For this article in the international artist series, we turn to Nigeria, featuring six artists who create fantastic work, from illustration to graphic design and more! I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered fantastic answers. Enjoy!
Timeyin is a digital artist and art director based in Abuja, Nigeria. His work features incredible 3D designs and compelling imagery. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
Broadcast Design Challenge
One thing I absolutely love about living in Nigeria is its diversity in everyday life. Nothing is constant in Nigeria and I mean this in a positive way. Nigerians are intelligent and competitive, which is one of my biggest motivating factors in respect to art, because being among my peers has actually pushed me this far.
In a country like mine that has various ethnic groups, variety can be a huge challenge because of the differences in language and ideology. Using art is always simpler but still tasking. This has enabled me to study different cultures, geography, and languages. Every project always presents a paradigm shift in my thought process. This has largely impacted how I get inspiration. It has also made me extremely flexible with my thought process.
We have a couple of art communities online and offline. Some amazing individuals are displaying work that beats the expectation of a country without the same resources as the more established industries. We, however, largely lack the resources to compete, but hopefully this will change as we get more support for the outstanding work coming from Nigerians.
Noella is a creative director and owner of her own design firm based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her work features sleek and sophisticated branding, graphic design, and more. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
Girl Hub Nigeria
I live in Lagos which is the most vibrant and populous city in Nigeria. I love the fast paced urban lifestyle and the diversity of the city. I also love the beauty of its culture, the warmth, and the "can-do" attitude of the average Nigerian.
Because visual art is so deeply rooted in the Nigerian culture, Nigerian cultural expression is always an inspiration for me in terms of generating ideas for forms, color, and context in my work. However, I also love to explore possibilities in global influences.
Penuel House School Wallpaper
Layton Prep School Brand Identity
With a long, established history of artistic production, the Nigerian art ecosystem (with Lagos as its cultural hub) is constantly evolving. It has lots of galleries, art festivals, and supportive organizations like the Center of Contemporary Art and the Goethe Institute.
Lod is an artist and designer based in Lagos, Nigeria. His work features a balance of beautiful digital paintings and creative graphic designs. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
Nigeria is a very beautiful country with beautiful people and an amazingly unique culture. Looking at Nigeria from an artist's perspective makes it even more beautiful because as an artist I see resilience, hard-work, contentment, commitment, compassion, and happiness.
Lagos is the major economic nerve center of Nigeria. So as an artist, the chances of building my career and rising to the pinnacle of my profession are higher in Lagos than any other city in Nigeria.
SmartED Web Banner
Lagos is filled with so many kinds of people and that means that there are so many kinds of cultures and influences. I've been living here for over 20 years so it has had a tremendous impact on me, and made me learn about so many kinds of people.
SmartED Web Banner Continued
Fortunately the population of art and design lovers keeps growing year after year, which is a very good sign. Although most artists choose to work only with traditional mediums, some choose to add digital art to their skills as it increases the chances of securing a job. I believe creating local platforms and organizing art related events will help create unity and foster the growth of the art community at large.
Ebunoluwa is a graphic designer specializing in branding and 3D art who is based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her clean designs showcase her branding skills and her love of 3D. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
Nigeria is a beautiful country with a wide diversity of people, which leads to a diversity of culture. What I love about living in Nigeria is the fact that I get to learn and witness something new every day. It could be a different language, a different dance move, stories, myths, music, and so much more.
In our diverse culture there is a strong connection between our colors and patterns, which shows up in our fashion, music, and even food. This influences my work when I think of ideas because I always want to create something new. The colors, patterns, and textures influence the way I create art, whether it's 3D, abstract drawing, and so on.
The art community in Nigeria is so strong, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger every single day. It has such an immense variety of talent and this is such a beautiful thing.
Uduak is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Lagos, Nigeria. His work features a mixture of creative digital illustrations and graphic designs. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
MARQAI Album Art
What I love about living in Nigeria is the fact that it's a country with high energy and a lot of untapped potential. It takes an observant creative to spot some of this potential and when spotted, it can be very useful.
Artist Chidinma Ekile
The region has influenced my work in more ways than I can count. Nigerians are a unique set of people who are keen about cultural practices, and since this is the language they understand, I try to place some of these cultural details into my work. Nigeria is all about communication, so it gives me new ways to approach briefs, create art, and present brands in ways that are unique and original.
Artist Ill Bliss
Street Samurai Local Rappers
The art community here I feel is currently undergoing a transformation. I monitor the scene and try to push contemporary ideas into the stream. The people need to break out of the old ways of art appreciation and get into the new world of modern art. Some artists and collectors already do this but the majority are still afraid to try something new.
Ayobola is a paper artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her beautiful paper designs feature incredible technique matched with creative compositions. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
Aren't I Pretty?
To be honest, Nigeria is home. Everyone I care about is here. I’ve lived in Lagos my entire life; the city literally never sleeps. There’s always a new experience waiting to be explored.
Under the Sea
Nigeria can be tough, but despite its shortcomings it’s a country of survivors and resilient, hard workers. Being an artist can be pretty frustrating here, but I’ve found it’s important to develop coping mechanisms and forge ahead. There is always inspiration to be found in a struggle.
A Woman's Thoughts
The art community is getting more interesting every day. It’s becoming more liberal, experimental, and welcoming of new forms of expression. There have been amazing new platforms dedicated to cultivating local talent, such as Rele Gallery and the online art news site “The sole adventurer”. It’s been a slow but steady uprising; I feel very lucky to be a part.
Many thanks to the artists who took time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below: