Painter ANNLO knows how to draw viewers into her sunny world of vintage, California-inspired creations. No matter where you are when reading this article, you will inevitably feel the breath of fresh air that emanates from her artwork. Born in Saguenay, Anne-Laurence has always been immersed in art. She comes from a family of artists, and her loved ones are now the heart of her company. In recent years, her artistic career has been marked by success. We recently spoke with this young artist and entrepreneur to learn more about her inspirations, her creative process and her aspirations.
DeSerres: What are the highlights of your artistic career?
ANNLO: I have been drawn to art ever since a young age; in fact, I have always created art... at least, since the day I was able to hold crayons and draw. After my high school studies in Visual Arts and my college certificate in Arts and Letters (Cinema and Communication), I went to Montréal to acquire a Film Animation BFA at Concordia University. During my second year, I went to San Diego since I was selected to participate in an international exchange program—and that is where I fell in love with painting. I will always remember what my painting teacher said when she saw my first painting: "Oh my God, you're a painter!” This was officially the beginning of my painting career. When I graduated, I won an award and a scholarship for my outstanding work from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. My journey in California still influences the way I paint today. The Californian way of life, the beaches, the light, the scenery, and especially the feelings I felt there. I transmit, through my paintings, how I fell in love at first sight with this place.
After completing my university studies—and coming from a family of artists—I decided to give myself the most beautiful gift: to perfect my art with an exceptional master and one of the most influential artists of his generation in Québec, my grandfather Claude Grenier, a graduate of the École des beaux-arts de Québec. Since then, I have been applying his precious advice and he guides me on my artistic path every single day.
D: Speaking of your artistic path, what place does art occupy in your life?
A: Art means everything to me—life is a work of art! My life inspires my art and my art inspires my everyday life. Whether it's travelling to inspiring places around the world, going for a walk in the forest, drinking a good wine that opens up my olfactory senses, living quality moments with my lover and my family... in short, everything is a source of inspiration to create. Since my childhood, art has always guided me, and I am sure it will continue to guide me for the rest of my life.
D: What does "being creative" mean to you?
A: For me, being creative means to endlessly develop my art, to surprise myself, to let everyday life and my surroundings inspire me. I greatly value travelling as a source of inspiration because of the people, the landscapes, the colour of the water, the experiences, and the new adventures it brings! In general, light, sun and beautiful weather also greatly inspire me. Inner strength, personal well-being, self-confidence and joie de vivre are also other sources of inspiration that can be perceived through my art.
D: What does your creative process look like?
A: Painting without music would be impossible for me! I always choose songs that are linked to what I am painting. My creativity is fed daily by musical genres ranging from deep house to lounge to artists like Petit Biscuit. I prefer to paint during the day rather than in the evening or even at night, because as soon as my brain is in creation mode, I can create for several hours in a row! Also, as I mentioned, the sun inspires me, so I try to soak it up as much as I can when it is there.
Seasons greatly influence me. Most of my paintings are indeed shaped by nice weather, but when autumn arrives, I start to prepare my abstract and figurative winter collections. I love to paint pieces of retro-style skiers. Otherwise, with Québec winters being much too long (in my opinion!), I begin to miss the sunlight, so I try to travel often in order to recharge my batteries and fill my creative soul with vibrant colours and breathtaking landscapes!