Posts from the ‘Ideas’ category

The dry periods and the break.

There comes a time when you’ll not know what to do. It hits us all at different times in our lives. You could be bored with your routine, whatever that may be, you could be tired of your work, you could be tired of your environment. You may not even know what it is. Yes it does happen.It’s ok to take a break during these dry periods. You may need to find a new way to jump start things. You may need to be inspired; you may need a change of environment, easier said than done during these lockdown periods depending on where in the world you’re.


Let me go against the grain & say do nothing. People & I myself have recommended bombarding yourself with things that inspire but, things don’t always work 100% of the time especially with art. Trust me sometimes you need a day off, if not several but with caution & with the objective of jump starting things. Let’s call it a lazy day or several. Do nothing.


We’re so used to being busy these days we find it difficult to do nothing. Ask people trying to meditate for the first to time. It is hard, I know, I’ve tried it. I’ve however found that that these dry periods can be a good time to look back & take stock of things that are important to you & to learn to appreciate them. We all move to the next project when one is complete. As a result we tend under appreciate where we’ve come from. We take things for granted. Take a moment to stop creating & look through your work from the very beginning & take time to appreciate how you’ve grown. I’m sure you will smile. I know I do. Dry periods are important to recharge, reflect & value how far we’ve come.

When do you do this? I can’t tell you because we’re all different people chasing different dreams. But make sure you add it to your tool box. How frequently? It depends on what works for you, but please do not over do this. Generally I’ve found that life dictates this period for you, your job is to recognize it when the time comes & when it does, embrace it & try & use it as best you can & not to reject it or see it as a crisis.

Take a break it is not the end of the world.
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If there is love.

You will push yourself and not know it. You will just because it is something you enjoy, the tedious part of your work/vocation won’t matter because “the ends justifies the means”. 

Time will fly by & you’ll not know it, because you’re so into what you’re doing. There will be one more thing you want to try, there’ll be many experiments you need its results.

Ask yourself is there love, maybe there isn’t and you just never asked yourself that question or you are in denial. A lot of us do what we do for the money, which is ok, especially if circumstances require you do so. But please do something you love in addition. I’ve said this in many previous blog posts. Do something for you every day no matter how little. You need it for so many reasons. For you sanity, to have something to look forward to, to get better, do what you love. To have a sense of fulfilment even if it is not monetary and to show love to yourself. Love begets love. Love what you do to show love to yourself. 

Short story I always loved drawing, was told at a young age that is wasn’t going to be financially beneficial to me or my family. So I went to school, got a first & second degree, but my love for art never left even though I subdued it for about 15 years. It was always there. 

Eventually I went back, had to start afresh but that was never a problem. Why? because if there is love, you’ll always know your way home. So I went back and here I am. 

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My Confessions……

I’m not a writer, not by a long shot, so bear with me when reading my blog. The whole purpose is to communicate with my readers. I try to convey what I know to those who care and hopefully they can learn from me, or even teach me something in the comments section. 

I really tried avoiding writing a blog on my website when I first started I have to admit, but I think it’s imperative. Surprisingly it hasn’t been that bad. I’ve been doing my best and so far so good. I hope it’s helped those who have taken time to read it. Thanks a million, you know who you’re. 

I have made a lot of mistakes in my blog posts but I guess it is essential for growth, as Denzel Washington said in one of his speeches; it is ok to fail but make sure you “fail forward”. I definitely think I have done that looking back. There is still much to do but I think I’m getting a hang of it. I think the quality has gotten better and readers have been able to benefit from it from time to time.

It hasn’t been easy I must admit. I think it is just natural to want to spend time doing the things you really enjoy. In my case the artistic stuff. I think however that the blog allows me to connect on a different level that is also essential. I won’t lie I don’t enjoy it as much but we all have things we don’t enjoy but we have to get good at for our own benefit for example finance. Don’t get me started on that it is critical and the moment you make a conscious decision to get good at it the better for you and those around you.

