beautiful inspiration


lilyluciole is a montreal-based artist whose works are all so captivating. kaleidoscopes of colour embellish a central muse. we’re talking chic… oh so chic when lily hits the streets and totally oh la la. she’s been adorning the walls of montreal for some time now with her striking art and has been sharing that beauty around the world of late.
interview by i.t.a.

check the lilyluciole gallery

i’d like to welcome you to powder, lillyluciole. it’s so utterly fabulous to be speaking with someone who colours the streets in the way you do.

Thank you for inviting me to share my vision.

firstly lilyluciole, what are you up to now? what projects are you working on and what do you have coming up?

I have begun to paste up my work in Paris now, but I mainly reside in Montreal.

I’ve started a project that I call Revelation, which is actually a reflection on my dual culture. I’m trying to break the boundaries which exist between cultures that seem apparently so different. It's a cross cultural meeting between Asia and Africa, which tries to permit different cultures to merge together.

It allows me to talk about the values of respect and the dialogue between cultures.
Still today, there are always misunderstandings, ignorance and racism among people both in Montreal and Paris, the two cities where I’ve lived, and it is seriously sad.

I collaborate with Yan (Dekhana), a photographer, who takes photos of my muse Sae, who interacts with my art work. The results are very interesting.

The pieces are visible around Montreal, NYC and now in Paris.

In fact, I create my projects via meetings that I have. For the moment, I am obsessed by this woman and she’s an endless source of inspiration.

One day in the future, I hope to make another trip to Africa so as to find more revelations.

what’s the street art scene like in montreal today? how has it evolved over time?

I think it's important for me to talk about the street art of Montreal because it is still unknown. It’s an emerging scene which is best known and reputed in foreign countries for its graffiti, but it is important to mention artists like Labrona and Alex Product and others who are using different ways of expression. I think a new wave of artists will renew the scene and develop new ways of expression that will break the street art of Montreal onto the world scene.

For example the reaction to the Public Art Festival in June 2013 was simply amazing. Collective Offmurales, which is composed mainly of women artists including myself, wanted to show that street art is not simply a commodity. A united and committed vision is proposed and it is simply necessary. It is interesting to observe that it is mostly women who have decided to react.

I see also that women street artists in France want to be present in the street and be supported in their work. Hope.

what’s it like working on the streets of montreal? what are the highs and what are the lows?

I think the most incredible experience was to paste in winter at - 15 C temperatures. I was with my friend Cavannus.

I had a nice collection of collages to show in a neighborhood which is close to the St Lawrence (River). The cold wind blew so much that even the glue was made of ice at the end of the day.

does the law trouble the street artist much in montreal? have you ever had trouble with the police while creating on the streets?

I think that pasting in Montreal is pleasant, but we must always remain vigilant. I never think of the dangers. Indeed, I think I have a guardian angel above me.

your works are so beautiful. what inspires you to begin a work? how do you go looking for inspiration?

I think my life is a beautiful inspiration. My thoughts about my origins, my travels, my beliefs and my doubts are metaphorically presented in my works. They carry a meaning that is easily recognizable.

When I began as an artist more than two years ago, I decided at that time that I had to be faithful to who I am.

I’m the heir to the individual and cultural heritage of my parents, so my work is and will be unlike any other. I refuse to be the pale copy of any other artist, because my work is unique and will remain so. Under the cheerful and colorful appearance of my art is hiding something deeper. This is the part of my private self that I offer in the street.

A friend of mine said of my work : It seems that the woman is almost hidden behind the colorful, powerful forces of the world. She is trying to make her way in the world.

I think this is a good definition of my work.

A wealth lies in these small collages that I paste.

and when working the streets how do you choose your locations and walls? what do you look for in a street canvas?

I always want to show my work in underprivileged places. When I arrived in Montreal in 2011, I decided to stick my work in Hochelaga which represents the district of Montreal that is the most deprived. I like to give such a resonance to my creation, but I'm happy to explore all parts of a city and have a chance to travel and show my small pieces. For the moment I'm so happy to be back in Paris and I’m lucky to be able to paste up my works in my city.

what role do you think street art has in the community?

I think that a lot of artists forget that they can have a positive impact in their society.
As soon as a young artist decides to show his work he thinks success lies only in the sale of it. He thinks about making a career. That partly explains the widespread use of social networking by artists. We are running after galleries and exhibitions; we forget the essential things I think.

In fact, this work is not only disconnected from the inner life of its creator and his emotions but it is totally disconnected from the society in which he lives. I think that produces poor work without questioning, without mystery, without bias, without affirmation.

There is no need to be revolutionary or a committed activist to produce engaged work.

From my side, I decided to stay focused, to make quality work and offer it without concern. Anyway, I know the value of my work so I don’t have a fear of tomorrow.

Also, we must Keep the faith, that means keeping away from those people who impoverish artists spiritually and psychologically. Those that speak only about art as unique marketing proposals, those who steal the soul and mind of artists.

I share my work and friends of mine and photographers circulate my work also. I take my time, I wait. I think about the amazing and positive work created by Eric MarechaI and Fabi Futata, The ArtFabric. That is a beautiful street art project for the community.

after you’ve been out on the street creating, what do you do to unwind?

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to relax. But I love sitting in a café, discussing anything and everything with my friends or family. I also love taking a walk and listening to music alone.

how did you begin? what led you to be an artist and why did you take it out onto the streets?

I’ve always considered myself a person who needs to explore, create, experiment with music and photography, but I decided to become an artist after an operation. My body had been through a lot and I was hurt. At this point I needed to speak about that. I wanted to express my emotions, my sufferings. Nobody could do it for me. I had coloured pens, I cut pieces of paper. This gave birth to my first sketches. Later I went to the studio of Epsylon and prepared my first piece of art to paste up in the street.

who are your influences on the street art scene? and from the whole art world who has inspired you?

It is difficult for me to quote an artist who could have an influence on me because there are so many from music, dance, architecture, photography, painting, cinema, poetry and in my life in general but the artist that I want to mention now is Chagall. Simply because he has created an expression that is both lightweight, colorful and mysterious, which is the product of his private life. That really touches me.
In fact, artists who inspire me are the artists who keep the faith, who remains intact for themselves and for others. Keep your unity.

Art in all its forms is essential in life and we need to raise awareness to the largest number of people so they can benefit from the positive impacts. Peace.

lilyluciole, your artworks are enchanting and that’s how it has been speaking with you. you’re a favourite with us here at powder and we hope to speak with you again in the future.

check lilyluciole's flickr

lilyluciole @ fatcap

check the dusty rebel's take on lilyluciole


1 daniel albanese-thedustyrebel

2 nicole

3 yannick andré-genel-dekhana photo

4 daniel albanese-thedustyrebel

5 cavannus

6 eric marechal-the artfabric

7 aline mairet-art mural street art

8 aline mairet-art mural street art

9 cavannus

10 yannick andré-genel-dekhana photo/ muse sae

11 lilyluciole

front shot - yannick andré-genel-dekhana photo/ muse sae