Montreal native Gab Bois is a 19-year-old visual artist. When scrolling through Instagram’s explore page, her images stand out – they make you pause, reflect, and screenshot. In the recent past, she’s worked as a model, but is now in university studying to become a teacher. Like many of us, every day she is discovering what drives her, and what she wants to do with her bright future.
Are you working as a model these days? Or is creating images your real passion?
I started modelling about 3 years ago, and I was studying at art school at the time. Several agencies approached me, but I never got signed because of my height. I did enjoy it at first, but got bored pretty quickly.. nowadays I like to model for my friends, but I prefer doing my own work instead of being featured in other people’s.
I think creation in its general form is my true passion. Right now it mainly comes out in the form of photography and that’s what I choose to show on social media, but I’m very into illustration as well. That’s something I want to put more time into in the next year. I’m also really interested in the creativity in the fashion world.
A lot of your images contain a hidden message. What’s your goal when posting a loaded photograph?
Before posting a photo, I ask my friends if they understand the concept right away. Most of the time, they do understand something about the photo, but it won’t be my original concept. I like the fact that an image can have different meanings for different people. I find it’s a lot more interesting when I leave the interpretation up to the viewer, instead of directly stating my intention.
However, I still try to incorporate subjects that affect me personally, and if you haven’t noticed, I use a lot of satire in my work. Considering that my primary platform is currently Instagram, I enjoy using subjects that are frequently seen on the platform.
I frequently use irony in relation to themes of femininity, of wealth and narcissism. It’s my way of communicating my thoughts on superficiality.
Tell us about your rising online success, namely on Instagram. Who’s the person or brand that follows you that you most admire?
I’m still a bit confused as to how I’ve gained this following so quickly. I’m very happy, and I feel very privileged that so many people can relate to or enjoy my work, but when it comes down to it, it’s something that I do for myself, without a lot of means or sophisticated materials. It’s this recognition of my work that is what pushes me to continue to create. In general, people are very nice and respectful, and it is thanks to their support that larger curation websites and collectives are starting to take interest in my work.
I follow and am followed by so many inspiring artists.. it makes it very hard to choose just one. Off the top of my head I’d say @johnyuyi, because her work inspires me so much, and @sitabellan because I really enjoy the versatile style of clothing she wears, it’s sometimes very androgynous.
Has the Internet or Instagram given you some unique opportunities? Any exciting or unusual ones?
Definitely. Thanks to Instagram, I’ve been in contact with so many talented artists all over the world. The platform allows me to brainstorm ideas with them, and allows us to inspire each other. I feel privileged, and I know that if I was able to travel more, I could work on so many amazing collaborations.
Any upcoming projects we can look forward to?
I have an illustration project that i’m working on, it’s a zine about how, in my generation, it’s considered uncool to be kind and to have compassion. It’s gonna be called “more tender”. Also, I’m taking part in a group show at a junior high gallery in LA this summer, so I’m working on that!
Follow her work on Instagram.