The Brussels adventures of a young Québec illustrator

Jordanne Maynard, a comic book author, illustrator and graphic designer, graduate from the Université du Québec en Outaouais, tells us about her experience in Brussels at the ESA St-Luc. Dive into her story made of unforgettable encounters, unusual anecdotes but also of more difficult moments that foreign students often face when they are far from home.

A true comic book fanatic since her youth, Jordanne chose to study in this field that she is passionate about at the Université du Québec in Outaouais. With her bachelor's degree in hand, she didn’t hesitate to seize the opportunity to improve her skills for 4 months at the ESA St-Luc in Brussels, thus fulfilling one of her childhood dreams: to visit the land of the 9th art.

Jordanne remembers her arrival in Belgium as if it were yesterday: her seat-mates on the plane, two comic-book artists who were coming to Brussels to participate in a festival, had offered to share their cab from the airport to the city centre. But once alone in the heart of the capital, she goes the wrong way, turns around, tries to ask for directions with a series of Quebec expressions that no one understands, finally finds the metro but gets on the wrong line.

Finally arriving in the St. Gilles neighbourhood, which would be her home for the next four months, the stress of the whole adventure disappeared and Jordanne felt that she would like this place and that she would be comfortable there.

And she wasn't wrong, because a month later she was the one who found herself giving directions to distracted passers-by and lost tourists, and who was walking around this city whose secrets she all knew. Whether she was lost in the crowd at a comic book festival or a theatre, searching through the shelves of specialized bookstores (where she bought so many books that she couldn't bring them all back) or spending hours contemplating the works of Pieter Brueghel and Fernand Khnopff at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts (her favourite place), the months went by at a breakneck pace. Despite this hectic pace, Jordanne also remembers the quieter days when she took the time to walk around her neighbourhood, which could turn into a huge street market or host a world polo-bike competition.

From this experience, Jordanne remembers of course all the knowledge she gained from her courses, which contributed to improve her drawings, but also 3 words: friends, travels and rain, this driving rain which, when it finally calms down, makes you get out of the tram you are in to enjoy the sunshine, as if you were discovering it for the first time.

Today, Jordanne remembers this Brussels interlude with a smile and a certain nostalgia.

With all her experiences and with a head full of memories, she is now pursuing her artistic path and her first published project on the life of René Lévesque, a participation in a collective of 12 authors, will be published this fall!