Where are you from and where do you reside?
I am from France and have been in between France and Los Angeles for the past years.
What brought you to Los Angeles?
I was in a relationship at the time and followed my partner to Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to find the studio I have been working for, Buck, which enabled me to spend more time here.
When did you begin your current practice?
I began my practice as soon as I left France. Being away from home has created in me a deeper need of making art, and highlighted my creativity much more.
What themes or motifs are you consistently drawn to?
I have often found themes such as contemplation, or sensory exploration recurrent in my pieces. The way that I approach colors, continuously explore different mediums demonstrates that pretty well. In the past years, and specifically after leaving the safety of my community and family, I have been really drawn to the representation of Black experience, and questioning identity through my work.
Where do you find your day-to-day inspiration?
These days, I find my inspiration in so many different aspects of my life. I have to say, lately, I have been specifically interested in how art can help communities, how it can deliver a message. But also represent something other that what I have always seen as a kid in museum. I enjoy difference, diversity, change. That's what inspires me and what I want to offer to people as well.
I definitely think my location influences my work, but more than that I would say I am influenced by the people in my life, my close circles. I believe there is always something new to learn from observing the people around you, and have been lucky enough to meet very different people around the years who have challenged my thinking, brought me to open up my field of interests and explore different practices as well.
What is the most difficult part of the artistic process for you?
The most difficult part of the process would be the initial partconcepting. It is the most essential to me, as it is going to build the strongest foundations of the work, therefore I need to feel satisfied with what comes out of that stage.
How do you know if a concept is successful or the right direction?
When I start concepting, I usually go around themes that are important in my life at the moment. For example, the representation of people of color in the arts. Though it has always been different as my interest have always shifted from one theme to another. I usually start a documentation based on that theme, I read books, articles, watch movies that can provide me more context and references. When I feel like there are enough layers to my research, and that it can provide a solid background for the production process, I deem it successful enough to keep pushing in that direction.
How do you incorporate chance in your creative process?
I usually incorporate chance in my rough stage. When I am about to start production and know what I want to talk about, though want to give myself a chance to express it in a way that I wouldn't have prepared, thought of. This is where I experiment and try different techniques, and see what is most interesting as a result.
How important is spontaneity in your art?
Not enough! I think spontaneity takes time, time that is not already devoted to other projects, for which unfortunately deadlines, rules are quite strict and don’t allow so much for any deviation. My main goal for the future is actually to be more spontaneous. This is when I get to do my best work, when the path is not set for me and I am free to reinvent myself, my practice.
The most difficult part of the process would be the initial part: concepting. It is the most essential to me, as it is going to build the strongest foundations of the work, therefore I need to feel satisfied with what comes out of that stage.
How has your work developed in the past few years, and how do you see it evolving in the future?
My work has really changed in the past years! That has mostly come from my interest in different mediums and my need for constant explorations of styles. I am very open about my practice, at the moment I would specifically love to be doing larger works and mainly want to concentrate my efforts on that.
How does your choice of material inform the final piece?
Since I use a lot of different mediums and materials, the way they might inform the piece is really important. It goes hand in hand, I would say. If my current theme were social media and Afrofuturism, for example, I would find it interesting to explore digital media, which allows the audience to get one foot into that theme just through the use of that medium and the vibrancy digital tools provide.
Have you always worked with digital media?
I really appreciate the way that I am brought to know more , or discover a medium along my journey as an artist, as well as a designer, in my commercial work. In the case of digital media for example, it originally came from the observation of it in my daily job as a designer at the time, seeing that I could really push the painting process in ways that felt new to me through it. I absolutely enjoyed working with colors that way, it is a very immediate process compared to traditional painting, and allows me to get such intense colors very fast. I like to also always wonder about how arts are reflecting what is happening in mainstream culture, or society, and seeing how the use of social media is so present in our lives now, for example, has comforted me in this need to explore my art on a digital platform as well.
What tangible objects or intangible moments are you most interested in representing through your works?
I have always been very interesting in the sensory experience, through the arts. I guess that is where I find my need to represent or build tangible objects, though on the other hand, I find a lot of inspiration in everything that takes place in the mind, thoughts, feelings, the psychology behind certain behaviors or situations. I think what is most interesting to me is trying to represent a really abstract concept – it feels like an ultimate challenge, in a sense.
What’s one of your favorite objects you own?
One of my favorite and most precious objects is a wooden heart my father sculpted for me and each one of my sisters before he passed away. It is very simple, a flat wooden heart, varnished, with some writing on each side. I have it with me wherever I go, and it currently sits on my altar.
Do you remember the first work of art that captured your attention?
I can't say I remember the very first work of art that drew my attention, though I remember being really drawn to some Rothko paintings in my early days. It attracted me in a really deep way that I still haven't understood fully yet, and this might be why of all the paintings I have seen those remained some of the strongest and most influential to me.
Is there any artwork on display in your home or studio?
There are very few artworks on display in my home or studio – one of them is a poster from Mould Map Magazine that is a few years old. I used to have a lot of art around me but have slowly replaced that with plants over the years.
Are you influenced by any artist that does something completely different than you?
I have been influenced by many artists doing something completely different than me. It is actually what influences me the most! I have always been fascinated with writing, for example. I don't think I could ever write, as my practice, though I find a tremendous amount of inspiration and excitement from reading. Currently I have been reading The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin, and have been reading some of the pages multiple times, hoping they would impregnate my mind. That is something I find fascinating with art pieces at times, how they can fuel one with so much emotion, while not being able to completely grasp or understand the making of it.
What necessities do you require when making your art?
It really depends on the art I am making. My practice goes from digital painting to pastel drawings to sculpture, so I usually have a large number of tools I can play with. It depends on my concept and inspiration.
How do you choose your materials?
I choose my materials depending on the projects, on my current interests, reflection, and theme that I want to explore in the time that I have to make the pieces.
Did you go to art school?
I went to animation school , and had a brief training in fine arts during high school. Most of my artistic practice has been developed on the side of my commercial work days.
Have you ever collaborated, or would you?
My work has unfortunately felt very solitary in most of these past years. I would always love to collaborate though also spend a lot of time alone to create, in the end I have realized it is quite necessary to my practice and thinking process.
What’s next for you?
I would love to spend a lot of time on my next series of works. I often have very little time to work on projects and have come to the conclusion that this is not the most fruitful way to do my work or to go as far as I want to go with it. I also want to do much larger piece, which is another learning curve ahead. I am really excited about that and am hoping to be able to dedicate a good amount of this next year to this goal.