By Kía Valdez Bettcher
Queen - Michaelle Jean Size 23" by 33"
Poster Mounted on 1" Card
Delivery Time: 1 week within Alberta; Up to 6 weeks outside Alberta
This illustration is supposed to represent Michaëlle Jean and her journey to becoming a Canadian icon. Michaëlle came to Canada as a refugee from a brutal dictatorship led by Duvalier in Haiti; however, her struggles did not end once she moved to a new country. Her father became abusive after the move and helped shape what values she would stand up for in the future. Despite the hardships she faced, Michaëlle was able become the third woman to become the governor general of Canada, and the first of African descent. She is now a social activist for women and children at risk of being harmed by domestic violence and tries to create networks to help those in need.
The composition of the illustration emphasizes the dynamic, upward struggle Michaëlle Jean has faced in her life time. In the bottom right, a mother and child look up at a tremendous mountain. They represent both Michaëlle Jean as a child and her mother when they were fleeing Duvalier's dictatorship. Additionally, the two figures represent the women and children that Michaëlle has become a voice for in Canada. A large purple ribbon, the symbol of domestic violence awareness, leads up the mountain and symbolizes Michaëlle's efforts to prevent violence throughout her life. The mountain itself represents the challenges she has faced, as well as the fruits of her labour, which are represented by lush greenery near the peak. On the peak, a large maple leaf glows, symbolizing how Michaëlle Jean represents Canada at its finest. Thanks to her efforts as a social activist and as Governor General, more Canadians are connected and can seek help when faced with domestic violence.
I try to have a painterly style in my digital illustrations. My stylistic inspirations mostly come from classical and impressionist painters, as well as artists from the Golden Age of illustration. Although most of my work is digital, I like to start off my illustrations with small thumbnails using a simple ballpoint pen. Once I have a general idea of a composition, I work out a colour and value scheme in Photoshop. Around this time, I make a small mood board to help me capture a key emotion. Once the planning is done, I just sit down and paint with a Wacom tablet.
More about the GDC - RRF collaboration here
2015 Theme - QUEEN!
“Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.” Aretha Franklin
Ribbon Rouge #8 is QUEEN!
Our theme this year explores powerful women; women of vision and unsung heroes in our communities and globally. “Unruly” women who broke away from the status quo…bothered people…shook up the system and birthed social revolutions. To their various capacities, these women used whatever they had to be the difference and they inspire us to become our own brands of heretics. A few of them have worked directly in HIV relief efforts, others have put in tremendous efforts to further women’s rights. In all, their efforts have directly or indirectly contributed to progress on gender equity, which in turn, contributes to getting to Zero HIV.
These Queens inspire us to each cause a RUCKUS!
…To get out in front and create our own tribes, our own movements for positive change. To believe in ourselves, as such inspire others to do the same.
Ribbon Rouge #8 presents these women, their ideas, their thoughts…feelings to you through the night.