Josiane Faubert is an artist, photographer, and founder of PICHA Stock: a company that brings curated, diverse Afrocentric visuals that enable brands and businesses to tell richer stories that include modern Africans. We spoke to her about her work and being a creator.
What do you create?
I am first and foremost a photographer, but I also paint and create digital illustrations. Many years before I started photography, I used oil painting to connect with my roots. It started while I was in college. Painting allowed me to travel back home. Today, I am usually with my camera shooting for PICHA, the stock platform I founded a few years ago. Last year, I started illustrations and really enjoy it as well.
What inspired you to start PICHA?
PICHA started out of frustration. I was actually at a point in my life where I wanted to leave my camera and spend more of my time and energy on oil painting. When I realized there was a lack of representation in the stock industry, I started PICHA Stock, a visual content provider of Afrocentric visuals. We license visuals to companies, individuals, and bloggers who need diverse images for their marketing and communication.
Who is your audience?
Our audience are both content creators and content users from all over the world.
Why is it important to you to showcase the diversity of the African diaspora?
While we initially started PICHA focusing only on Africa, we expanded our mission to serve any community rooted in Africa. This includes African-American, Afro-Carribean, Afro-Brazilian, and more around the diaspora. It made sense to “unite” our collection. We have open calls for contributors from all these communities all the time.
How do you employ storytelling in your work?
When I started photography, I was only interested in portraiture. Shooting for stock has really forced me to think about storytelling a lot more. When you shoot stock, you shoot for brands and corporations who are trying to convey stories. Your images must be able to tell stories.
Why is it important as a Black person to create?
Artistic expression is really important. It keeps us connected to our emotions. Every form of art brings me different things. When I paint, I reconnect with myself and my mind gets cleared as if I was meditating. When I photograph someone, the energy is different.
Creativity gives you a sense of identity. It is very important for us to create as it has a multidimensional aspect that provides freedom.
What do you hope people take away from your work?
Just enjoy it…or not.
How do you balance creating with the rest of your life?
I am a mother of three and honestly juggling work, family, and personal projects can be a challenge. When COVID happened and we found ourselves stuck at home, I started including my kids in my projects. We paint together, we practice drawing together, and I photograph them — the only goal is to create together.
Any advice for new creators?
Any future projects?
My goal is to get better at commercial photography and get better at conceptualizing ideas. These will definitely lead to projects that are yet to define.