These are quick snippets of some people I may know or others that I meet. As I create these, I am still learning what questions to ask. For everyone it tends to be different. The purpose isn’t to have a formal interview but rather a chance to share a small background and some brief thoughts from the people that I draw.
Hope you enjoy reading :)
In December 2017, in Ecuador, I stayed at El Hostelito in Quito. These are some snapshots of the faces staying at the hostel at the time.
Kenneth from South Africa
Gonzalo from Argentina
Renne from Finland
Shireen (Kenneth’s wife) from South Africa.
My time with these people was short but the brief conversations we shared I’ll hold onto for a while.
The first year that I worked at my old job we had this huge group of Dutch people that were very memorable to me because of how approachable they were. My second year there we didn’t really have that and the last few months I was there it was nice to sort of get that back with the new group that came.
These people in particular always had a great sense of humor about them. I don’t know if I credit that only to the fact that they are Dutch because I think it’s also just the way these people are. (One of them isn’t even Dutch, she is just married to one of ‘em haha!) For me they all serve as a reminder to not take myself too seriously because I guarantee I would be laughing if I was around them.
Three of the people I spoke to were students at the school where I was working.
3. Carsten (I didn’t get the chance to write a little paragraph for him)
The other ones are my friend and her husband.
As I make these little interviews, I’m still learning about what questions to ask. For everyone it tends to be different. The purpose isn’t to have a formal interview but rather a chance to share a small background and some brief thoughts from the people that I draw.
These are drawings from a weekend spent up in New Paltz. Usually when I go up there it can get a little overwhelming and when I leave I feel like I’m leaving a whirlwind of events but staying with Zo made it super relaxing. So I thank her and Bennett for that.
There are other illustrations I did while I was up there placed in between the little interviews in this one.
People I spoke to back home before coming to France described Paris as “romantic” or “magical” and while I don’t believe these things to be untrue maybe they are incomplete idealisms of the city. Some of these people were born and raised in Paris while others moved there and have been living there for some time.
Lou Boussard from France
Piotrek Sieminski from Poland
Clara and her dog Maica from France
Olivier Turzi & Bianca Rossi from France
Fanny Vedreine from France
The city itself is still incredibly attractive but like any place, to live or work somewhere you experience it differently. I’m fortunate to have spoken to these people who challenged my idealized impression of Paris from the short time I was there.
My first day at the residency in Sainte-Valiere we went to this performance in a nearby village called Pouzols-Minervois. I missed half of it unfortunately but what I did witness was fantastic. There were all these bikes stationed where the performance took place and as children pedaled they would light up. After they had a Buster Keaton film playing on a projector while the band provided the soundtrack and sound effects. At one point while I was drawing I had a brief conversation with one of the group members, Andres. At the end of the performance I spoke to him again and I told him I wanted to do a version of this series with the members of the troupe and luckily they were performing in another village nearby by the following day.
Claire Vincent from France
Giulia Marra from Italy
Cecilia Marino from Italy
Francois Gozlan from France
Renata Silano from Italy
Andres Reyes-Saladrigas from Chile
I rode a bike to this other village and I got to see their entire performance this time around and I was blown away. They all practice their own work individually but come together every year to do these performances as a troupe filled with music, art, marionettes and installations. This being their third year. For the brief moment I was with them I literally and figuratively had a place at the family table. They’re not only performing together for these two months, but living together. Cooking, cleaning, traveling, taking care of two kids that are traveling with them. I have a tremendous amount of respect for all of them because what they are doing is an incredible amount of work. But the work they pursue is filled with the wealth you can only gain by doing something you are passionate about.
On separate occasions I met the Parizet family and Norbert and Christel while I was drawing in this small village, Pouzols-Minervois. I was near the door of Norbert and Christel’s house when Norbert came outside and offered me a chair to use. Later Christel came out and invited me to come inside to have some soup with her and her husband. They played some CDs and were excited to share their favorite American musicians with me. When I left, Norbert gave me a bottle of Hasseröder as a gift. It was nice to have a cold beer after being surrounded by vineyards and a lot of wine.
That same day I met Clem who was riding his bike and then introduced me to his father Thierry. We communicated to the best of our ability (with a lot of pantomiming) and eventually I met the rest of the family. A few days later they invited me over for dinner and it was such a great experience to have a home cooked meal with such generous people. We played some games and I have some drawings that Clem and Rose gave me as gifts.
Parizet Family from France
Starks from Germany
All these people made my time in the south of France really special. I think when you live in a small village you respect and value personal encounters more so than people who live in areas that are far more condensed. They didn’t have to invite me inside but that small act and their trust is something I won’t forget.
I met these people in different parts of the south of France while I was in my residency. I didn't get to have extensive conversations with them but I'm thankful for the time they took to share their stories with me.
Galina Ileva from Bulgaria
Alain Monge from France
Lea Femminino from France
Staying at the residency was a great experience because I had the chance to meet so many different artists and people. I didn't have the opportunity to do a bio with all the residents but these people here are ones that I had the chance to speak to during my time in Sainte-Valiere.
Eloise Caleo from Cambridge, Tasmania and Melbourne
Ana Dias from Portugal
I think what connects these people together in my eyes is that they are all hardworking. Eloise was running her residency program and always seemed to have multiple things going on. As for Antoine, the moments I did speak with him gave me some of the best conversations during my stay but as a screenwriter, he was usually writing in his room. Finally Ana was the chef for an event held at the residency and seeing her in the kitchen reminded how much work it takes to cater an event and to do it successfully.
I met these people when they were students at my old job at EF New York. During my trip these last two months I had the chance to meet up with so many of them again. Just from working at EF I was eventually able to meet up with these friends during my travels and visit them in their hometowns. That place really connected so many people from different countries and you see it in couples that stay together or friends from different countries that will eventually meet up.
Emil Holm Lundemann from Denmark
Daphne Harteveld from Switzerland
Wouter Hiemstra from the Netherlands
Mert Celik from Germany
Coen ten Veen from the Netherlands
Jessica Ferroli from France
Coen van den Berg from the Netherlands
These are only a few of the people from my old job that I met up with but I realized something about the people who came to New York to learn English, something they all share. I think what they all have in common is a curiosity in the world and their willingness to travel. It is something I gained while working there and I hope it is something that I never lose.
I met Layla and Nico while I was drawing the Cathedral of St. Michel and St. Gudula. Layla was working at this stand called CouCou created by Nico that sells drinks, provides information to tourists and gives people a place to gather. I'm really grateful to Layla for offering me a drink and later for sitting next to me where I was able to get to know her. She was the first Belgian I met while I was in Brussels and she gave me a really compelling view of the city.
I met Marco while he was in New York and he showed me around Brussels when I visited. I had the chance to speak to his parents later at their home for dinner. I'm thankful to him and his family for sharing their collection of comics with me as well as fascinating conversations about their jobs, nationalities and identity.
Layla Serrano-Rodriguez from Belgium
Nico Boups from Belgium
Marco Frizon from Hungary
Orsolya Somogyi from Hungary
Richard Frizon from France
The thing I loved about Brussels was the diversity in the city. It is something that reminded me of New York. You walk around parts outside of the city center and you find so many different kinds of restaurants and flags from different countries hanging from the windows. But of course with the city being the host of a number of EU institutions it is far from surprising.