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by Bade Fuwa

The interview with Ayanfe Olarinde an Artist in Africa, Nigeria who has been making waves
all around the continent with her Art.

Can we meet you?

I am Ayanfeoluwa Olarinde, a visual artist and photographer. Majorly into “Jagaism”, a movement coined from the Nigerian slang “jaga-jaga” also known as scribble art. Currently exploring the conceptual and fashion aspect of photography as well.

I recently completed my education at the University of Lagos, with a major in Microbiology.

I’m currently a Mentee at The Nlele Institute and the convener of Charity with Art.

When did you begin as an artist?

Although I have been in creating art literally all my life, I never thought it could pass for a career, this was because of the image people around me had painted artists to be, based on their own perception and view of roadside artists. So, art back then only seemed like a hobby or an escape from the world, till I realized it was a forever thing for me irrespective of whatever challenges I get to face.

I kick-started my career as an artist while in school in 2015.

Do you try and imbue your work with messages and meaning, or would you describe what you do as purely aesthetic?

It works in both ways for me, art speaks for itself. it’s intentional sometimes.

What is a fun day like for you?

A fun day is one spent with friends, creating and playing around or dancing.

What is your creative process, from idea to final product?

Anytime I work on a blank canvas is like an opportunity to learn, to discover, and perhaps to find myself, I’m sometimes without an idea when performing scribble art, just as blank as my canvas until I begin to scribble, finding my way through the flexibility and fluidity of lines. You know, it’s like walking through a maze, you’re trying to find a way out, taking several turns, sometimes deliberate, other times not. Along the line, the work begins to make some sense to me, it begins to reveal itself. I’m able to trace my inspiration down to things I may have picked up from the music I listen to, my emotions or events and activities ongoing in the society. Few times, I never get to understand why I created certain pieces until months or years after, then it feels like a Deja Vu.

On certain occasions, I get to do loads of research beforehand, especially when I’m working on a body of work.

How do you balance creating art for the sake of enjoyment, and art for professional purposes?

Art is both a hobby and a passion for me. It’s all balanced, Whether I’m creating for business' sake or not, it’s always a fun process although few times, it’s a challenging and destructive one.

What’s on your current playlist?

Wizkid, Lucky Dube, Saint JHN, YusufKanBai, Miriam Makeba, Bruno Mars, Oxlade, Emo Grae, Brenda Fassie, Beatenberg, Skata Vibration.

Working with large companies, how do you keep your own style and tastes in place when trying to work within the demands of a brand?

I ensure to inform them of my style first (being one that isn’t so popular at this part of the world), and I try as much to find a balance with what they want, and how I plan to translate it. I really appreciate liberty to create.

What’s the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t get too comfortable.

What is the creative climate like for young creatives today?

I think it’s getting better unlike years back when I just started my journey in art. The creative scene is more welcoming and I love how diverse we younglings are with our forms of art.

What can we expect from you next and your studio?

I’m currently working towards a solo show soon; I’ve been about that since the lockdown in Nigeria. I’m also part of an upcoming group show before the end of the year.

I have been exploring and experimenting with more ideas and options and finding a balance between my photography and art.

____by Bade Fuwa

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Monday, September 21, 2020