Cépé

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

CP: I would say it’s a mix of a lot of things. There are influences from great movements of painting such as Expressionism and Cubism, which can be found in certain postures of my characters or in spontaneity when applying colors. I like the idea that my art is always evolving; however, I would say that it draws more and more towards poetic and naive images.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

CP: From cities, people and the sun.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

CP: Basically, it all starts with an idea. I imagine a vague composition, a color association… this idea emerges most of the time when I’m not working and I’m completely doing something else. As soon as I can, I make a sketch to not forget my first inspiration. For digital creations (which represent 90% of my productions) I work a lot on my iPad, it can be on my sofa, in my bed or in a café. To really complete my work I move to my office and I finish my work with a large digital tablet connected to my computer.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

CP: What I propose is an intention. I like the idea of a double reading. That one can say to oneself “these colors are beautiful, and it tells me something”. Before understanding an image and giving it meaning we see only a sequence of colors and shapes even if this moment lasts only a tenth of a second. I would like the audience to go through this stage, to appreciate the image as something abstract for a short while before understanding it. I think that everyone has their own reading process, once I show my work, it does not belong to me anymore, it also belongs to the viewer. I do not try to be in control.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

CP: In general, my cat wakes me up and does not stop meowing until I feed her. Then I take a double coffee, black, without sugar. In the mornings I produce new things, and work on new creations. I like the calm of the morning, it is when I am the most focused. In general, I spend the afternoon focusing on more executive tasks such as the finalization of productions in progress, administrative tasks etc … And in the evening, I end up at the beach.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

CP: It’s a good question! I think it takes a bit of both. I like to have an idea before producing, even if it’s a little fuzzy. From this idea I try to have as much spontaneity as possible. Lastly I make small precise adjustments on the colors. But there are no miracle recipes, everyone has their formula !

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

CP: I don’t know…. I have never been very good at retaining my lessons! But maybe continuing to trust myself, to have my own guideline. Staying honest with myself, even if it’s not always compatible with the law of the market, trends etc.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

CP: It’s a bit of who you are, but above all it’s the message that you want to send to others. It’s important but don’t make it an obsession, it must also come naturally. I think you should never be afraid to change it, to try new things. Taste is difficult to put into words. We can not control everything and nothing must be frozen.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

CP: The hardest thing to do is also the coolest thing: creating and having fun.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

CP: What I like the most about being an artist is that I’m constantly renewing myself. The process of creation is always the most important. The one which is not there yet. In this business we have to deal with our inspiration, and it’s something we do not always master, that’s why it’s always very exciting to start a new project.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

CP: There are so many! But if I had to choose just one, I’ll say Matisse. He is a genius colorist who perfectly combines simplicity with elegance.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

CP: I think it’s pretty awesome! It changes the relationship we have to our work. We can go back infinite times to duplicate elements. Personally I love it, and I burst open my iPad. Also, I find it interesting that the work can be dematerialized, it is no longer an object. It significantly changes our relationship to the work, it’s a revolution!

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

CP: Yes and no. I think everyone is an artist but to a different degree. Each artist looks at the world in a singular way, everything can be a source of inspiration.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

CP: Yes I love to travel, and would like to do it more often. This summer I went to Rome with my girlfriend, and I fell in love a second time 😉

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

CP: Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Gambler

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

CP: I’m not too much of a planner. I tend to paint more and I think this activity will develop parallel to my digital work. Next month I’m going to paint an entire wall in a friend’s shop in downtown Montpellier. Large formats have always attracted me and I hope there will be many more!

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

CP: Being an artist for me means dedicating a lot of importance and time to things that are useless but make us happy.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

CP: Boubacar Traoré – Soundiata

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

CP: The aesthetics of my work are constantly evolving. I always aspire to be more spontaneous. I would like my style to be perceived both playful and popular. I think I’ve talked enough about my work, so I invite you to go see it.

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