Gab Bois, the life-hacking photographer, makes all of us go “oooh” in awe of her visual wit. Her Instagram feed is peppered with gem after gem, and once we take in what is happening in her astutely communicative photographs, it is not uncommon for our minds ring out with an “oh yes good one”, or even an “OMG so clever”. Whether it’s a crinkled crisp being ironed out flat by a tiny iron, an earpod-cum earring or an LSD tab posing as a mini-SIM card, every single one of Gab’s double entendres is nothing short of fantastic.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t until after she graduated from a degree in fine art, that she ventured into photography. “The photography is really more of a tool to translate an idea rather than the main focus of the final work,” she tells us of her chosen medium. Mostly self-taught in her production and post-production techniques that afford her images the smoothest of transitions, for Gab, the fundamental essence of her work is in the communication; the style comes secondary.
Growing up as an only child, the Montreal-based artist valued her solitude from a young age, and it was from this seclusion that her creativity was borne. “I was always into arts and crafts,” says Gab, “especially when it involved elements of nature.” She recalls her favourite things to make: flower petal soup, little beds for the bugs that drowned in the kiddy pool and braided grass necklaces; all things that are easy to imagine given Gab’s present creative output.
Sometimes the ideas come to her very naturally, and other times, she has to “sit [her]self down and really think about what to do.” Making a list of all the objects in her house starting with her bedroom, kitchen, living and so on, she familiarises herself with all the objects available to her to kick off the creative process. Connecting the objects with her present mood at the time, she resultantly creates images that feel both personal and experimental at the same time to the joy of her Instagram audience of almost 300,000 followers.
Though her work embodies the “life-hack aesthetic” that is so well-received in popular culture, for Gab, it’s important for her photographs to maintain a raw feel “so the work doesn’t become too close to an ad, or like content from a clickbait site.” She goes on to add: “It’s also important for my work to involve subjects that I know. Whether that’s my own body or familiar objects or food I like. The challenge of creating something new from something I’ve looked at thousands of times is really stimulating and satisfying.”
Dedicated to contributing visually impactful images in an era of over-saturation, Gab’s work provides a point of difference. Her images make us pause during a seemingly endless scroll, and we can happily say that that image of that crisp undergoing ironing will stay with us forever.
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