Meet Jacqueline Poirier
Posted: Nov 02 2014
Toronto-based Artist, Jacqueline Poirier (AKA The Crazy Plate Lady), Sheds Light on Who She Is and How She Was Lead To Plart.
Name: Jacqueline Poirier
Current City: Toronto
TCC: Tell us a bit of your background! How did you end up in the arts?
JP: I have been an artist and loved to create for as long as I can remember. I attended a school for the arts part of my teenage years, as well as attended the Ontario College of Art and Design where I earned my BFA in Drawing & Painting. My mother is very creative and from a young age encouraged me to pursue my passion for drawing and painting and be artistic.
TCC: How did you end up painting on plates and why?
JP: I was hired at The Ritz-Carlton in Toronto as a server approximately 3.5 years ago. My manager at the time had come to see me paint at Art Battle and was impressed with my work. He came up with the concept of painting on a couple of the beautiful white charger plates we had in the restaurant. The painted plates ended up looking really nice on the tables so I just went with it! I received really great feedback from guests at the restaurant, realizing that I could potentially sell my custom designs. I ended up painting over 120 plates in about 2 months (all unique and completely different images). They're now a signature part of TOCA restaurant. From TOCA I have been able to start up my own “Plart” business, creating custom designed plates for all sorts of occasions.
TCC: How do you choose your subjects? What are the most popular Plarts?
JP: I gain inspiration from everything around me. I try to keep up with what is trending, celebrities, and news stories. I try not to pigeon-hole myself to specific designs or subjects, allowing my work to be versatile. I do a lot of custom work, so a lot of the time my subject is chosen for me! I often paint my favourite foods as well. Some of the most popular Plarts to date include my Pizza plate, the Macarons, Donut, and of course the Canadiana themed plates. Custom pet portraits are also a big hit!
TCC: What has been your career highlight (or highlights) so far?
JP: Having Al Pacino and Morgan Freeman each buy the Al Pacino and Morgan Freeman plarts! I still can’t believe it! The entire "Plart journey" this far has been really exciting. I've faced new challenges and met new people each and every day. I feel very blessed and motivated.
TCC: What do you love about being an artist in Canada?
JP: I love that Toronto is such a multicultural city and I am able to expose my work to so many different people. The art community here is constantly growing, allowing me to share my work across many different outlets and venues. Canadians are very open and accepting, and I feel very privileged to live in a country where diversity is valued.
TCC: What is your advice for aspiring artists and entrepreneurs in Canada?
JP: I think it’s important to take on each and every opportunity that is given to you. You never know who is going to see your work, and what kind of growth could come from that. It’s also very important to do what you’re passionate about. If you do what you love, success will come.
TCC: Why do you feel its important for consumers to support Canadian artists and business?
JP: Not only do we have so many talented artists in Canada, but supporting local artists is the only way the artist community will continue to grow and gain recognition internationally. Supporting one another is a part of the artist culture I really believe in.
TCC: What can we expect to see from you in the near (or far) future?
JP: More Plart! I have just moved into a new studio, so with more room to paint means more Plarts! I also plan on working on some larger pieces and plate installation works.