Rearview Fridays is a regular post in which I share an artistic project I completed sometime in the past. This one reaches back 20 years and is a co-pro with my childhood friend Christa Couture. It goes something like this …
Circa 1991 Christa was in the midst of a 3-year battle with cancer (deadly and serious). I was being homeschooled through junior high (socially deadly but not quite as serious). She was often in the hospital or home sick. I was able to visit or hang with her because of my loose schedule, plus she was by best friend, it went without saying that we had to hang whenever possible. We were very crafty (still are) and inevitably a project emerged: Lu-Lou. I have no memory of how Lu-Lou developed, or why we chose a periodical format, but it was an imaginary empire that grew, made us laugh hysterically and filled a lot of awesome, creative hours of companionship. Lu-Lou gripped our early teens.
In fact we published, er “published” 14 issues with about eight pages per issue. And this was in the days before computers and desktop publishing were common in the home. We drew each page, wrote every bit of copy by hand. It’s quite a feat, by true magazine publishing standards and in terms of sheer dedication to a purely fantastical, creative project. It represents some serious perseverance.
And Loulou Magazine SO ripped us off! I was shocked when, in 2004, a Rogers Media publication showed up on newsstands called Loulou. So blatant. So obvious. Clearly someone had been into our secret Archive of Awesome. They. Ripped. Us. Off. We are currently suing for copyright infringement and various damages. They think they can add an “O” to the first “Lu” and get away with it?!
Okay, back to reality, I really was shocked when I saw Loulou, had a laughing fit in a Toronto subway station near the newsstand and immediately emailed Christa. What a coincidence! Who would have thought we had had such foresight, that we were so ahead of the curve?
The funny thing is that, until last year, I worked in magazine publishing for 10 years and for a Canadian fashion designer for four years. I could never have predicted that at 14! And Christa works in electronic media and graphic design with panache and success.
The other funny thing, though not so surprising, is that we have both turned out to be fiercely, professionally creative. I’ve spent most of my independent career as a dance artist while she works as an independent musician. [Shameless plug: Christa’s got a fantastic new album out this month called The Living Record. You can get it on Bandcamp or iTunes. And you should.]
I murmur this into the past: oh 13 and 14-year-old selves, you were utterly, absolutely awesome. Cheers to exploding creativity in our genes and excellent friends with whom to share and cultivate it. You grow to be amazing women if I do say so myself.