Q&A: Paul Sika, Cote d’Ivoire

Fashion and advertising photographer, artist and creative director Paul Sika was featured in the 2007 summer edition of Olympus User Magazine UK. For this vibrant series, Sika created the environments using actors and carefully staged sets to convey a powerful social narrative.

What was the creative rationale behind the use of such overwhelmingly saturated colors in your African series?
‘The colors are not specific to the African series. I happened to be in Cote d’Ivoire, where I’m based at the moment, after my stay in London for my studies in software engineering, and the colors and the way I use them allow the doors of imagination to be opened.

‘I don’t like art that can only be understood by “experts”. I don’t find that type of art interesting enough. My vision is that art should be for everyone who can perceive it, giving them the opportunity to enjoy it. A kid can enjoy my art, and those that are more advanced can derive a deeper meaning out of it. All that is based on the state of mind of the observer’.

How far do you go in planning shoots beforehand and what is left to chance?
‘Usually, I let the idea form in my mind as an embryo. In my mind, over a varying period of time, it will develop until it is ready to be delivered onto paper. Deliver it too quickly — when it is not mature enough — and you blow up the idea. I first jot it down as a script, through a mix of words, drawings and symbols that everybody can understand after deciphering my bad handwriting.

There is no chance. There is just how much you understand and how well you interact with your Creative Force’.

Can you tell us about how you chose the subjects for the series and how easy or difficult the shooting process was?
‘Some of series’ were commissions, and others were personal. For the commissions, I am generally asked to go from a brief. For the personal projects, I have more freedom. Whenever I am awake, ideas just start to pop up and I observe them until one of them makes my heart tick. That is the stamp of approval. I add other ideas onto this idea, making the original concept richer. When it reaches maturity, I carry it out’.

Can you talk about some of the commissions you have received due to this work? Is it mainly advertising or do you get a lot of fashion and editorial work as well?
‘It used to be mainly advertising, but I am starting to get more fashion than I used to. The fashion designers who are aware of my work are willing to try the exuberant style I produce. Several brands are now showing interest in my work, including Jamhuri Wear, Elway and Kohra’.

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  • Simply Awesome…

  • I think Paul is one of the new up and comers who truly has amazing vision and integrity. I love the way the people are so alive in his work. This is the best stuff I’ve seen in a while.

  • paul is a creative genius and visionary. i hope this work gets the audience and recognition it deserves. more power to you paul.

  • Guillaume Sika

    Ces photographies sont de véritables réussites d’artiste. Que ces images soient le début d’une prestigieuse et longue carrière.

  • Arthur GOA

    go.., Go, GOLAAZO !
    We are proud of his Job. He’s a real creative and an intellectual artist photographer. Look at his Job. You can see ? no, I don’t think… ok ! let seen again… but this time with your spiritual and philosophic eyes. What brisk Pics! His paint transcends our existential reality to reach the perfection of the sight.

  • Aïda BAMBA

    I’m very very proud of you.
    Not just for the obvious talent you have (Congratulation!!) but also for the vision…

  • just some guy

    honestly, the image content and composition are great and very creative, but it seems like a cheap post production (i.e., something like Topaz adjust or some plugin or action in photoshop that is just too overdone). Just my opinion.

  • Khiranji

    Some exciting imageson here and on Pauls site…..

  • As an artist myself I can appeciate the work of another one. I am originally from Ivory Coast and I live and work in The USA.

    “Compatriote, travail tes honorable”. It means in Englsh: Countryman, work well done.
    I am proud of you and I can’t wait to share your website to my family and friends.

  • Anon

    Are you serious? How are these good? Ughh – HDR is vomit.

  • ESSOH Guy Louis

    Paul ! congratulations….your art content and composition are great and very creative. I think that this is the new vision for actual world generation…keep the good job

  • TAPE

    Merci de donner à la photographie une nouvelle voie de developpement et à la Côte d’Ivoire des raisons de croire en chacun de ses enfants. Merci pour tant d’originalité et de créativité.
    Clément TAPE

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