Journal d'artiste : Page 5.  La bip de pancarte !

Artist's Journal: Page 5. The sign beep!

The sign beep!

A little further to the left, a little further to the right, I place my flamboyant red J and P of my new sign. A voice in my head says to me: "Tabouère, stop flipping, people who mind their own business at 50 km/h won't see the difference." I immediately apply the glue that Alexandre from Unitotal... phew, I just revealed my age. Unitotal must have changed their banner 14 times since then, but in my head, it's engraved with a chisel: UNITOTAL. Another time, I'll tell you about my habit of exaggerating, 14 times, why not 100, once I'm gone. I can already imagine the Mitis people counting... Admit it, you stopped reading to find the names of the old franchises.

I too, my business has often changed its name: when I bought the business in 1996, it was Station-service Lavoie inc. I changed it to Dépanneur Shell Ste-Flavie, then changed it again to Dépanneur Pétro-Canada Ste-Flavie, change of company required. If you think I've reached rock bottom in terms of my taste for lousy names, you don't know me very well. Wait for the rest!

When I closed the gas station and turned it into a boutique art gallery, what pun do you think I made? The temptation was too strong. “Art Station” was born! Wow! Me who wanted to try to forget the sale of gasoline! Mission accomplished !

“What’s the name of your business?”, I whispered, “Art Station”. Given the little effort required to pronounce the name and just to twist the knife in the wound, the interlocutor always told me, “excuse me, I didn't understand well...” Sometimes, I wanted to to answer him: "I have gonorrhea", just to be less embarrassed and change the subject. To this day, I still don't know why I hated that name so much.

After four years of being embarrassed by this play on words, and since the sale of my paintings represented the majority of my sales, I finally decided to include my name on the roadside sign. “Galerie Jean-Pierre Gagnon” arrived this spring 2005.

It could have ended there...

Well no, 5 years later, the stars aligned, someone wanted to buy my business and a place was created at the Marcel Gagnon Art Center to exhibit. So I moved my paintings to the other end of the village of Ste-Flavie. Surprise ! The sale of my business failed. My paintings already moved, I decide to fill the old garage with crafts and souvenirs. Just a little problem, the name "Galerie Jean-Pierre Gagnon" for a place that doesn't have a painting... Shit!

Yay!! A new name to find and I swear, I have reached a stratospheric level of stupidity. It's around 11 p.m., I'm tired, exhausted, and I've been putting off changing my name for a few months now. But here, I have no choice. I need it for next month, and that month is in an hour. No stress, I am now a pro at changing my name. Changing a name on Corporation Canada is still easy, too bad it doesn't provide the brains. The reason I haven't changed the name before is partly because of the paperwork, but mostly because I have no idea for a name. To tell the truth, I have plenty, but I decided to stop playing on words. Tick-tock, tick-tock, the clock is ticking. In a burst of genius, I wrote “Boutique l’Artisan”. Just two words! Woohoo! Save time for creating the sign!

Bad news, the name is refused. I don't remember the exact phrase, but it sounded like: "your name must contain an original I-don't-know-what-word." Tick-tock, tick-tock, time passes faster and faster and without much thought, once again, I add "100% original" and press the "Enter" key sharply. At the same time, in my head, I say to myself: “Hold on, my bastards, you won’t find anything more original than that.” My mission was no longer a name to register, it had become a fight to the death between me and the government site. A few seconds later, I savored my victory, “Boutique l’Artisan 100% original” was born.

At the same time as my brain starts working again, out of the corner of my eye I see my partner sitting in the bed right next to me. His eyes were as round as thirty cents, with a facial expression somewhere between incomprehension and “did I just experience that?”. My victory was short-lived. “Boutique l’Artisan 100% original” sounds like a lot of letters to put on a sign.

At this point, you're probably saying to yourself: "It's over." Well no ! Surprise again!

About five years after my move, my business is still not sold, and the desire to have a very large studio where I could paint all year round comes to haunt me. So I'm moving back to my old new workshop.

“Boutique l’Artisan 100% original” for selling paintings, it’s a pretty average name. So I'm changing the name of my business once again. This time, it's "Atelier of the painter Jean-Pierre Gagnon". It's a shame that I didn't think of reusing the name "Galerie Jean-Pierre Gagnon", because I already had the stamp

Today, I changed the name of my Facebook page, "Atelier of the painter Jean-Pierre Gagnon", to "Jean-Pierre Gagnon, artist". And I swear to you, it won't find its way to my sign.

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