Pupa has always been inspired to draw and create, but it hasn’t always been that simple, with courage and tenacity required to achieve her dreams. There’s no doubt that her Belgian side has played a part!
Nature, the jungle, animals, flowers, fruits and the forest are her favourite subjects, which she has reproduced on window displays, tables, walls and paper, here and there, in restaurants, exhibits, The Apartment… You may have seen her work near you.
When did you start drawing and why?
I was nine years old when I realised I knew how to draw. The need to draw has been with me ever since, and has been extremely liberating for me.
Do you have any clearer recollections of your first drawings?
Yes, I was in my aunt’s kitchen, I was bored, my sister was taking art classes and I really wanted to use her materials. I asked her for a sheet of A3, took off my sweater that had a picture of a dalmatian on it, and I copied it almost identically.
I had no idea that I knew how to draw properly. I was often absent from school due to ill health and I was quite introverted, life wasn’t always easy. I often look back at that moment, it was completely decisive!
Where do you find your inspiration?
I love to touch and feel things. I love packaging, materials, fabrics and their graphics, and 3D. I am passionate about interior decoration and design, and architecture too. I’m fascinated by plants, and animals, which are all about graphics and juxtaposed lines.
When I was little I wanted to be a florist, but when I was eight my doctor shattered my dreams when he told me I was highly allergic to pollen and suffered from hayfever. It sounds a little dramatic but these days I can laugh about it.
After that I went through a spell of wanting to be a vet, but the studies put me off pretty quickly. I was lacking in self-confidence and I couldn’t imagine succeeding in this field. Then I wanted to try architecture, and once again my lack of confidence led me to believe I would never succeed. These days I feel all of this at my very core and I use it as inspiration to find the directing lines in my art.
Everything is inspiration, every sound, everything we can see. I always listen to music when I’m working. It’s really a part of my work. In fact I played in a band when I was younger.
What artists do you particularly appreciate?
I’ve been following Supakitch et Koralie for a while now, they’re my favourites. I love what they do because there’s a lot of love in it. They’re a couple and it’s amazing to be able to work together as artists. They complement each other perfectly and this gives them a hyper-professional, beautiful and fascinating sheen. They use a lot of repetitive themes and they mix together colours beautifully, it really speaks to me!
If I ever get the chance to work with them then it will be one of the happiest days of my life! Even if I could just observe them just once on one of their projects to see how they work, like an intern, that would be amazing! I’ve learned a lot from looking at their photos and videos, they’re really like tutorials!
Posca is your material of choice, when did you discover it?
Absolutely! I only paint with Posca, sometimes with a bit of spray paint, but that’s pretty rare as I don’t do many murals. Not enough!
I discovered Posca when I was 13 or 14, I was at art school and it was around. I got into graffiti, but soon realised in using spray paints that although I really appreciate graffiti and the spirit of all the street artists, I didn’t like the lack of precision. Posca soon became a tool I could engage with and paint with ease, whether it be on a wall, on wood or on metal.
At the age of 15, I went to Barcelona, where the graffiti scene was far more advanced than in Liège where I was living, and I realised that they had Posca in every colour possible, even with glitter! Whereas back home, we didn’t have them yet.
We only had five colours in Belgium, the full range arrived much later. When I saw all the possibilities, I was converted and I’ve used Posca ever since!
You mention The Apartment in your interviews, can you tell us more about the concept?
Of course! I decided to launch myself into the art world at the end of 2013. I was a bit lost as you need to have a lot of connections to make partnerships and you need to meet the right people to move forward.
It’s a special world where you need to have a network, which I didn’t have at all. As a result, the doors to the galleries and exhibitions were all closed to me and finding the key wasn’t easy! So I decided to do something very simple and hold an exhibition in someone’s house.
I was lucky enough to meet Dominique, a wonderful person who I hadn’t met before, but who offered me her beautiful apartment in the centre of town. Because we were in someone’s house, it was difficult for me to work only with artists who would have simply hung their work on the walls. For this reason, I had the idea of opening up the exhibition to artists working in the fields of cookery, jewellery, fashion and design… All the things you might find in an apartment!
We have just held the 21st edition, it was a great success. It’s become like an extended family. Human contact is very important during meetings. Since the start, we have got around 400 artists involved and the audience has continued to grow. More than 2000 people visited the 21st exhibition! I can hardly believe it!
It has expanded a great deal and we are lucky enough to use exceptional locations, in terms of size and layout, it’s insane. We put on concerts, events, workshops, tours, everything you need to be happy and make others happy!