Fabienne Michot and Doris Brasset : the two creative heads and hands behind Zanimo since 1991.
And a dog or two and a cat or two.
Zanimo’s Creative Process
Step no.1 : we, she or I fall in love with an animal, furry or feathery. I don’t dare describe what she looks like when this strikes though a picture might convey the full force of what overcomes her.
Since we can’t have them all for A) lack of space and B) lack of knowledge on how to take care of a penguin (if let’s say that’s the object of today’s infatuation) and D) because it simply is a very silly idea to start off with, we then proceed to –
Step no.2 : Having come to terms with the fact that we can’t have them all, let’s draw and paint them all. A much simpler and saner approach to this abiding love we have for them and let’s face it, much easier to put in an envelope than a penguin or a Saint-Bernard.
So, all that being said, Doris always starts from a picture of the animal we want to draw or paint. She then stares at it for a really long time, long enough to get a pain in her occiput (a.k.a the back of the neck) and to forget to go to the bathroom. Once she is fully enamored with her subject we then discuss surface : canvas or paper, which paper, what size. Then comes medium : paint or pencils? or a little bit of both and placement- is this a head shot, a close-up, a full body shot?
Paper, canvas, pencils or paint in hand, she starts to scribble and erase, scribble and erase, scribble and erase. Sometime during this process Petite Poule (one of our cats) usually comes by to inspect her work. Sometimes he will even sit on it. We interpret this cat-sitting as a sort of stamp of approval. The cat leaves and she continues. If it’s a drawing, she’s on her own though I sometimes intervene and put in my two-cents worth. I mean. remember, I do have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, right? But if it’s a painting, then I’m all over it! Doris draws the animal on a canvas and I take over, pulling out my paints and brushes filling her beautiful, sensitive lines with color, color, color! And yes I now need awful glasses to see what I’m doing.
Our artistic collaboration is a perfect combination of her lines and my color and by jolly, I think we’re having FUN!
Once the drawing or painting is done, we stare at it lovingly and decide to put it into print or not. I then carefully take the artwork to my brand new digital scanner and scan it at an extremely high resolution to then print it out on our unbelievably amazing humungous Epson professional printer with archival inks (which are made to last 100 years) onto beautiful fine art papers for a result that even dumbfounds the cat.
Once all that is done we carefully wrap it up to send it off to its new owners, wishing it a happy life.