Martine Gourbault - Illustrator
Martine Gourbault was born in Paris and emigrated to Toronto with her family in 1957. She received her basic art education at Central Technical School, graduating in 1961. “I was very fortunate to have parents who appreciated the value of artistic pursuits and were not worried about whether I could make a living as an artist. I'll always be grateful to them for steering me in the right direction.”
While in her third year at art school, she won a competition to illustrate a fictional story for the Teen Tempo section of Chatelaine magazine, for which she received the handsome sum of $200. This felt like success and definitely served to re-enforce Martine's budding interest in illustration. However, her art career was to take her into other directions for a few years. As she became involved in design and art direction for magazines such as Chatelaine, Miss Chatelaine, Flare and enRoute. Nonetheless, her interest in illustration was never left too far behind, and she made a point of squeezing in as many free-lance assignments as she could, including, eventually, a number of illustrations for Owl and Chickadee and Nelson Canada. This was her first introduction to illustrating for children.
While living in New York, in 1989-90, Martine was given the opportunity to illustrate her first picture book for Greenwillow (The Little girl and the Dragon) and more projects were to follow from them and other publishers in the U.S., and the United Kingdom, where she lived between 1990 and 1997.
In February 1997, she moved to Vancouver and began her association with Kids Can Press for whom she has to date illustrated seven books, including the Dragon Safety series. Martine is also interested in pursuing her more personal work which she has shown in a number of galleries in British Columbia and Alberta.
She is an SFCA member of the Federation of Canadian Artists where she has received several awards. “As long as I'm involved in a task which is artistic and creative, I feel I'm in the right place, but illustrating children's books has a special dimension to it. It challenges me to explore the scope of my imagination and my abilities as an artist. I love the magical process of inventing characters and getting involved in their stories.”