interview

The origins of Art Traffickers

Fred Jourdain / Martin Parrot

The Traffickers of Art is a custom picture frame shop and art gallery that sells Fred's creations as well as works from other artists. Above all, it allows Fred to distance himself from the day-to-day management of his sales and printing. Let's take a look inside the world of this artist / entrepreneur.

Where did the idea come from?

You know, it's nice to be able to work on your work. Before social media came along, the best way for me to exhibit my art was in cafes and bars. That's how I was able to live my illustrations for so many years.

Back then, I was getting my works printed in commercial shops and it was not long. I wanted the best colors and I wanted my prints to be with time and resist to lighting.

So I started researching different types of printers, inks and papers. Eventually, I got a loan to buy a top-of-the-line printer and a bunch of other gear. I think I was 19 or 20 at the time and I've never regretted that investment. It really helped me stand out by offering a great quality.


Soon after, my exhibitions started picking up so I was offering my clients the option to buy my illustrations with a frame. I dealt with a number of framers for several years. Everything was going well and it was convenient but it also meant a lot of management on my part. And so while I was able to live my art, I had no time left for drawing.

Were you expecting your work to sell that much?

Well, I never had a master plan. I just wanted to do the best I could on every level - drawing, printing, framing ... I wanted to improve my work experience of the word.

When I first started out, I'd divide my year into several blocks. I had a period where I did contracts for different clients: graphic design, photography, children 's illustrations and cover art for albums. Another period was set aside for personal projects like my series of portraits and the last period was where I toured and did exhibitions. That's what my first few years of work looked like The Blue Dragon for about two years.


After I finished The Blue Dragon, I started exhibiting my work again. I spent a lot of time in Montreal because I was so well-known in Quebec City and I would like to see you there. I started to offer works in large sizes, canvas prints and high-end reproductions. Sure enough, most of my time went towards managing my website, inventory, organizing exhibits, mailing and framing instead of creating.


And then along came Virgil?


Yeah, Virgil was an old friend and we'd often go out for beers. I remember at one point, I was completely overloaded with work and he offered to give me a hand. And when he'd help me out, he'd often ask me questions about the business, my suppliers and the equipment - he was curious and interested. We eventually started talking about becoming a framer and making business out of it. We thought it was a lot of time and we were doing math, we were really motivated to start our business.

It took some time to fine tune our business plan, raise enough cash and find the perfect location. We are really interested in Quebec City Limoilou neighborhood. But funny enough, we have been talking about our idea, we have opened our shop right in the heart of Limoilou.


How's business?

Well, we've been open since June 1st, 2017 and everything has been above and beyond our expectations. We did not want to be pretentious art gallery - we wanted to offer a quality service at a fair price. And we also wanted to cater to artists so they could take advantage of my printing expertise and Virgile's framing skills. So far, I can safely say the answer has been thrilling.

Before we opened, Virgil spent a lot of time in Montreal with a truly exceptional framer I know. In fact, we would have discussed our business idea with him and he had proposed to become Virgil's mentor - talk about a great opportunity! And on top of that, I've never had such beautiful frames to showcase my work in. Right now, the possibilities are endless and Virgile is very skillful.


So do you finally have more time to create?

For the past few months, I've gone back to studying drawing techniques. I am exploring new mediums and I'm going back to the basics. I've started creating again and I'm going to revisit I'd go on the back-burner. It's really a good time for me right now.

credits

Pictures: Anthony Jourdain, Catherine Côté, Fred Jourdain, Martin Poulin, Martin Côté

Translation from french: Peter Tardif

Share this

© Affranchi - The contents of this publication may not be reproduced without the author's consent



Interview

The origins of Art Traffickers

Fred Jourdain / Martin Parrot

The Traffickers of Art is a custom picture frame shop and art gallery that sells Fred's creations as well as works from other artists. Above all, it allows Fred to distance himself from the day-to-day management of his sales and printing. Let's take a look inside the world of this artist / entrepreneur.

Where did the idea come from?

You know, it's nice to be able to work on your work. Before social media came along, the best way for me to exhibit my art was in cafes and bars. That's how I was able to live my illustrations for so many years.

Back then, I was getting my works printed in commercial shops and it was not long. I wanted the best colors and I wanted my prints to be with time and resist to lighting. So I started researching different types of printers, inks and papers.

Eventually, I got a loan to buy a top-of-the-line printer and a bunch of other gear. I think I was 19 or 20 at the time and I've never regretted that investment. It really helped me stand out by offering a great quality.

Soon after, my exhibitions started picking up so I was offering my clients the option to buy my illustrations with a frame. I dealt with a number of framers for several years. Everything was going well and it was convenient but it also meant a lot of management on my part. And so while I was able to live my art, I had no time left for drawing.

Were you expecting your work to sell that much?

Well, I never had a master plan. I just wanted to do the best I could on every level - drawing, printing, framing ... I wanted to improve my work experience of the word.

When I first started out, I'd divide my year into several blocks. I had a period where I did contracts for different clients: graphic design, photography, children 's illustrations and cover art for albums. Another period was set aside for personal projects like my series of portraits and the last period was where I toured and did exhibitions. That's what my first few years of work looked like The Blue Dragon for about two years.

After I finished The Blue Dragon, I started exhibiting my work again. I spent a lot of time in Montreal because I was so well-known in Quebec City and I would like to see you there. I started to offer works in large sizes, canvas prints and high-end reproductions. Sure enough, most of my time went towards managing my website, inventory, organizing exhibits, mailing and framing instead of creating.

And then along came Virgil?


Yeah, Virgil was an old friend and we'd often go out for beers. I remember at one point, I was completely overloaded with work and he offered to give me a hand. And when he'd help me out, he'd often ask me questions about the business, my suppliers and the equipment - he was curious and interested. We eventually started talking about becoming a framer and making business out of it. We thought it was a lot of time and we were doing math, we were really motivated to start our business.

It took some time to fine tune our business plan, raise enough cash and find the perfect location. We are really interested in Quebec City Limoilou neighborhood. But funny enough, we have been talking about our idea, we have opened our shop right in the heart of Limoilou.

How's business?

Well, we've been open since June 1st, 2017 and everything has been above and beyond our expectations. We did not want to be pretentious art gallery - we wanted to offer a quality service at a fair price. And we also wanted to cater to artists so they could take advantage of my printing expertise and Virgile's framing skills. So far, I can safely say the answer has been thrilling.

Before we opened, Virgil spent a lot of time in Montreal with a truly exceptional framer I know. In fact, we would have discussed our business idea with him and he had proposed to become Virgil's mentor - talk about a great opportunity! And on top of that, I've never had such beautiful frames to showcase my work in. Right now, the possibilities are endless and Virgile is very skillful.

So do you finally have more time to create?

For the past few months, I've gone back to studying drawing techniques. I am exploring new mediums and I'm going back to the basics. I've started creating again and I'm going to revisit I'd go on the back-burner. It's really a good time for me right now.

credits

Pictures: Anthony Jourdain, Catherine Côté, Fred Jourdain, Martin Poulin, Martin Côté

Translation from french: Peter Tardif

Share this

© Affranchi - The contents of this publication may not be reproduced without the author's consent