“Hey, man! I like your can!” I bet I hear that more than you do. There’s good reason, have you seen Le Bon Papa’s label? It’s a winner of which we are very proud.
When we decided to market our herb and spice blends to friends, old and new, we discovered a thousand things that needed to be done. To begin with, we needed a name and a logo. We also needed a catchy label that would be a real attention-grabber, but it had to represent who we were and communicate our mission. Le Bon Papa Seasonings is part of our journey to explore, learn and share the unique culture of Southern Louisiana. And just as we do with First…You Have a Beer, we celebrate the history, traditions, and fantastically unforgettable cuisines of this region. To accomplish this, we needed much more than just a graphic artist.
Meet the Artist
Enter Marian Brister Martinez. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio painting from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, but her real education came along the banks of the Mississippi River, down near the mouth, where it gets real. Not unlike other modern-day Creoles and Acadians, it’s her ancestral blend of Western European, Croatian and Choctaw Indian that provides the foundation for a strong spiritual connection to South Louisiana. Throw in a little Evangeline, a touch of Marie Laveau with a wisp of Redneck and you start to get the picture.
I was excited when Marian Brister Martinez agreed to work with us. Marian is much more than a graphic designer, although her skills there are exemplary. She is also far more than an artist, there to, her skills there set her apart. But it’s her love and grasp of the culture and cuisines of our region that make her perfect for this project.
In her own words…
Louisiana has the lucky distinction of possessing a wide variety of natural resources coupled with a richly diverse culture of inhabitants. In other words, we are a people blessed with abundant agriculture and aquaculture, who love to eat the many different styles of cooking that have been introduced here from the many places throughout the world from which we came. This is a winning combination that has led to the creation of some of the best recipes on the planet…It is a work in progress that continues…
Marian’s impressive and diverse work is rooted in her connection to the people and geography of South Louisiana. Growing up in the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary near the mouth of the Mississippi River, she was influenced greatly by childhood visits to the barrier islands near her home. These experiences planted seeds within her that later would sprout the creativity she contributed to many wetlands awareness programs. She was the graphic designer for Turning the Tide, a Companion Teaching Guide in conjunction with the Louisiana Public Broadcasting film, “Turning the Tide”. She worked as Artist/Graphic Designer for Spirit of the Estuary: Using Art to Understand Ecology which educates elementary school students about the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary and the priority issues affecting the basins. Her original illustrations give life to Claude and Clawdette’s Estuary Adventures, an educational booklet with information about the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary System for elementary school students. She was the graphic designer and photographer for Louisiana Estuary Cuisine with Chef Brandon LeBlanc, A Culinary Guide to Cooking with Plants and Animals in Louisiana. Marian’s significant contributions to wetland and estuary awareness issues earned a Coastal Stewardship Award from the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana in 2007.
The health of our Coastline, Wetlands, and Estuaries is critical in South Louisiana, as it is all along the Gulf Coast. The work of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, along with numerous other public and non-profit organizations, does some great work in this regard. You can read more about the Program right here.
Touching memories growing up in South Louisiana.
South Louisiana is a fabulous place to grow up. Whatever her subject, Marian’s art always captures its true essence. Two of her series, “I Remember…” and “A Journey Inward” touch many of my memories growing up.
“I Remember…” represents life along the Mississippi River from the early 1900s to 1960. Inspired by old photographs, the work depicts different aspects of daily living along the river during a time when the river was a major means of transportation in a remote, yet commercially viable part of Louisiana.
“A Journey Inward” is a metaphoric journey of the states of life; this series begins in the coastal marshlands where water symbolizes birth, meanders inland into an expressive stage, and ends in an introspective reflection of sobriety.
You must visit the PLEIADES ILLUSTRATION COMPANY website to explore Marian’s work. It is impressive. We are blessed to have her on the team.