Multi-disciplinary artist Selina Latour lives and works in the Maritimes of Canada. There is a closeness to her work that deals with form and colour, and themes of expression. She is truly a breathing the air of what it means to be an artist of the 21st Century. Finishing a residency in Lunenburg, she has had the time post-graduation to take the necessary steps in to the world of art.
Before we get started, what do we need to know about you? and your work?
I graduated with a BFA in Interdisciplinary from NSCAD University last April and recently moved to Lunenburg for the year-long NSCAD Studio Community Residency. In the last year of my degree, I did a semester abroad at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, where my work greatly reflected the environment I was in. Delving into notions of my own loneliness and nostalgia of living in a foreign place, and concepts of psychogeography, I attempted to understand the subconscious ways in which I biked throughout the city. I made work that carefully contemplated my surroundings, and the intimate observations of people and places. My graduate show Dutch Impressions at the Anna Leonowens Gallery gathered ideas of memory and significant relationships during that time using painting, textiles, video, sound and performance.
What kind of person do you have to be to pursue an artistic driven profession?
You have to be self-disciplined and constantly motivated. The only way I know how to do that thus far is to treat my practice like a day job. I wake up early to have a 9 to 5 kind of work day – whether it is spent in a sketchbook travelling or in the studio, keeping semi–regulated hours helps me to keep motivated in my projects. Leaving time to experience things with others I’ve discovered is equally important, as it often fosters moments of inspiration towards forthcoming projects. Although spending time with others often feels like procrastinating, it has become an essential part of my practice as it opens up opportunities for critical art discussion and collaboration.
Is the artistic life lonely?
No! There are art communities to tap into wherever you go! Being in Lunenburg has taught me that – that in the smallest of places, there are always people to establish artistic relationships with. My practice involves a lot of collaboration, so my struggle involves balancing my time with artistic peers and leaving time for independent productivity.
What’s integral to the work you produce?
For me, productivity = happiness. I’m learning that productivity comes in several forms – sometimes it comes from a morning spent reading, sometimes from an afternoon talking to a friend about art, which turns into an opportunity for collaboration. Sometimes it comes in the form of letter writing, or writing lists, taking care of plants, or chatting with the librarian. Being open to forming relationships, and recognizing opportunities for inspiration is integral to my practice.
What’s the crappiest job you’ve had?
This is a trick question as the crappiest job I’ve ever had may also categorize as the best job I’ve ever had. It involves planting trees. I did it for three months in BC, and I think it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was challenging both physically and mentally, but shaped me more than any other experience. It made me humble, and able to finally recognize all the things I took for granted. It made me appreciate the small things. More than anything, it made me value time – time spent in my life developing my artistic practice.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I had to write a five-year plan last year in my open studio course during my last semester of school. I remember thinking “Oh god. Do we really have to do this?” It seemed daunting – and thinking that far ahead scared me. I avoided it for a week, and then finally dedicated time towards thinking about the development of my artistic career. I wrote down residencies and travel locations I’d already been thinking about, and potential schools towards getting a Master’s degree. I wrote down what I thought would be my biggest hurdles and greatest achievements. I love having this document to refer back to in my lifetime – to keep me motivated and driven towards building my arts career. I was advised to make a five-year plan during a scary time that faced recognizing the unknown world after graduation. This plan is nothing near concrete or even maybe realizable – but it is a force that keeps me motivated in my art practice!
You can see more of Selina Latour's work at: