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Interview with Edith Boucher, graphic designer and illustrator

Edith is the artist behind our beers' illustrations. Her reputation is well established. She has collaborated, among others, with the Boréalis clothing brand, various punk bands, the Mabrasserie microbrewery, festivals such as Le Délüge in Saguenay, the Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas, UNDZ underwear and, closer to home in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Musée de la gare in Témiscamingue and La Barbière in Rouyn-Noranda. As well as being talented, Edith has a sparkling personality and a love of old neon posters. Let's find out more about this artist's contrasting, cheerful old-school punk style!

Q&A with Edith Boucher

Name: Edith Boucher 
38 ans
Current city: 
That’s too hard. Roadtrips, music, arts, food.

Favourite sandwich
: After changing my choice several times, I'd go with the classic of classics: tomato mayo (with untoasted bread that sticks to the palate). It's less fancy than a mortadella, burrata and pistachio sandwich, but, if I were on a desert island and had to eat only that, clearly I would get sick of it.

Favorite place in the world and why:
I've never left the continent, so my answer won't be very exotic. I’ve mostly traveled the American Southwest. I've visited the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts a few times. I really like the vastness, tranquility and wild, raw beauty of the desert. They're also very remote and isolated places, most of which have a history connected to the mining industry. There are clearly many similarities with Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and that's probably one of the reasons why I always feel at home there. 

A luminous spark plug

Edith is one of those people who, even as a teenager, knew exactly what they wanted to do in life. "I used to design mixtape covers, reproduce skateboard logos on T-shirts and so on" recalls our artist. During her time at university, she accepted small contracts here and there, for promoters and punk bands in California, but also all over the world. Long live the Internet! At the time, there weren't many graphic designers and illustrators working in the underground, even though demand was growing with the rise of social media and the craze for emerging music. "Having the opportunity to combine two of my passions and turn them into a 'career' was an opportunity I really wanted to seize! I quickly jumped into the world of freelance work and focused solely on that, saying to myself 'come what may"... A gamble that paid off, as Edith Boucher has been working in this field for nearly 17 years!

"I was really looking forward to getting to work on creating something that would appeal not only to visiting tourists, but also to locals."

Edith Boucher

Youthful inspiration to get away from the sometimes harsh everyday life

The artist draws her inspiration from popular references and clichés, nostalgia, caricature, light-hearted and fun stuff. "Art is for me, as it is for many, a kind of outlet. I create to entertain myself, to take my mind off things. I have a creative universe that is certainly at odds with the social problems we are exposed to on a daily basis", she explains. For Edith, it's necessary to maintain mental equilibrium by working daily in a kind of parallel universe that's a little juvenile. She adds, "I always feel a bit 'stupid' publishing an illustration of a pizza-monster-cartoon between two or three publications about armed conflicts or rants about the housing crisis. Still, I try to do something useful by creating for groups, clients, small entrepreneurs who often don't have a huge budget, but who still deserve quality graphic content to get the visibility they deserve." She also says she's inspired by these kinds of projects. She's well surrounded!

A style of cartoons that's gross but funny

Edith's illustration style is often described by her family as, "It's ugly, but it's beautiful." More precisely, she points out that it's "A mix of gross cartoons, but still funny and very colorful, and black-and-white illustrations (due to the lack of a silkscreen printing budget for many), a bit 80s-90s comic book style." She says she likes to do everything, even if she's often recognized for the same style. As soon as she's given the chance, she likes to get out of her little box.

Excited to collaborate with Abitibi-Témiscamingue

In winter 2024, Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue asked Edith to collaborate on the promotional campaign for summer 2024. When Edith was asked to collaborate, she was really moved, and then super excited! "It's been 10 years since I left the region to be with my boyfriend, and to this day it remains an unfinished mourning. I live here, but I continue to "live" in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. I listen to Rouyn's radio station, read the regional news every day, and keep abreast of cultural activities, issues and so on," says Edith Boucher. She adds that whenever someone from the region contacts her for a project, she's always just as happy, if not happier, than when the request comes from a big company. "It's like a kind of validation that I'm still one of you," she adds.

In the case of Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue, it was the perfect collaboration for Edith, who even worked at the Rouyn-Noranda tourist information office for two summers during her studies. "I was really looking forward to getting to work on creating something that would appeal not only to visiting tourists, but also to locals," says the graphic illustrator.

Creations that come in a flash

When Edith was working on her project for Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the process for most of her concepts was super-fluid and fast. Edith recounts, "They all came to me in flashes in the middle of the night, or just before I fell asleep. I remember one night when I finally got up 4 or 5 times to get out of the bedroom, grab my iPad and record a voice memo, half-asleep, because I really didn't want to forget my idea!" To which she adds: "I rarely juggle several projects at once. When I start a contract, I give it my 100%. I always take time out to do a bit of research on my subject, and so on. In this case, I already had a pretty good grasp of it! Ha ha!”

Edith wants the illustrations she creates as part of our collaboration to make people smile. She wants the welcoming, positive image of the region to come across well in her illustrations. "We're a unique region, with colorful and very creative people (in every way). It's something to be proud of," says the artist.

"Of course, the priority is to discover our lakes and forests, in one of our two magnificent parks or at the Kekeko hills (the basics, y'know)..."

Edith Boucher

The artist's favorites in Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Finally, Edith Boucher's favorites in Abitibi-Témiscamingue are numerous. The place she recommended most often to friends and bands on their way to Rouyn-Noranda was undoubtedly to stop off at the Grenier des saveurs in Val-d'Or to stock up on jerky (the best kind).

Her second favorite, not far behind, is the poutine aux poivres from Chez Pierrot in Rouyn-Noranda and the BBQ cheese curds of Fromagerie au Village.

She also adds: "Of course, the priority is to discover our lakes and forests, in one of our two magnificent parks or at the Kekeko hills (the basics, y'know). Bonus point, if you start your day with a sunrise on a rocky hill on Chemin Millenbach overlooking Lac Dufault (you can also go there to watch the northern lights).”

Finally, she says she loves the few vintage neon signs that can still be seen in a few places in Val-d'Or. The sign at Casse-croûte Chez Ti-Pit is a jewel! Edith points out: "Like any good person from Abitibi-Témiscamingue, I have my secret spots that I won't name here; for peace and quiet, swimming, fishing and, above all, I have (well, my mother has) the best spots for picking blueberries. To be able to eat them by the handful from a full colander, nothing's much more amazing than that!”

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