Olarinde Ayanfeoluwa: A Nigerian artist turning scribbles into art

Olarinde Ayanfeoluwa A Nigerian artist turning scribbles into art

Hard times are sometimes inevitable, in the midst of all these Olarinde Ayanfeoluwa has discovered an unusual way to express herself and create art in Lagos, Nigeria.

What began as distorted scribbles gradually shape into portraits as well as cartoon and fantasy characters.

Ayanfeoluwa, 22, found scribble art while attending an artists’ workshop back in 2015.

“I was completely frustrated because there was so much pressure at my doorstep; so I just picked up my pen, as that was the only thing around me,” Ayanfeoluwa said in an interview. “Being that I was a pencil artist, I had to make use of pen to draw. So I was frustrated, and then I just started doing ‘jagajaga’ (rubbish). And in my ‘jagajaga’, I saw a face and I exclaimed, Oh! Wow! then I moved on from there.”

“Afterwards, I began building on scribble art, I continued to master it and then I discovered that it was a better way for me to express myself,” she said.

The young talented artist bagged a degree in Microbiology last year, but had chosen to be a full-time artist instead.

Olarinde has worked on more than a hundred scribbled pieces in the last two years. According to her, a piece can take 10 minutes or five months to complete depending on its complexity; and each piece can sell for US$140 and above, depending on the size.

Her work also explains the social problems facing Nigerians. The ‘Up NEPA’ series is a satirical collection about the regular power cuts experienced in this West African nation.

“So I decided to create one of the lies the government told us. All these our politicians come in and they forged a series of lies such as stable electricity and all of that. So this is an artwork that actually shows a normal; like an average youth screaming “Up NEPA (National Electric Power Authority),” Ayanfeoluwa said.

Currently, Olarinde is working on an art series known as ‘Funk Collection’ that celebrates the music genre that was popular in the early 1960s and ’70s.

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The artist also mentors budding talents through her “Charity with Arts” platform which teaches art in communities for free. Olarinde says she wants to nurture aspiring artist and push more children and youths to discover unique ways of expressing themselves.