Passport to Creativity: Hugo Germain Turns Lord Howe Island into a Work of Art

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We gave six talented young artists a Passport to Creativity, and sent them to three of the most remote, protected places on Earth. They captured the sights, sounds and impressions of their destinations. Along the way, they documented the impact of climate change and the struggle of conservation, and explored how creativity might help save the planet.

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week (April 15 – 21) and get ready for Earth Day (April 22), than to feature the work of these students. Today we’re turning our spotlight on Hugo Germain. Hugo’s not just your average French engineering student—he’s also a self-taught artist who loves to work with images and video. This spring, he snorkeled through one of the most pristine environments in the world, the barrier reef of Lord Howe Island, Australia.

What was your first reaction when you arrived at your shoot location in Australia?

Hugo: I felt truly amazed and stunned by the incredible landscapes of Lord Howe Island.

What was your most memorable moment from the experience?

Hugo: One of the most memorable experiences was the snorkeling. Incredible marine life, corals, fish, even turtles and baby sharks!

The Passport to Creativity participants were chosen for their unique style. How did you bring your signature style to this project?

Hugo: My background is in motion design, compositing, video editing and 2D/3D animation. I worked on documenting the conservation efforts on Lord Howe Island through a short film, and another animated piece. I have also worked on my photographic skills thanks to the help of our mentor, Adrienne Pitts.

The locations were chosen for their beauty and focus on conservation. What do you think about the relationship between art and conservation? Do artists have a role to play?

Hugo: I believe creators/artists have the ability to touch people’s minds with their work, and that it is therefore their responsibility to use it for the best.

What did you most want to communicate about the place and the experience?

Hugo: The fact that such a beautiful place is endangered by climate change; we were able to witness with our own eyes the effect of climate change on the fauna and flora of Lord Howe Island and it felt very concerning and scary.

Will this experience impact your next creative project? Do you have any new ideas brewing that you can share with us?

Hugo: It will definitely impact my next creative projects. I intend to work more on photography and video editing. I would love to make some travel series/storytelling, either as a series of short films/documentaries about cultures from around the world, or as a photography series.

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