Interview: Ninon Lacoume
Luca Curci talks with Ninon Lacoume during ALCHEMIC BODY 2021, at ArtFix.
Ninon Lacoume was born in 1997 and grew up in France. Ninon’s universe is inspired by what surrounds her; flowing water filling a bathtub illuminated by an end-of-day light… Everything that passes through her retina finds a place on her sketchbooks, canvases, camera and iPad Pro. From an artistic point of view, her techniques are diverse. Combining with our society always in search of digital innovation and traditional painting, she mixes all these mediums as a complementary whole. Her need for communication leads her to offer the ideal medium by positioning herself as a designer more than an illustrator.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Ninon Lacoume – I come from France, I studied there my whole life and always wanted to meet new cultures and people. I studied design in high school and illustrative art at the university of Pivaut in Nantes, France, from which I graduated in 2019 with a degree in creative art and design. During those hard studies, I got to discover oil painting, I never stopped practicing since then. My diverse travels after that time strongly contributed to developing the way I wanted my future to be: full of multicultural people and languages. I’m mostly get inspired by everything that surrounds me. Flowing water filling a bathtub illuminated by an end-of-day light… Everything that passes through my retina finds a place on my sketchbooks, canvases, 35mm camera and iPad Pro. The biggest advice that I got from my university is that to get experience, I need to meet people, see how they’re working, observe and paint obsessively. So in 2020, before Covid, I met a great painter named Thibaut Dapoigny that introduced me to the exhibition world, he gave me great tools to get where I’m at today.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
NL – I usually work depending on what I feel. First of all, I make myself a huge pint of mint tea. I put music or the radio on, unfold my plastic and glass wrapping around my color palette and then I start to paint. I have a three-step painting method that I was taught by my painting teacher, M.Marc Chalmé, during my university years. These are the only rules I follow during the process of making. I usually am in a kind of meditative state while I paint, so when I want to focus the most I put a series or radio on so that I feel surrounded as well as in my bubble.
LC – How is your creative process?
NL – I’m still figuring out my creative process, but from what I can see already, what works for me is: taking pictures of my model before painting, then I modify it so that I have the right atmosphere on lightroom classic. Something that I love doing is sketching on my canvas before starting with a Bic pen. So I have my reference pictures ready, my canvas ready. The other step is not the easiest, I boil my rabbit-skin glue and applied it in three layers on my sketched canvas and wait for almost a week to dry. Then, I use the ‘imprimitura’ technique and voilà! I can finally start to paint my three oil painting layers using térébenthine as a diluent. It’s a long creative process that allows me to slowly prepare myself to paint.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
NL – I do have a predilection theme. It varies from humans and their interaction in their environment, scenes from everyday life, and everything related to water. This is why I use the cheer tones of orange, marron from the skin and blues as a complementary whole. From an artistic point of view, my techniques are diverse. Combining with our society always in search of digital innovation and traditional painting, I mix all these mediums as a complementary whole also. My need for communication leads me to offer the ideal medium by positioning herself as a designer more than an illustrator.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
NL – In my point of view, the artist translates to others, a thought, a story. Artists give people something to be a part of, and it federates people.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
NL – I got really inspired by the theme, also the atmosphere/architecture of the exhibition center. I love imagining exhibiting my artwork with other links by elements such as earth, water, fire, etc.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
NL – My artwork is a part of three-part painting series about my twin sister. It’s a translation of the mood she was in in 2019. The last painting is currently exhibited in Miami, Florida, with Jada, a great collective of artists.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
NL – I hope so, I don’t know yet, because this is my first time exhibiting with you guys.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
NL – For sure, I love the fact that it’s super well organized, that you guys give opportunities to exhibit around Europe and the theme that I related so much that makes me want to grow around professionals like you.