23-year-old Renike Olusanya is a Digital Artist who is focused on creating art relating to women. In this interview with Urban Woman Magazine, she talks about her art, the inspiration behind it and her plans for the future.
UW: Let’s meet you.
MO: My name is Morenike Olusanya also known as Renike and I am a visual artist, concentrating on graphic design and digital art.
UW: What is the motivation behind your art?
MO: The urge to bring a chaotic mind to rest. Chaotic in the sense that sometimes or most of the time, there are so many things I want to create or draw. Things usually inspired by words, phrases, environment, society, emotions and Africanism.
UW: Most of your work have been centered around women. Why?
MO: African women are very beautiful. I get overwhelmed by how beautiful they are sometimes. I have had a lot of strong women around me since childhood and they are a major reason why I draw African women as well. From their hair to their very unique facial features, brown skin, lips. Everything is just so beautiful. So yeah, I love to draw African women because they’re one of God’s best creations.
UW: After the #WeAreNigerianCreatives campaign on social media which you took part in, what was the reception to your work like?
MO: Well, a lot of people liked them, it was very encouraging. It was also crazy that I have my works on social media because that was one thing I was terrified to do at the beginning of my art journey.
UW: So how do you push your works even further to earn revenue from it?
MO: I sell my art on different platforms; phone cases, mouse pads, mugs, T-shirts as well as frames.
UW: And what are the opportunities for digital artistes out there?
MO: I plan to do exhibitions and start workshops in the nearest future. There are so many opportunities for them. It depends on what exactly they want to do. Digital art is very broad; photography also falls under digital art; photo manipulation, illustrations and a lot more. For my kind of art, I can work as an illustrator for advertising agencies, create storyboards for adverts and movies, work with a video game company, creating characters for them, book covers, comics or just free-lance art.
UW: What are the challenges you face in the line of this work?
MO: Nigerians are not educated about art in general and digital art especially. It is undervalued and it is so sad because most of our clients are international. It’s crazy. Our tools are almost a million naira or more and they devalue our work because “shebi it is just to draw on computer”. It is one thing to not know and want to know and it is another thing to not know and be ignorant about it. Some Nigerians are this way, and unless they decide to open up their minds to value and appreciate digital art or art in general, the industry won’t move forward. It is also quite expensive to be a digital artist in Nigeria because we need very good electricity supply for us to be very productive. Data is expensive, there is no light, and fuel is expensive. There are just a lot of stumbling blocks but we strive to make the best out of the situation.
UW: Where do you see your art in 5 years?
MO: Right now, I’m just exploring different styles of art. I’m in the digital art stage. Next year, I may explore oil painting or acrylic. In 5 years time, I should have discovered my style, explored other styles enough to widen my knowledge and art experience. I would have done a couple of exhibitions as well. I am not in a rush. I am taking my journey one step at a time.