Sébastien Riopelle, the man behind the painter Rio, shares some of the principles guiding his creative process and his flourishing career.
He reveals what inspires him and how he balances his periods of creation with his thriving business. An exciting conversation with a determined artist with dazzling ambition.
For as long as he can remember, Rio has always loved to draw. At home or at school, every moment was conducive to creativity. "Mom always picked up all my drawing rags scattered throughout the house," he recalls. Motivated by the recognition he received from his mother and teachers, the budding artist continued to explore and develop his art.
Having always been extremely creative, Rio was first attracted to botany, but the urge to paint was undeniably stronger, and Rio soon invested all his energy, income and time into launching his painting career. He explored all possible avenues to make a name for himself, exhibiting his creative works in libraries, cafes and of course, online, through social media. "By listening to my instincts and making sure that I respected myself and my art, I have always managed to move forward," he explains. He feels blessed that his works reach so many people and that this success allows him to have a rewarding professional career. "I do Rio and I am proud to sign my pieces, knowing that they are sure to please," he says.
The artist explains his desire to continuously develop his art, while remaining accessible. In constant search of new forms and new mediums to explore, Rio collaborates with designers and architects and aims to stay ahead of the trends. In our conversation, Rio reveals what inspires his creations – women, being his primary muses, but also plants and animals, to which he dedicates an "artistic approach rich with meaning. A crossroad between sensuality, freedom and a love of life! " His characters’ closed or veiled eyes conceal a sensitivity that eludes us, like a mystery we cannot solve. This mystery, which underlies most of Rio's works, is essential for the artist, because he hopes that those looking at his pieces will question and identify themselves by projecting their own story onto those of the characters depicted on the canvases.
One aspect about Rio’s work that may surprise the public is the artist's involvement in all spheres of his career, from creation, to the organization of exhibitions, to product orders and business development. "I am very Cartesian" the artist reveals. He gets just as excited when he organizes an exhibition as when he paints. For Rio, an exhibition is a work of art in itself, as it is just as creative as the works on display. Choosing the venue, planning the staging and arrangement of the artwork, all of these steps help tell a story and convey emotions.
Rio’s creative process is, like the man and the artist, a constant search for balance between creativity and work, between his moments of solitude where he enters his creative bubble and loses track of time, and those moments when he surrounds himself with people to reconnect with them and fill up on inspiration. The imaginative artist explains that when he creates, he abandons himself completely. Everything outside of his "bubble" temporarily disappears. Sometimes, a National Geographic documentary plays in the background, but the artist does not feel the need for any external elements to fuel his creativity. "I need to create every day, and each canvas is like a battle, and all my concentration is dedicated to accurately depicting what I see in my head."
Rio is currently working on a new collection. We wish him all the best and hope he fulfills all of his ambitions!