chakib-benkara-profile-picture

Co-Founder, Art Director and Lecturer at The Cotswold Art Academy.

At the age of 14 growing up surrounded by the vibrancy of colour and cultural diversity of North Africa, my creativity was stimulated by the world around me. I was strongly influenced by my mothers sister “Malika Kouskoussa” who remains a well established artist and lecturer of art in Algeria and is still my biggest critic.
I am an artist painter, sculptor and photographer. I have always used the three different mediums to express my feelings towards life and it’s surroundings.
I have spent most of my childhood in ‘Oran’ and from a very early age developed a keen interest in drawing animals, particularly horses.
After medical schooling I moved to England and got a Doctorate in Anatomy and a degree in Art Therapy, by the end of that I was determined to make a career in Art by using my knowledge in Anatomy.
I began painting professionally in the early 90’s and worked from my first studio in Stratford upon Avon .
Using all mediums, my techniques are traditional. My inspiration come from the countryside around me with a special interest in the play of light on subjects in their natural surroundings. For the illustrations, I base my inspiration around the daily news and what is happening in the world.
My Comic Illustration work started in 1994 where I took an interest in the world of Marvel and DC, after achieving a great deal in experience, I became a colorist to a comic agency in 2001.
Now I enjoy doing a famous character every day,
I am not sure which came first, being nosey or an interest in ‘street photography’, but a fascination with people and the way they live their lives is why I enjoy the business so much.
I can’t hide behind lights and technology, I am reliant on a Nikon camera, patience and lots of optimism. But what I get in return is the chance to make an honest picture which people know immediately is a genuine moment and which hopefully burrows deep into their memories.
I achieve my unique style of part- defined, part- abstract by applying oil and plaster to canvas. Usually applied with palette knifes and fingers.