Florence Rivest. Illustrator and Founder of Erre
MY NEW FOUND RESPECT FOR TAKING CARE
Ever since I was little, nature and the great outdoors have represented such an important part of my life. Today, they are at the heart of my work as an illustrator. For me, spending time outside is more than a hobby - it’s something profoundly therapeutic that brings me infinite inspiration and perspective.
Over the years, I’ve come to think of nature as my personal lifeline. When the pandemic arrived, more and more people connected to the same idea as they traded city skylines for mountains and valleys. At first, this seemed positive, but began to take a bitter turn as the increased traffic created a heavy impact on the environment. The last thing I want is for our beautiful landscapes to be restricted to a certain number of privileged people, but the deterioration of the environment did cause me to reflect and ask: how can we do a better job of caring for the nature that grants us so much happiness?
For me, the solution is education, and I try to achieve this with my project Erre, by teaching people to visit nature while reducing their ecological footprint through expeditions that merge art and the outdoors as one.
BEHIND THE SCENES OF TAKING CARE
The film is shot at a lake that is a particular favourite of mine, where I had the chance to spend several months during the pandemic. It’s a place that always remains beautiful thanks to efficient conservation measures and many protected areas. Fun fact: the photos make it look like we’re in the middle of the backcountry, when really we’re just an hour and fifteen minutes away from Montreal!
Canoeing and drawing are probably the two most meditative activities I practice. In both, there is an intention behind each motion, an emphasis on repetition, and an obligation to observe everything going on around you. I hope to share these notions through this film and through the courses that I teach.
SHOP FLORENCE’S FILM PICKS
Creator Series Q&A with Florence:
How did you first get into illustration?
Drawing has always been my passion and favourite form of expression, but it took several years before I realized I could make a living from it. I worked in design and advertising before finally starting my own business. Today, I create work for companies that mirror the causes I care about...I really feel like I’ve reached where I’m meant to be.
What was your first defining illustrating experience?
A few years ago, I illustrated a colouring book for little patients at the Ste-Justine hospital that explained the different steps of an operation via a children’s story. It was the first time I felt like my work would be making a difference. I cried when I found out I got the contract!
Other key career moments?
It’s very recent, but I’d have to say the end of the first canoe-camping weekend with my side-project Erre at Poisson Blanc Regional Park. Getting the opportunity to share my passion, in such a beautiful setting that encourages rich human exchanges, was so special! @erre.land
SHOP FLORENCE’S END OF SUMMER WISHLIST
Discover your own New Found Respect for urban style and outdoor pursuits by browsing the most durable, well-designed gear and apparel that’ll help you get out, stay out, and squeeze every last drop out of summer.
ALTITUDE SPORTS CREATOR SERIES
The series consists of one film each month, telling personal stories of a diverse range of multi-disciplinary Canadian image makers for whom nature and sports provides inspiration. By granting each artist full creative freedom, we aim to promote upcoming Canadian talent. Enjoy the experience of what they've each discovered a new found respect for this past year told by them, through their artform.
Are you a Canadian visual artist or image maker? If you’re interested in being selected for our Creator Series, drop us a message and we’ll send you a submission form: firstname.lastname@example.org