Pierre Luc Arseneau is a professional graphic artist located in Fredericton, who can turn your images into wood relief carvings. He is extremely charismatic and dedicated to his work. He has a variety of passions and is always developing new ideas. You can find him via social media on Instagram @pla3d. You can also find him at any of the markets happening around Fredericton. 

Could you give us some background information about yourself?

I went to NBCCD in 1997, and then graduated in 2001. I met tons of amazing people. Since then I’ve just been doing graphic designing, I got my diploma there in graphic design. That earned me a spot to work at Aitken’s Pewter. They are branched out around the Maritimes and that is where I learned to design CAD, and CAM ( Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Machine.) From there I learned how to design in 3D images, and carve it on to plastic or wood. Over the 11 years I worked there I learned how to do custom work. During that time I continued to work on my art,  I was one of the first group of members involved in the organization asked to be a part of it by the founding members, which was called  “Emerge Artists Collective.” Which is artists getting together trying to get their work in gallery spaces. So it was hands-on experience that helped me see what goes into setting up shows and galleries. After this, about six years ago, I decided to go on my own, as a freelance worker. Since then I have been trying to discover creative ways to do what I learned at Aitken’s, I grabbed the software I was using there and now I am using that to design for people. I create the online design, and people all over the world have the machinery to implement the work. That has been the bread and butter for the past few years, but I have also been longing to do a lot of art. I was married for 10 years, and that just ended and now I am at a very transitional stage. Things are happening here, now I’m opening new doors and I’m getting back into art more. That time was good, but there was no time to be in the art world. So for the past year, I have become more self-prophesied, promising myself that I would produce more art in the future. There is always a fine balance of art and craft in my life.

Do you aspire to any specific project(s) within the next 5 years?

Becoming self-profitable as an artist and craftsman is my ultimate goal for the next 5 years, i’m almost there but often find my life to be quite limited with not much time to spare. Some of my other goals are to do more art and do more printmaking. I want to keep carving. Each week I get to come up with a design and carve it on my machine. This past week I replicated the Garrison Fence as a CAD design and carved it onto wood as a key holder. I want to continue to explore that field, if I had a larger machine I would explore furniture, door making, etc. I am honestly trying to create a balance between art and craft. Lastly, I want to try acquiring a grant for a project that would encompass both my art and my craft through ArtsLink NB.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by independence and self-sustainability. Just being able to do things my way, and not having to go through hoops. Just inspired by generally being creative. Progress = Happiness. It’s all very rewarding, especially to see a product at the end of the day.

What has influenced your decision to pursue your art here in NB rather than elsewhere? 

I like this province, it’s a great place to be. Every region has its own thing. It’s a great place to calm down and breath. It is a good place to create, there is no sense of urgency like big cities. There is an inspiration in the air. It’s an amazing place to feel inspired, always mellow.

What is a highlight of your career so far?

The ongoing highlight is having an effect on other people, having people talking about our products. I have been doing some youtube videos with a company in New York called Tools Today, these guys have been providing me with tools for my CNC machine from the start. These tools can be $50-$100 a piece, so I really appreciate that. I work on How To’s and just projects I have been working on. This has opened a lot of doors for me. So having that recognition that what I am doing is different enough to be recognizable.

Can you identify a challenge you’ve faced and how you have overcome it? 

Financial challenges are always going to be there, but I’ve learned over the years a lot of it is mental, it is a state of mind. You set yourself some limitations of what you think you can do and you stop there. Then over time, you realize if you just start saying yes to more things, and force yourself to try and extend yourself beyond what you’re comfortable and then you realize you are capable of so much more. The challenge is being able to go past your mind’s capabilities and forcing yourself to grow and see the potential that exists beyond the border you have created for yourself. Challenges are slowly being overcome.

What are the words you try to live by?

I have been listening to a lot of motivational people over the past few years. Every morning I go on youtube and listen to a half an hour to an hour of different motivational speakers. My favourite one right now is Les Brown and one of his quotes he always says is “Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” So thats my motto in life. You can’t let other people’s minds dictate what you’re capable of. So basically just don’t let anyone stop you.