In a world often colored in shades of gray, the artistry of Ismael Costa bursts forth in a kaleidoscope of vibrant hues and vivid emotions, painting narratives that speak to souls across ages and borders. In the heart of Monteux, within the collaborative haven of La Traversée des Arts, Costa crafts masterpieces that are a testament to a life deeply intertwined with art. We had the privilege to sit down with the visionary artist, delving into the nuances of his creative journey and exploring the brilliant mind that guides the hand painting stories in bold strokes of color and movement.
The Journey from Comics to Canvas
Retro Kolkata : Ismael, your journey as an artist began at a young age, with your passion for drawing and comics. Could you share more about your early influences and what drew you to the arts initially?
Ismael: The transition from comics to painting occurred naturally. Unlike comics, painting allows me to express myself within one and the same "box". To provide references, I believe I was influenced, like many, by impressionist painters and others like Klimt and Turner.
New Beginnings in Monteux
Retro Kolkata : You moved to the south of France and opened your artistic business in Monteux after working as an illustrator in Paris. What prompted this shift in focus towards pictorial creation?
Ismael: The communication agency for which I drew in Paris (Alpha Media) closed its doors and I was going to become the father of my first daughter. My partner and I had decided to return to the south of France. To ensure financial income, I worked in decoration painting while trying to break into comics and responding to portrait orders. One day a neighbor invited me to participate in a small group exhibition. I presented 3 paintings and the enthusiasm of the public aged 7 to 77 made me want to continue on this path and give up comics. It was much later that I arrived in the town of Monteux for which I made several "trompe-l'oeil" paintings.
Finding Childhood Emotion in Art
Retro Kolkata : Over the past two decades, you've dedicated yourself to creating beautiful paintings. Can you share a bit about your daily creative process and how you keep your artistic motivation alive?
Ismael: I try to rediscover the emotion of my childhood when I paint. This is my primary motivation, I believe.
Exploring Varied Artistic Mediums
Retro Kolkata : Your work demonstrates a strong command of a variety of mediums – from acrylic paints to aerosols and oil pastels. How do you decide which medium to use for a particular piece, and what do you enjoy most about each one?
Ismael: I always try to surprise myself; I don't limit myself to any boundaries. I experiment with different "tricks," and if they work, that's great. Each medium has its unique characteristics, offering a different and complementary note of flavor.