"I feel like there are not enough Black-British artists that are recognised and I do hope one day I could be one of those individuals that make a difference."


Tell us about your background?

Marie-Chantelle: I’m from Ivory-Coast. I was born in London; my mum is from Ivory-Coast and my Dad was born in France but he passed while I was a child. I’m currently studying Illustration at London College of Communication.


What drew you to pursue an art degree?

MC: I guess the typical answer is when I was a kid I used to watch a lot of cartoons and all that, I used to really love all that kind of stuff. It happened really early; I remember when I was in Year 2 and they told me to draw a cow and I drew and it actually turned out quite good, so I guess from the moment on I did it.


What was your parents’ reaction to it?

MC: My mum was cool with it; she would always tell her friends that I was good at drawing. She always believed that I could achieve so much more being an artist.


Do you think there is a stigma around pursuing an art degree in the Afro-Caribbean society?

MC: To be honest, as an African, my mum has always stressed to me the importance of going to university. Before I felt I didn’t need to go to university to become what I want to become, but I feel like as a black individual it would be hard to find a job related to an art degree. I guess when you’re black in this country you already have a lot of things against you, so the idea of doing a degree that is risky becomes no-go. I feel like there are not enough Black-British artists that are recognised and I do hope one day I could be one of those individuals that make a difference.


Which of your pieces are you most proud of?

MC: That’s a tough one. I would say it was one I did when I was in my final year of secondary school. During my exams, I remember not knowing what to draw for the final exam and I drew this black figure, a superhero I guess. I remember drawing this black female and I drew her hair as ropes. It was just a black superhero and it meant a lot to me. It had a lot of meaning to it.

Do you worry about the future financially?

MC: I do. I will not lie I do, but, you’ve just got to believe and hope. I’m not doing this for no reason, so it will work out.


What would you say to someone who is considering pursuing an art degree but is scared?

MC: That’s quite a hard question only because I believe we {artists} do not need to go to university. To be honest the only reason why I came here is to use the facilities. But if you feel like you need to go to university then do it. I dropped out from Westminster last year and I thought that was it. But, I ended up being here. I guess if you feel like it’s something you want to do then do it.


Here are some of Marie-Chantelle’s pieces:

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