So not to take too much of your time because I understand that there is so much online that competes for our most valuable resource, time. I want to say a big thank you. Thanks for bearing with us while we grow and get better.

Sorry it won’t save you

I think we’ve all tried it at some point, especially if you are a Photoshop user, you think if you purchase those brushes, actions or gradient maps your work will get better. Sorry to burst to your bubble it won’t.

We all want short cuts in achieving desired results, be it art or anything we do. It’s just human nature and it seldom works. 

The most important recommendation I can suggest is to get the basics right. It’s the foundation everything is built on. If you get the basics right these “extras” will add a bit of panache to your work. Conversely if the basics are off, no amount of custom brushes in Photoshop or unique photography technique(s) will make the work any better. 

Focus on the fundamentals, I can’t stress this enough. Use what you already have to get better. Talking from experience you’ll just waste money on things that you don’t need & wonder why your work isn’t any better, especially in this day and age where all your favourite artists are selling brushes, actions and so on. You just don’t need it, at least not yet.

So how will you know when you need it? When your work is good enough and you don’t really need it; that is the time. A bit contradictory, I know, but it is.

So have you wasted money on such? if so share, like & comment below. 

What you don’t see.

People often forget that what they get to see is the final product. The pictures posted on my website or Instagram feed has been curated. It’s invariably the best of the best. So much has happened in the background that people are not aware off or ignore. There are images that won’t see the light of day, for whatever reason. It could be because it is a bad shot (yes that happens even to the best of us), it could be because it just doesn’t connect with the viewer; the image may just may not work for whatever reason and so on. Artists only let you see what they want you to see.

We’re not perfect, we don’t always get it right the first time round. Art invariably needs to be refined until the desired result is achieved or abandoned. Yes, it does happen. What is key however, is the never ending pursuit of good art.  For example, some studio sessions can last 30 mins depending on the concept, some longer. It depends on the model, the vibe in the studio, the team synergy and so on. 

Furthermore there are days nothing works, it does happens. The atmosphere during the shoot may not be right no matter how hard you try or the drawing just isn’t working and needs to be scrapped. Trust me there are days like that. But it’s ok, don’t think that every endeavour works as planned. The important thing is to keep working. 

Next time you appreciate art, take time to think deeply about it. What is the concept, colours, what do you think the artist is trying to say, how successful do you think the artist was able to achieve what he/she set out to do and so on. Two things happen, you start to appreciate the work put in from a different perspective and subconsciously you start to incorporate this critical thinking into your work, which always works for the better.

Do you think about art this way already? or is it a new concept to you? If not, are you going to try it out?

Please leave a comment below, like & share. 

Don’t be a battery.

Yes you read the title right. If you work to earn a living doing a job you necessarily don’t like for the sole purpose of a salary. Then you are a battery for the various money making institutions and when they are done. Like you do when a battery has exhausted its use it gets replaced. In humans it is termed retirement. 

So what do you do? You might ask. I’ll suggest you live your life doing what brings you joy, whatever that may be. It’s easier said than done, I know we all have bills to pay. 

For those that are adventurous you start a business around your passion, for those that are not, I suggest you take on a hobby that brings you joy after you’ve done you regular day’s job. I can’t stress this enough.

Think about it, you need to live your life without regrets and the only way to do that is to live the life you’ve always dreamt of. It should be one of your main goals or at least something to strive for. You want to live your best life as cliché as it may sound. 

Time will be an issue that is just a fact. So utilise it wisely. Furthermore some of us will be more successful than others that is a fact. However remember that we are all on different paths as such we have different goals. Try not to compare too much with others. We’re human beings not machines that exist for the profit of our various economies. We all need to start living our life and not just exist to make money.

I think it is so paramount to look back and have as little regrets as possible. If we are lucky we may look back and smile on the things we have done and the achievements we have made in line with our passion and goals.

