Weekly artist series: Week 9 Part 3 of 3 SUE COE: Portrait of Truth. Who do you celebrate? I celebrate Sabrina.

Week 9 Part 3 Sue Coe

What draws me to Sue Coe’s work is the freedom in her truth telling.  Her technique reflects the message and there is an ease to how she produces her work while at the same time she hammers her message home.  She is her art.

From Americans Who Tell the Truth, Portraits by Robert Shetterly

We despair for the fate of animals, the senseless cruelties inflicted upon them by our species, their and our own helplessness in the face of mass slaughter — all this is true. And if we could really see what we have done to the earth, we would go mad.

Alongside that is yet another truth: there is a palpable goodness all around us, even in the most terrible times, that all things point to, like the north star. – SUE COE, Dead Meat

Who, in your life, would you like to celebrate as a truth teller?  Who is transparent and daring and willing to bare their soul, and simply live in the truth? 

I am choosing my former student and now my artist-colleague, Sabrina LaLonde.  This young artist is monstrously talented and conveys a truth in her art and her life that inspires me to no end.  I want to be better when I am around her, I want to draw more honestly like her, I want to be my art like she is.
By Sabrina Lalonde

Sabrina Lalonde Artist Story:

I think that some people are born with a special talent, and some people have to take an interest and work at it.  When I look at my artwork from when I was little, it is the same as the other kids.  But then I took an interest and I have worked at my art every day. 

When I first started kindergarten and we had a choice of activities I always chose art.  My dad wanted me to be artistic because he was, he didn’t force me, but he did encourage me.  By grade four my enjoyment of art had become a need.  I didn’t fit into any cliques and so I would stay inside and do art all the time.  My teacher started noticing how much I liked art and how I took to it.  My parents came to school and saw my art and said ‘wow – this is turning into something’.  My mom has always valued, and respected my artistic need.

It felt nerve-racking because people had high expectations of me.  It still feels like that – people will compliment me, or make requests – and I put pressure on myself. 

This is just who I am, this is what I do, I don’t think my work is any better or worse than anyone else’s.  Art is essential to my survival.  It is my way of expressing my feelings, and how I look at life, and if I don’t get that out it’s like an implosion.  If I’m not creating I will get frustrated with everything because I can’t get my voice out.  When I can’t get my voice out I feel horrible, I feel as though I have pent up energy and I’m tied to a couch, it’s like a feeling of helplessness.  Drawing is my zen-zone where I find myself.  It is peace to me.  It is my way of connecting with myself

Check out Sabrina’s work and other extraordinary youth art at the YOUTH ART AND SALE at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School in North Vancouver, BC, April 19!
Sabrina created this invite:

My portrait of Sabrina, June 2011 at the Savary Island Art Retreat:

And I scratched out a drawing of her in my journal last summer during a café meetup: