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A New Art Book Perfectly Captures the Emotions and Absurdities of Our Lives

Vivienne Boucherat used art to process her ups and downs. Though she never intended her pieces to be published, we're sure happy they were.

Did you not notice her in there? Vivienne Boucherat? In your head, sketching away, creating images that capture all the angst and humor of life at this age?

You can learn more about Know Your `CRAZy’ at our virtual event on Feb. 23rd. Vivienne Boucherat’s team will be at a virtual booth, where you can purchase the book, plus we’ll be giving away a copy as a prize to one of the attendees. Get your tickets here.

You’ll surely suspect she was inside your brain when you leaf through Boucherat’s new art book called, Know Your`CRAZy,‘ published by women for women. Through most of her life, Boucherat has been making drawings, collages, watercolors, and such to explore, vent, and master her feelings. Sixty-three of them are collected in the book, expressing reactions to various scenarios women know all too well, from having to put on your game face to feeling you don’t measure up to dealing with the mental fog of menopause. The cheeky captions on each are half the fun.

“Both our emotions and our situations can be difficult, even impossible, to describe in language,” says Boucherat, who lives in Salisbury, England. “Sometimes a picture, like music, says it better.”

Read More: When is Menopause Funny? When Female Cartoonists Give it the Comic Treatment

Out of Her Head

Since Boucherat was a teenager she’s been making a few sketches every week, and she rarely shared them since they were part of the way she privately processed life.

But in 2017, she was on tour with The Zombies as a back up singer and–oh it’s probably important to mention that her husband is Chris White, the original bassist for the group, and that Boucherat is equally talented as a vocalist (plus, trained as a nurse). In any case, she mentioned the sketches to Cindy da Silva, the Zombies manager, while the tour was in Nashville. Once da Silva laid eyes on them, she immediately recognized their universality. “I was easily able to insert myself into each of them,” says da Silva.

Da Silva brought in René Harbison, an Austin-based designer and consultant, and though Boucherat had never thought of creating a book of her work, she was thrilled by the idea. “We agreed that as women we all have crazy times and this book could be about identifying them, owning them, then hopefully through laughter and tears, overcoming them,” da Silva writes in the book’s introduction.

Ringing Bells

One of Boucherat’s musings on shoes.

The way her drawings “seem to ring bells with people” has been a revelation for Boucherat. “I think the tone of the book is quite light hearted but it resonates on a deep level,” she says. “I think it’s good to recognize the light and the shade in ourselves.”

Boucherat hopes the book will be a conversation starter, “leading people to talk about things we wouldn’t normally talk about out loud.” Indeed, it is the kind of book you want to give to a friend to help them feel understood or not alone or to help them laugh at the absurdity of life.

One stand-out quality of the art is its spontaneity. It captures the quickly changing emotions we can go through in a single day. Boucherat says that when she was struck by an idea she would grab for whatever medium was closest to get the feeling down. That’s why some of the art is made in eye pencil or mascara, some in watercolor or takes the form of paper cuttings or collage.

In addition to the book, there is a boxed set of 59 museum-quality 8″ x 10″ reproductions for sale. Also available is a tote bag printed with the cover image, which is called “Bad Hair Day,” and looks like a primal scream (see above). Who can’t relate to that?

“When it’s a bad hair day, it’s never just about the hair. Well, occasionally it is. In any case, it can bring you down. It can knock your confidence, and that starts off a whole spiral of things,” Boucherat says.

Even through the worst of it–the blues, the fears, the bad self-image–what she hopes is that the reader will “remember there is a lot of fun and humor and joy in life, and sometimes it’s either deal with it or have a laugh with it.”

Learn more about the Know Your Crazy book here.

Read More: Need Creative Inspiration? Then You Need to Know About 88-Year-Old Artist Faith Ringgold

By NextTribe Editors


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