Judith P. Raynault studio

Who You Gonna Call?

I'm writing this on holiday, very cosy at my parents' house in L'Assomption, Québec. I've been overfed to the brink of being sick a few times, so all is as it should be. I'll be keeping this short, because there's more food to be eaten and people to be seen. It's wonderful to come back to visit now that most restrictions have been lifted – and in a province where there are "only" 500 cases a day as opposed to 42,000+ in the UK (!!!!) – but it does mean that I have a busy schedule.

If you want to get yourself into the mood, here's a link to the Ghostbusters song.


This title is probably not the most original one for something Halloween themed, but it made me happy to write it and this month's illustration was all about joy for me.

I've always enjoyed Halloween, partly because I love dressing up in costume (or fancy dress as I think it's called in the UK?), partly because it's fun to see other people in costume and houses all decorated for the occasion. Getting sweets was alright I guess, but I was never much into them (controversial opinion, I know).

My first inspiration for the illustration was... Gilmore girls! This is my 'comfort TV series' and for all its faults I just can't help watching it over and over again. It's there for me when I'm down or when I need something in the background I can listen to but not watch while doing something else (usually drawing). Besides its excellent repartee dialogue, the show is good at making you see and feel the various seasons, especially autumn, and the below scenes inspired me to create an autumnal themed illustration.

I incorporated a lot of the classic Halloween elements into it, some more subtly than others. I wanted it to be like a stylish haunted house. I would really love to have the mirror with the autumnal garland and the mantelpiece decoration in my own house, sans ghost. I think the overall vibe of the illustration is 'spooky but make it kid-friendly.'

Judith xx

Illustration close-ups

Mood board featuring the pumpkin I carved last year. I thought it was cute enough to draw as the main character.

Podcast recommendation

Let's carry on the seasonal talk with the book Summer by Ali Smith. This is the fourth book of her beautiful, insightful and incisive seasonal quartet which started with Autumn. So really I'm recommending all four books. The first three can be read in any order at this point, but the fourth needs to be read last because it calls back to all the other storylines. Summer came out in July 2020 and I'm sure the author wrote some parts of it at the printing press because it mentions both Covid (okay, fair enough it started in March in the UK) and Black Lives Matter (that was in June!!).
The parallels she draws with historical events are incredible and you'll be googling all the artists she mentions throughout the quartet. If you're UK based and don't love this government it hits a bit too close to home sometimes, but each book is ultimately hopeful.

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© Judith Poitras-Raynault 2024
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