Naturally Conveying a Message

Freelance Creative, Design and Art Director

by Elizabeth Lavis


06 Oct 2023

Gold Winner in Integrated Graphic Design for Graphic Design 2023
“A design is perfect when you can’t remove anything”

For Catherine Lemieux, the most essential aspect of a design is how naturally it addresses or resolves a problem or conveys a message. “A design is perfect when you can’t remove anything,” she says. “This principle applies to many things.” Lemieux is a freelance creative, design, and art director who considers herself an unofficial ‘publicist extraordinaire.’ 

She hails from Quebec, Canada, and honed her innovative ability as a very young child. “There wasn’t much to do in my neighborhood, so my creativity became an incredible asset, allowing me to craft stories, games, and entire universes with everything I could find,” she says. Lemieux was the ‘artistic child’ of her school. “I did receive a few recommendations from teachers and other professionals suggesting that I should consider graphic design,” she says. “Once, I attended a job fair where a Design and Animation school noticed my agenda was filled with drawings and ideas. They treated it as if it were a portfolio and offered me a place in school right then and there. At that moment, I realized I should seriously consider a career in the visual field.” 

Lemieux has several passions other than design, like nature, animals, love, psychology, and food, but she holds a special place in her heart for visual art. “I believe that design permeates every aspect of our lives and, in my interpretation, exemplifies humanity’s ability to solve problems through form,” she says.

Babeurre Délicatesses

Lemieux uses pressure as one of her top ways to stay creative. “For me, the right clients, some pressure, and constraints often lead to creativity,” she says. “They are essential ingredients of the recipe I use to create.”

She can also work on several different projects at once without getting burned out. “Creativity is a muscle that can be trained,” she says. “It’s a muscle that draws from what it knows, discovers, and grasps. In this sense, managing multiple projects allows them to nourish each other. It’s not a burden; on the contrary, it’s an advantage.”

While Lemieux acknowledges that some pressure is good, she also cautions about the perils of overworking. “I believe that addressing burnout in our profession is essential,” she says. “Don’t hesitate to communicate with your clients when deadlines become unattainable or a task takes you too far out of your comfort zone.”

Fundamentally, Lemieux’s design approach hinges on problem-solving and guidance. “As a design and creative director, I take on projects as a designer myself, and at times, I lead a team of creatives,” she says. “My role is a balanced mix of devising solutions and assisting individuals to do the same. It’s half design and half people.” While Lemieux creates campaigns, videos, identities, and promotional materials, she also takes her teamwork very seriously. “A great design can certainly make an impact, but if it isn’t effectively integrated within the team, it won’t progress,” she says. “A well-understood design, even if it’s less than perfect, can gain traction more easily but might not achieve significant appeal. Both aspects are crucial.”

Lemieux plans to continue to build steam in the next five years, striving to be even more passionate, skilled, invested, and free. “I have three goals moving forward,” she says. “Improving the strategic aspect of my creative direction, learning new skill sets, and integrating new creative approaches.”

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