
In my personal life, I limit my entourage to my family, my close friends and my colleagues/friends. I don’t get caught up with the trivialities and I am very selective and careful with whom I surround myself with, these people should not take up my energy or bring negativity to my life. The small amount of time I decide to give them needs to be of great quality. I have a small group that surrounds me, but a great group, that’s all I need.
My fast-paced lifestyle with irregular hours and lots of sleep deprivation is counterbalanced by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Exercise regulates my energy and nutrition allows me to properly function to progress, because I cannot allow myself to get sick here and there. The time I sacrifice to my physical well-being has to absolutely be integrated in my schedule…
What is the difference between the Jessica of today and the woman you were yesterday?
Yesterday, I was a child that had a hard time accepting being an adult woman, very unsure of myself, intimidated by myself, in my own little world…
Today, I am an adult woman who accepts her childish side, who is very confident in life, who is no longer scared to shine nor open her world to others…
What is a typical day with Jessica Valoise?
There aren’t any typical days, really. It’s mostly freestyle… I can spend a whole day filming from 6am until 1am the next morning, just as I can spend a whole day lying in bed. Or even, waking up with the sun, going to the gym for a few hours, work from home until the evening then go out with some friends. It is in fact one of the things I love the most about my lifestyle: there is no typical day, my routine is my lack thereof.
Are your learning another skill?
Yes, I am learning Spanish, to play the guitar, yoga and web marketing. And I would like to eventually learn to rock climb and also self-defence.
‘’ Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you have imagined’’.
Henry David Thoreau
Life is An Art
You paint the vision of life through your visual art. How do you keep your authenticity in a world that tries to be the same and who is constantly seeking validation from one another? How do you foster your authenticity?
By the force of circumstance, I think...
In fact, I never looked to be authentic, I always listened to my heart and my intuition. I always knew what I liked and what I didn’t like and I always had a lot character. I’m pretty independent and kept to myself, therefore it never bothered me to like corny things or rather, the total opposite like something super trendy. And I am also an introvert. When I was younger, I was caught up in my own little world that I never really paid attention to what others thought of me, and for me, no one was the same and therefore it isn’t something I tried to do because I had absolutely no idea that one can do something just to be exactly like his neighbour. As I grew up, and became aware of all this, there were certain things about my character that I preferred to keep concealed rather than replace them with another personality. At a certain point, it boils so deep inside that you can no longer hide it.
What we need to tell ourselves too is that no matter what we do, there will always be someone there to criticize you, so why not just do what you love and be who you are.
What are some subjects that inspire you?
Well there’s art as a whole of course, also sociology, psychology, social sciences in general, spirituality, quantum physics, math...
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but with your photographers’ eye, you manage to capture beauty, reality and originality. What identifies a successful photo in your opinion?
I love a photo that allows people to feel something and makes them want to stare at it for a long time. Also, if it is technically excellent, then it’s perfect!
What is the message you would like to pass on through your works and creations?
I would love for people to feel something when they see my creations, I would like for them to reflect when looking at my creations; I would like for them to reassure the audience as much as disturb them. I would like to touch people in places they never thought possible, where they are not used to feeling those feelings. I would love for my creations to play a mirror effect in others which helps them bring out their truth. All this, in order to gather, discuss, show different points of view that others may not have seen or on the contrary, felt as though they were the only ones who got it.
What is luxury to you?
When I hear luxury, I hear nice and I hear quality. But at the same time, I hear abuse and waste. Just like everything else, it has two faces, but originally luxury, is something that is particularly beautiful, rare and of great quality. Sometimes people tell me that it’s a luxury to live your passion… it is true, it can also be a definition, the ability to love what you do, it is rare and beautiful.
Do you have any causes that you hold deep in your heart and that you wish to share through your art?
Yes, definitely; tolerance, peace and love. It may sound cliché or cheesy, but it is really what I aspire and for me that’s the minimum; it’s the key to resolving all of society’s shortcomings. People need to feel comfortable with themselves first in order to feel comfortable with others; learning to love ourselves to be able to love others, being tolerant, creating together, building together, in a serene and healthy way. To never feel limited by our geographical borders, to learn that our neighbour is really our brother and that we are all part of the same family; we need to learn to live together and take care of our family members, starting with ourselves of course.
How do you describe the art scene and opportunities in Canada compare to the rest of the world?
I only have Paris to compare to, and I would say that in general, here, not only in art, the idea is this: show me what you can do. It’s not, what school did you go to, what diploma do you have, who do you know, where are you from. Just, what can you do?
People are very creative, very positive, very cooperative, there is a really good vibe and they are in a productive and creative well here.
Also, the country invests a lot in culture and art compared to France. They give them lot of importance and there are many opportunities to develop.
Where you’d you like to wake up tomorrow?
Here, right in this moment when I am answering your questions, anywhere else, I would just love to be awoken by my niece who jumps on me yelling ‘’cmon auntie wakeee uppp!’’.
Life is beautiful when …
When you open your eyes to see things exactly for what they are.
"TO LIVE A CREATIVE LIFE
WE MUST LOSE OUR FEAR OF BEING WRONG"
Joseph Chilton Pearce
Finish my sentence, a day without art/ creativity is …
What are you 3 ingredients to be/stay creative?
- Be very curious and allow yourself to be amazed by stepping out of your comfort zone.
- Be bored. Meaning, take the time to do nothing but think and let yourself dream of things, without any limits nor embarrassments.
- Create. Everyday
If you had to give 3 tips to women who want to enhance their creativity what would they be?
- Forget the word impossible ;)
- Cultivate yourselves: expositions, concerts, shows, readings, conferences, movies...
- Create freely: take a piece of paper and begin to trace in any shape and continue doing so until the paper is full, or write down a word and then another and makes sentences or just words, whatever works. The important thing is to let yourself go without thinking. Knowing that when you’re done, you’ll do what you want with that paper, whether you throw it or burn it…there is nothing to be ashamed of. It encourages your creative capacity.
Read Part 2 and learn more about Jessica's inspirations, tips & how to travel on a budget.
Shirline is the founder of Black Milk Women. She finds inspiration in every areas of life. Creative, passionate and dreamy ... "Eat Beauty, Live Passionately and Drink Life '' is her everyday #Wordstoliveby.
Like music or romance she is old school she doesn't snap but she tweets. You can find her on twitter @ThePerfectshee