Step into Aquasixio’s surreal fantasy universes

This clinical psychologist unpacks the inner workings of his world by creating new worlds.

According to 32-year-old French-based clinical psychologist Cyril Rolando, his professional life is spent as an expert for the court, deciding the fate of child removed from his or her family, explaining the workings of an alcoholic mother or unpacking the motives of a rapist. To cope with the strain and his responsibilities as a husband and father to a daughter, Rolando creates digital art under his artist’s name Aquasixio. He uses vivid imagery to explore the fragility of the human existence.

“I paint to express my feelings, my emotions, evacuate the tensions, tell a story and share a naive vision of life,” he explains, adding that he started the hobby with Photoshop and a Wacom tablet and still has not changed.

“Most of the time, I have my ideas when I am driving home after work.” He continues: “Tim Burton and Hayao Miyazaki are both the roots of my own world. I like the surrealism movement, especially the work of Boris Vian and his Foam of the Daze (l’écume des jours – 1950). I like absurd, creative and enchanting universes.”

Rolando’s enchanting universes have dazzled hundreds of thousands of fans who flock to his Facebook fan page to see his latest creations. But as for feedback, Rolando prefers to keep his circle small.

“Some years ago, I was really attentive to the feedback about my artworks, but I have tried distance myself from them because it endangered my creativity,” he says. “I’d rather follow my inspiration.”

His favourite piece of work is something he completed in 2005, a piece called “Save Our Souls.” The piece helped him understand his role as a psychologist.

“This is my favourite artwork, and it’s quite hard to believe I made it,” he explains. “This is an art piece about how I have come to understand that you can’t help others if you haven’t been helped before. I knew I wasn’t the saviour people thought I was."