What are you doing to live the life you want to live, whatever that may be? How are you taking a break from your 9 to 5 if you’re not self-employed? What are you doing differently to get out of the rat race?

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Keep creating.

It’s one of the closing statements made by Umesh Dinda one of my favourite YouTube instructors. The statement is so apt. You create to put out your vision into the world. To satisfy a burning desire to give back, that which you love that brings you joy and hopefully others. 

You learn, you grow and become overall better.  There is always something to learn, there is always something to aspire to. So what happens when a goal is achieved? On to the next one, I’m afraid. You push your limits as far as you can and as you do, you get that addictive feeling of accomplishment. 

I find the joy is in the creative process more than the accomplishment itself. Achievements are very short lived. In so many instances the moment I’m almost done or nearing the end of a project, another one has invariably commenced, maybe mentally or in my sketchbook. It’s like reading a good book on amazon, the algorithm immediately recommends something similar for your next read or Netflix recommended another similar movie based on your previously watched movies or shows. 

As an artist keep creating. 

What are your thoughts? Can you relate? How do you start a new project?

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Practice! practice! practice!

If I were ever asked to give a simple advice on how to get better at anything. What would my advice be? I’ll say practice a lot. Put in the work, because you can only get better through mileage, of course this is after you’ve acquired the relevant knowledge and understand the basics. How much you might ask? I’ll say a lot, yes it is vague I know, but this is where things vary from person to person.

The key is you’ll subconsciously start noticing things you need to change & some things will become muscle memory. I think this is how instructors especially omit key information while teaching. It’s not intentional, it’s just that they’ve done it so many times that they omit it while teaching, without ever thinking of it. Ever wondered why you did something exactly as instructed, I mean exactly and it still didn’t come out as the teacher did his or hers. Its muscle memory, the instructor may have omitted something important however minute.

Practice!, practice!, practice!, it’s imperative, you need to put in the hours to get better it is that simple. It applies to everything from public speaking to drawing to painting. It is a prerequisite. You will definitely have days were you don’t feel like it. This is where self-discipline comes in. According to Elbert Hubbard 

“Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it whether you feel like it or not”.

Push through, you need to if you want to get better. 

A common obstacle will be time, not enough hours within the day. Sadly we all get the same number of hours within the day, 24. I can’t help you here. What I will however implore you to do is to make time no matter how little and make it a routine to practice regularly for that is the only way to improve your craft.

How many hours a day or week do you practice your art whatever that may be? Do you think you’re doing enough or do you think there is room for improvement? 

Please leave a comment below, like and share. 

Don’t be mediocre.

So you’ve been told that your work isn’t good enough. For example, in photography, the light isn’t good; in art, your colours aren’t right or your proportions need work. They may be right, they may have a point, but be careful, it may lead your work down the path of mediocrity.

If you go ahead & tick all the boxes as required by the so called “best practices” you won’t stand out and you’ll just be one of the many. I’m by no means advocating you jettison “best practices”, no not by long shot. But have it at the back of your mind that your work should be yours. It should be for your audience. It should be a combination of the things that inspire you, with a bit of “you” added to it.

A bit of you can be many things. It could be what you’ve discovered while experimenting, it could be you going against the grain. It could be you embarking on what a lot of people shy away from. Whatever that may be, let it be that which puts a smile, a question mark, or that which puts an aha! moment on your face. I think that indicates progress on this never ending journey.

Now don’t get me wrong it doesn’t always work out, but I believe the day you stop doing these things is the day the mundane creeps up in your work.

So while you check some “best practices” boxes while working, have it at the back of your mind that the mundane is your enemy.

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Art X Lagos 2019.

Art X Lagos is an annual West African Art Fair which held from the 1st to the 3rd of November 2019. It was held at the Balmoral Hall of the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos Nigeria. It is the fourth of its kind. 

Below are some of my favourite art pieces from the exhibition. All images are credited to the relevant artists. For more information please visit their website at https://artxlagos.com/

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