“My work is mainly about emotions” answered Hélène Picard, when asked about her inspirations. The French Painter and Sculptor, who studied visual and Fine Arts at Beaux-Arts Paris, materializes in her artworks her way of feeling and perceiving people, atmosphere of an environment, etc. “Whatever I see, I can receive very strongly and deeply […] Even if you see a landscape. For me a landscape represents some inner emotions. It is a way of constructing a bridge between both, the external elements and what we have inside of us”.
Her path to becoming the artist she is today has not been easy as she underwent a 3-year crisis about balancing financial needs and self-expression: “I was so obsessed by living from my art, selling paintings, making money, that I arrived at a certain point where I was doing paintings only for selling them, and not for my satisfaction or for searching and finding, such as finding new ways of expression”.
To some extent, it is her need to put out to the world what she perceives that helped to overcome this difficult period, and decide once and for all that “[she] couldn’t be anything else than an artist: Surely, because it is a question of self-expression, and having too much inside of me. In another way, it is also a way to communicate with other people. Not with words, but with colors in my case.”
Hélène Picard – La blouse dorée
When it comes to expressing herself creatively, Picard explains that if the process is complex, it is partly due to our heritage: “If you try to create something, you create it from something that already exists as you are not the only one in the world. You have some references and some inspirations about it”. From her perspective, what makes an artwork unique lies in reality in how the artist will shape it: “You have inspirations, but the shape at the end is unique”.
This quest for uniqueness is a key component of any creative process, but Picard explains that it can also be a source of anxiety especially during exhibitions, as it means confronting herself with the fear of being rejected by the audience, and expose herself to negative feedback on her artworks. Over time, this anxiety weakens: “once you gain some recognition of what you did, this is different. You feel more comfortable”. As we discuss, a parallel with situations in business settings unveils. Often, employees are holding back when it comes to sharing ideas, especially if those are not in-line with the majority, due to the fear of seeing their ideas being rejected. This behavior impacts any workplace negatively in the long-run due to the depletion of novel or out-of-the box ideas.
As a result, when talking about how organizations could maintain the motivation of their employees and keep job satisfaction up, one of the key components is to create an environment where employees are encouraged to try and go beyond their boundaries: “You could see that if you allow people to express themselves, and you convince them to just try it […] It leads to great engagement”. On another level, it comes down to employees’ own-self esteem, self-confidence, and their ability to acknowledge self-progression: “if you want to be satisfied with yourself, you have to trust yourself and to be confident in your capabilities. You have to acknowledge that you do good things, even though some people might not see it that way, that you do what you can and you try to improve. Every day, we do a few very small steps, which are not a lot, but it is still very important to notice them. This is a way of being satisfied with your work.”
Please read the full interview here.
Interview and Blog post by Julia Kierdorf and Thomas Castéran
Picture Source: Hélène Picard