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Monday, 28 November 2016

EFIWE INTERVIEW: Meet Ayodele Shalom, A 300 Level Student Of UI Who Creates Magic With Paintings

Yaay!πŸ˜ƒ It's our first and debut post on the section - DISCOVERED! - Yes, its' all about discovering amazing talents in Ibadan. Remember the blog is about Ibadan so we aren't going outside out territory. And since it's our first, it has to be very special and of course, the talent being featured is indeed very special and possibly one you've never heard of or seen of. Just sit down, relax, sip a bottle of coke...or coffee and enjoy the interview!

On today's Interview, we got to meet a teenager who is in 300level of the Department of Adult Education in the University of Ibadan. She is a Painter of some sort but not painting in the context we all know. Her story would truly inspire you no matter your age and size to get up, discover/rediscover your talent and follow your passion!
  1. 1.      Tell us more about yourself

My name is Ayodele Shalom. I am a student of the University of Ibadan, department of Adult Education. I am from Ibadan in Oyo state. I love arts and crafts. I am the first of two children. I am a Christian. God first, then family comes next. People ask where I got my art name ‘Wamiwa’ from, it was cut out from one of my names ‘Irewamiwa’

  1. 2.       When did you discover your talent?

I discovered my talent at a really young age. Actually, I didn’t really discover my talent myself. My parents did. They would tell me stories about me drawing on anything I see, wanting to experiment with colours and finding ways of expressing myself with arts. I grew up as someone who appreciates hand made things. I really started drawing when I was in junior secondary one. Uhm, I had fine arts assignments that triggered my creativity. One of the projects that made me discover I have a place in the cycle of arts was when I had to draw my hand holding a plant. When I finished the drawing, I looked at it and I loved what I saw. I showed my parents and I loved the look of satisfaction they had on their faces. That was the real beginning of my art journey.

  1. 3.       What do you call yourself? A creative artist or some other title?

I see myself as a narrative artist. I tell stories with my arts. They are usually abstract. I try to explain how I feel or pass a message with an art piece. My art is a mixture of different types of art. I use zentangles, sometimes mandala art all to express myself. I believe it is more of Zen art.

  1. 4.       What inspires you?

God is still my greatest inspiration. Actually, I get inspiration randomly. I love to watch animations. In fact, I prefer them over real life movies. Sometimes, the colours and designs used in animation give me inspiration. I’m a really whimsical person with a ‘out this world attitude’ so my mood inspires me sometimes.

  1. 5.       Does your family and friends support you?

I would say that my parents and my sister are my greatest fans. They encourage me so much that they have pushed me to do things and break limits I never thought I could achieve. My dad and mom really love my arts. There was this time I did wall art in my room. I literally messed up the walls. I used glitters and plastics and paints. The down side was it was a rented apartment. I was scared and excited at the same time. I wasn’t sure if my parents would love it or not. I knew they would love it because it’s my art but they might not like the canvas. To my surprise, my parents entered my room, saw the work, they were really excited and they loved the work. I asked if they were angry I used the walls. Their reply was revolutionary. They just told me – ‘we would paint it when we are leaving the apartment’. That statement really encouraged me and made me know I had their support.
Friends, uhm, some of them support me and love my work but some are still sceptical about it which I know one day they will love too. When it comes to friends that support me, only two people come to my mind and that’s my roommate, Tobi and my awesome friend Dara. These two people just have a way of making me go beyond what I can imagine through their encouragement. These two people are usually the first friends I want to show my art works to. 

  1. 6.       Does your work involve money?

Yes, I spend a lot on my works. Considering the present economic situation, arts materials have become really expensive. I do my arts works with felt pens and sharpies. I use Schneider top liner pens and they are pretty expensive. For a work, I could use like 6 different sharpies. So, I would say yes, it involves money.

  1. 7.       Do you sell your works?

I haven’t started selling my works but I have plans to. I got my first job recently to make art works for a fashion house’s collection for next year. I look forward to selling my works.

  1. 8.       How are you able to juggle school and your work together?

Okay. The truth is when you love something; you always find time for it. I do not have a problem with school work clashing with my art because on a normal day, I’m an indoor kind of person. So I have enough time for myself. I’m usually doing art when I’m alone. My works take between 8-12 hours to complete. So I usually don’t work at a stretch. I use every 1 hour, 30 minutes, 5 minutes and even 30 seconds I can work with to complete my works. I try my best to make sure school doesn’t clash with arts.

  1. 9.       Do you get criticisms? If yes, how do you handle them?

I get different types of criticisms. Some positive, some negative. I have an arts club I belong to – visual arts vision organization. When I do any work, I show it to them. They advise me on how I could do it better and they assist me with creative ideas. Uhm, they encourage me a lot and they give me constructive criticism. On the other hand, I get negative criticisms too. I remember when I used to bedazzle phone cases, I did a work – it was my favourite. I was really excited about the work and I showed a friend and with a disgusted look, she said – ‘did someone really give you her phone to do this? People are funny o’. I felt really bad because even if she didn’t appreciate my work, I believe she didn’t have to insult it in my face.

  1. 10.   Do you plan on doing it your art – work permanently for a long period of time or you plan on doing just for a while?

Uhm, I plan on doing arts forever. I have plans to go to an arts school outside the country and most likely, have my own art gallery. I want to go into sacred arts. By that I mean, I want to use arts to tell people about how God has been good to me and brought me out of trying times. And I want to use arts as an instrument to bring peace to the world. I have done some works and have people tell me ‘it spoke to me’...I hope to speak to people with my works.

  1. 11.   Where do you project yourself and arts inclusively, in future?

I see myself as a 21st century Leonardo ‘da vinci. And I’m taking over the world of art by God’s grace.

  1. 12.   What are the challenges you are facing presently art-wise?

Art materials... In this part of the world, we have very limited art materials. The ones we have over here are either too expensive or of inferior quality. Some materials have to be ordered online. It shouldn’t be so.  It is usually discouraging and annoying because I have to restrict my creativity to the materials you have.

  1. 13.   Do you know other people with the same talent as yours?

I have a lot of artist friends in the art club I mentioned earlier – visual arts vision organization in University of Ibadan. Amongst us are experienced artistes that make money from arts while others like me are still coming up. And as our motto says ‘reviving the renaissance’...being among them gives me a lot of inspiration and a feeling of ‘I am not alone’. I see them as my art family.

  1. 14.   Your final words and advice to other talented artistes out there?

I would say, don’t validate yourself by other people’s comments. Don’t be scared to be different, believe in yourself, and never try to be a copy of someone else. One of my favourite animation characters, Dr Seuss, said and I quote – ‘Today, you are you, that is true-er than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you’. You should be able to believe in your creativity and never let anyone call your work ‘trash’. Even if you draw a single line, as long as you think it’s beautiful, it is.

A great man once said “As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance”. It indeed took me a while before I could fully comprehend the significance of the last painting above. 

I hope you enjoyed the interview above. Are you in love with her arts? Thinking out way to collaborate with her? Thinking out ways to sell to the world this DISCOVERED! talent? Want to meet with her? You can get in touch with her through any of her contacts below

Phone/Whatsapp - 08078240397
Her personal Instagram page - @_wamiwa_

Her arts instagram page - @official_wamiwa_art   

Source: LiveInIbadan

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