To be an artist, to live out of it , to be with my family and enjoy the country all at once, that was my dearest wish and my challenge. 14 years have passed since I wrote those lines, and I can confirm with all the knowledge acquired, all the worries and preoccupations involved, that it would be near impossible to achieve this dream.

Without any art notion, I can now say that everything is almost possible and our dreams can always come true. By the bias of the following scenes, you will understand better...

Once upon a time, in 1987...

» 1987

My carreer is launched
My first collection as you can understand, was a very modest one. It counted 14 small art works in the form of greeting cards. I say the word ‘art work’, but the word is big of sense. Looking at the pictures, they have nothing of an art work. No designs, no style in the paintings and almost nothing in the composition. But, there was a lot of love!

I appreciated my works so much, that even the ugliest pictures were very pretty to my eyes. The sales man in me, made it possible to interest some stores in selling them.

February 1987

My first customer: APOBEC INC. – 111, Principale Saint-Appolinaire, Quebec.
Sale: 30 cards

Second customer: M. André Guillemette, Saint-Agapit, Québec.
Sale : 10 cards

Those were my first sales. Needless to say , I was so proud of my results.

March 1987

No sales.

I travelled and stopped in several cities and villages hoping to even get a chance to leave a few cards in consignation here and there.

April 1987

A second visit in most of the stores approached in March, allowed me to realise that my work was not in vain. Of all the cards left in consignation, 146 cards were sold.

The total sales for the fisrt year:$3294,00, with a small benefit, since the cost of the cards was $0.78.

In order to be competitive, I was selling my cards to some of my customers $0.80 each, and $1.00 for the other ones.

» 1988 to 1990

Year 1988 went like this: more travelling in order to open more stores, and the total sales went from $3294.00 worth of cards sold in 1987 to $33 279.99 in 1988. My challenge was the following: each city had to have at least one my product. If a store didn’t want my product, I was offering them to his competitor.

During winter time, even with the cold and the humidity of a garage, I built some wood displayers, with a different look than the ones already existing in the stores. I really had no choice, because I always got the same answers from store owners: we don’t have any room for your cards in our displayers.


An artist always wishes for a wholesaler to come around one day and offers to buy and distribute your pictures for you. That year, a distributor noticed my work and gave me the opportunity ton concentrate my efforts on my paintings and he would take care of the sales part, as long as I did not visit my customers, which I accepted. Unfortunately, I made the same mistake like a lot of artists. That year was really difficult. I lost 80 stores, all my wood displayers that I made in that famous garage... this guy was not doing any follow ups to my customers. It was an experience that I will remember for the rest of my career. As the saying goes, the show must go on.

End of 1990 I went back on the road across Quebec and start selling again as well as taking painting lessons to improve my art notions. My goal was to take a painting course each year, but different technique each time.. With all this knowledge, it gave me more confidence in my self.

In order to diversify my products, I started to make large greeting cards using stencils and spray can paintings. Some of them were made in the basement entrance, not to contaminate the whole house.

Despite the poor art quality, the product was a success.

And there we go again, it seemed that all my efforts will surely bring some success for the years to come.

» 1991 - 1992

After a few painting courses, my little art works were finally noticed in a show. And from then on, I was more comfortable in putting my full signature on my paintings.

» 1993 - 1994

My signature is on all my paintings then, and I started working on a new collection. Letters for my small art works were starting with the letter F, and so for this new collection, my first art work will be G01 and so on...

     G01          G24          G70          G112         G171        G189
    1992         1993         1994         1995         1996        1997

    G248         G272          G315          G378         G171         G488
    1998          1999           2000           2001         2002          2003

Since the collection was getting bigger that forced me to build a workshop which gave me more room to work and show my paintings. What a pleasure to leave my basement for a bigger place.

» 1995

In the spring of 1995, to be exact it was the last Sunday of may, a little miracle happened. 450 people came for a special day that was called ‘open house’. This event brought me to overdo myself.

» 1996 to today

More extensions were added to the initial work shop and also a lot of new products. The ‘open house’ day became an annual happening on every 3rd Sunday of May.

The work load is made lighter in hiring qualified personal. Not counting their hours, Carmen and the children helped in the work shop, two other employees were hired, four sales reps for the province of Quebec, and a distributor for the rest of Canada and USA. Graphics and printers worked on my products, and this, always based on my paintings. Today, we can find Richard Boutin’s products in over 1100 sales points.

The dream well cherished came true with its ups and downs. The mixture of both, the artist and the business man, probably gives the balance in life that allows me to see the beauty of the country as well as the city.