It’s only through hard work and perseverance that one can reach the peak… — Featuring Benjamin Kouadio artist & author
Benjamin Kouadio is an art teacher, an illustrator, and a blogger from the Ivory Coast. Benjamin is known for his sense of humor and a series of comics that showcase life in African society.
Prof. Kouadio is actually a teacher extraordinaire. He is not only passionate about art but also about future generations of Artists in Africa. He goes beyond the traditional classrooms or his lecture assignments to share his knowledge in workshops and many schools throughout the continent.
When asked about his dream as an artist, Benjamin shared that he is already living his artist’s dream, by God’s grace. He travels and meet his fans and readers, even other authors. Benjamin is simply proud of “having launched and established my own business around art and providing multimedia services.”
His art and creations are a medium of expression through which he can unleash ideas engrained deep within him. “I have a lot of great ideas based on comic art, and I am eager to bring it to the public,” he said. Sadly, it’s a domain that is not yet well understood by editors, which can often create misunderstanding and frustrations.
Benjamin has five titles to date to his name. When asked which one was his favorite, the artist’s sense of humor bubbled with the following answer: “I do not have a preferred or favorite creation. It’s like asking a father to choose among his children who is his favorite. I love all five titles equally, and I put in hard work, goodwill, and passion in each of my creations.”
The challenges faced by the artist include limited media access to promote his work. It is also very difficult to find or get the attention of publishing houses that specialize in comic books from the African continent.
Benjamin’s titles are currently available in bookstores in France, Ivory Coast, and a few countries in West Africa. He also has an active online presence, where he constantly posts and shares updates on his comic frames.
We asked Benjamin what role art plays in society. The artist replied that art is everywhere: in the kitchen, in architecture, design, decor, painting, photography, sculptures, music, etc…
The artist draws his inspiration from day-to-day life around him as well as newspapers, televisions, and the Bible.
In closing our interview, Benjamin wanted to share a message of hope and encouragement and mostly of hard work to artists who are truly interested in comics and cartooning.
In his own words: “It’s only through hard work and perseverance that one can reach the peak of the mountain. Work, work, work hard. Continue to master your craft and fuel your passion through education, workshops, participating in festivals…Amateurism doesn’t pay. The more skill we acquire, the better we are equipped to create and help others.”
As for decision-makers, Benjamin urges them to give special attention to comics and particularly to authors by providing them channels and programs where they can fully express themselves.