June 25th, 2020
Jesse Gussow



Artist Aïcha Sacha draws you into her pieces with bold vibrant colours and surreal themes. Her subjects eyes are so deep and extremely well detailed. The emotion captured in her work is powerful and beautiful. The vibrancy of her colours and the details of her work are awe inspiring.



Where are you from?

I was born and raised in a small village in Germany. I’m mixed so I also have my roots in Benin, West Africa. I am currently based in sunny Marseille in the south of France.



How did you get interested in art?

I always loved to draw and create since I was a little girl. I could spend hours drawing without even looking up. Back then people were surprised how well I captured my emotions in my drawings, the good and the bad. I loved to experimenting with colors and even as a child it helped me to describe my own feelings.

When I got older I almost forgot how healing it was for me to create art. Then a few years ago I luckily got back to it.  Honestly I never thought that I could live my dream and make a living with my art.



Where do you find your inspiration for your work?

After a long break, I started creating again a few years ago when I was at a very dark place in my life. It helped me understand things that I couldn’t even put in words. My art mirrors my inner life with all my emotions and struggles. Most of my pieces are based on what’s happening in my head.

So I would have to say that I find my inspiration within myself. Thats why I used to find it hard to share my art with other people in the first place. It’s like sharing my deepest thoughts.
I am also  influenced by current societal issues like racism, sexism and mental health.



How would you describe your style?

Most of my paintings have strong and beautiful women as subjects. I adore women how powerful and strong they are. Their ability to adapt to challenging circumstances. Their ability to endure so much pain and suffering. I want to capture and express the beauty that women (especially women of color)  carry inside and cherish the source of life.

Besides that I love contrasts in every form. Using complementary colors or black and white contrast is a common theme in my paintings. Expressing extreme and dark topics in contrast to vibrant colors.

I’m playing with taboos like sexuality and nudity, suicide and mental health problems. It’s sad that these topics are not represented enough in society so I’m happy to do my part.



When you sleep what do you dream of?

My dreams are very often extreme and surreal. I think they are another source of inspiration for my art. Thankfully I usually remember my dreams and can even work on new ideas for my art in my sleep.




Do you listen to music while you  work?

Given that I work on my art for hours and hours everyday I like to spice it up with some good music and podcasts. A pity for my neighbors because I prefer to work at night.

I think that music adds a better flow to my work and often inspires me to go out of my comfort zone. However, for my pre-sketches I need absolute silence, otherwise I would mess up the proportions.



What materials do you use for your work?

I used to paint with acrylics before but started with oil colors at the end of 2019 -  I would never go back! I love taking my time to blend and change things, so slow drying oil colors are perfect for me. I also love the vibrance and depth of oil colors.

For my black and white drawings I use graphite and charcoal.



How many pieces do you make on average per year?

It depends on how many clients I have for commission pieces. At the moment I’m very thankful that I have a lot to do. Before I did commissions, I had set my goal to create at least one piece a month. But this year I already finished over ten pieces so it’s a good start I guess.



If you had a time machine would you use it? If so where would you go and why?
I guess I might be boring, because I wouldn’t actually want to use it to see my own past or future. Although it’s very tempting. But I would love to use the time machine to go all the way back in time just to see the dinosaurs. I have loved dinosaurs since I was a little kid so it would be amazing to see them roam free.



Whats the biggest piece you’ve done? what’s the smallest?

The smallest was 10x10cm, the biggest was 100x70cm. I love to draw on big canvases so I will definitely go bigger in the future.



Are your portraits based on real people?

Most of the time I use myself as a reference because it’s very practical. But I also like to portray people that inspire me. Given that most of my paintings have strong beautiful women as a theme, I base them on real women that inspire me like Grace Jones, Erykah Badu and black women in general.




Whats the worst job you’ve ever had and why is that?

Luckily I haven’t had a bad job. My commission works are often putting a lot of pressure on me. You never know if the person will like what you’re doing.



What do you think your artwork says about you?

It says about me that my life is a roller coaster and that I use it as therapy to process things.
My art portrays my inner life and shares it with other people. It is always so hard to talk about personal issues like that.  I often feel like I am the only person who is struggling.

In society it is still a taboo to talk openly about mental health for example. But I realized that there are so many people who struggle with this and who feel the same way. So I want to show them that they are not alone. That it is possible to create something beautiful out of painful memories. And that art in every form can help you to grow and overcome painful periods in life.




How have you improved since you first started to now? what would you like to be more proficient at?

Yes, definitely. In my opinion it takes more than just talent to be a good artist. With hard work you will improve everyday. I realized that when I set my goal for the Covid-19 quarantine. I wanted to work on my art pieces at least a few hours each day. In this short amount of time I already saw a big improvement.

But I know that I still have a long road ahead of me. I’m not a professional by any means and have learned everything by myself and with YouTube videos.

I would like to be more proficient with oil colors. I started with oil a few months ago and absolutely love it.  I still struggle with different techniques. I notice big difference between drawing details with graphite and painting a very detailed work with oil. My goal is to be more comfortable with oil.




Do you prefer oreo or fudgee-o cookies?

Oreos are so average and I don’t know fudgee-o cookies so I would say neither - I do love cheesecake though!

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