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BOUDA | interview

(credit - Felix Stein)

Paper, walls, skateboards, shoes, clothes, these are some of BOUDA’s canvas. Introducing as a 23 year old illustrator, wall-painter and cook, the artist is currently living in Paris, where she walked the first steps into her career, now moving forward. She shares her story, her work and her aspirations with Unsettled.

Who’s BOUDA?

Bouda is my funny nickname since I’m little. It’s also my nickname when I work and draw. I am a passionated artist, fascinated by the big cities specially Paris.

Why Paris specifically?

Because Paris is the city where everything began. I was 17 years old when I arrived in Paris. I went to my first art school and met my friends there. I also had my first exhibition at L'Inattendue Galerie in Le Marais next to Bastille, with my collective we created with my friends. It was called Sand8ch Club.

Would you tell us a bit more about your work?

I started to draw when I was a kid. My mother is a painter and she gave me that passion for art. I was born in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. I lived 10 years in Germany and 10 years in France. I grew up in big cities with many different people from many different countries. Then, I started to draw a lot about Paris, mostly the architecture and the rooftops. It was like an obsession and a virus that I drew everywhere. My work is always or mostly in black and white. I love the deep and the strength black can reveal. It has a big impact! And I am not very good with colours… I love to draw what I see and inspire myself from this energy big cities have. Everything is constantly on the move. If you look closer to my work you’ll see many details, not much space, always crowded and dense. There is always a funny hidden detail in every work that you have to find.

Did you have a particular moment when you realised this is what you wanted to do?

I was 19 years old and I was living in Berlin. I created a Facebook Page where I started to post some drawings and work I did in Berlin. When I came back to France I started to work for a gallery and some events in Paris and that’s how everything began.

It feels like you have a little character in your work? How did you come up with it?

Yes, I think it began in Barcelona on the beach. There was this incredible woman with huge glasses and she was really fat. She was amazing. Thanks to her, I created my character called Marla. Since Marla, most of my character wear fat glasses and are mostly chubby. I hope to edit a comic book with my characters one day.

So you’ve also worked with clothes, how did that come to life?

I love to experiment new things. I began to draw on skateboards, then walls and finally clothes. Last year, I worked for a brand which was part of a special fashion week for disabled. I had to draw on dresses, jackets and t-shirts created especially for them. I think that painted clothes are really a personal «piece of art». I choose every clothing items I will draw on and imagine who could wear them!

The photos you sent me, were they part of a particular project/series? If yes, how did it start?

Yes, it is my work for the gallery R_1992 in Berlin. It was my first solo show in Berlin. I met Faranak and Vittorio, the bosses of the gallery thanks to SSSHAKE Berlin. It was one of my greatest experience. I was there as a resident and preparing the show during 2-3 weeks. They taught me a lot! During my stay I also customised clothes for customers, Instagramers and musicians!

And lastly, anything else to add about your work?

Drawing and creating is my passion! I feel really happy to make my biggest dream come true. Most of it is possible thanks to my family and friends. I hope that I’ll be able to open my own location where I could mix food and art!

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