We’re so pumped about our conversation with Donna Giraud. Donna is a fine artist (Contemporary, Abstract) and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Donna below.
Hi Donna, so great to have you join us again. For folks who might have missed our earlier conversations, can you please take a minute to briefly introduce yourself?
Eternal optimist. Ambassador of kindness. Painter of positivity. My name is Donna Giraud and I am an abstract artist specializing in large scale, textural paintings with a west coast influence. Living and practicing in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, I have been creating artwork for the last 20 years and my work can be found in private and commercial collections all over North America.
What drives you to keep moving forward, to recreate yourself/your brand and stay relevant as times change (i.e.: living through a worldwide pandemic)?
I am never satisfied with the status quo or staying stagnant. I love conjuring up new ideas and find calm in planning events and art shows. When we get hit with something like a worldwide pandemic, we each have two choices. Coil up and wait for it to pass, or take the bull by the horns and see how you can stay out in front and make it interesting. I choose interesting every time, even if I fail miserably. What drives me to keep moving forward and stay relevant is the inspiration I can give others by showing them it is ok to try something new or innovative.
What is the biggest lesson or insight I have learned while being an artist?
The biggest insight I have learned while being an artist is that it takes far more than just being good at painting. On any given day I am wearing the hat of a media relations manager, an accountant, a photographer, a web designer, a book keeper, a mentor, a student, a graphic designer, and a courier service to name only a few. It takes an exceptional amount of energy and organization to make a living off your art and it took me a long time to figure out a system that allowed me to thrive. Persistence and patience is key but knowing when to add people onto your team to help share the load has been my most recent and ultimate game changer. It takes a village!
What’s your favorite thing about being an artist?
My favorite thing about being an artist is the ability to create a physical object derived completely from my imagination, that then has the power to start a conversation, make someone think and ultimately, feel like they can’t live without it because it sparks an emotion. I have been given the gift of telling stories through texture and when I get to connect a piece of art to the perfect client, I am at my happiest.
What is one word or phrase that best describes your art practice/you as an artist/you as a brand and why?
OPTIMISTIC. For as long as I can remember, I have always had the tendency to look at the good in things or people, to see the silver linings and hope that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. Optimism is at the foundation of my daily life and art practice and something that I incorporate into every piece of art I create. Pandemics happen. We lose our jobs or a relationship ends. Whatever the setback or failure, I have always prided myself on finding the hope or learning from each situation. This way of thinking can physically be felt when you look at each of my artworks. The goal with each artwork I create is to paint an energy of calm and positivity to inspire and give strength. Art has the power to heal and transform and I want to be a part of that.
What are you excited about for 2021?
Aside from the obvious (vaccines for all and getting back to “normal,”) I am most excited about fulfilling my personal goal of painting 50 new paintings for 2021. As we have all spent so much time in our homes over the last year, I think more and more people are recognizing that a “home” is more than just a place where we rest our head. Our homes have become our sanctuaries, a place to feel our most comfortable and safe and I have noticed the trend of art helping make these sanctuaries even more beautiful. I want to get as much great art into great people’s homes as I can, and that is why I have challenged myself to produce 50 new pieces over the next year. I am looking forward to conquering this lofty goal and meeting and becoming friends with all of their new owners. Will that be you?
What do you want people to know most about the process of buying art?
I want as many people as possible to know that bringing art into your life is a wonderful experience that should not be overlooked. Art has the power to heal and transform and you should not be intimidated to commit to finding that perfect piece of art. Art does not have to be expensive and all that matters is that you love it. If one of those pieces happens to be mine, I would be happy and honored to help you through the process. I pride myself on making the art buying experience as enjoyable and easy as possible. If you live in the lower mainland of Vancouver, I am also now offering an option to see my work in the comfort of your own home. I will bring the art right to you so you can immediately see it in your space. For those not as close, all my available art is currently posted on my website at www.donnagiraudart.com and if you want me to create something custom just for you, I can do that too.
It was so great to reconnect. One last question – how can our readers connect with you, learn more or support you?
I am always looking to connect with new people and would love for you to come along on this art journey with me. Visiting my website at www.donnagiraudart.com will give you all the information you need and if you want to make sure you stay up to date with my newest releases, sales and shows, make sure you sign up for my newsletter when you are there. If you prefer the social media route, make sure to follow me on Instagram at @donnagiraudart And if you happen to throw up a smoke signal and or some morse code, I feel pretty confident we can make that work too. I am looking forward to meeting you!
Jasalyn Thorne and Charles Zuckermann