In the Studio with Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja
What would life be like without art?
I try not to imagine what life would be like without art because I know I won’t like it…Why you asked? Life would be boring if one cannot create whether visual or performing art. It will like waking up to a static world. Art has a purpose in this life so I can only imagine life with ART and not without!
What is the hardest part of creating your art?
The hardest part is making time to create in the studio consistently. Being an artist is much more than just creating the art itself, you have to be on top of applying to exhibitions, doing social media/marketing, showing up and networking with others. All these necessities also distracts from creating.
What inspires you?
Love of Art inspires me. My art creativity is informed greatly by nature; colors, textures, seasons. Also, my family, culture and community inspire me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be present and create all the time with abandon. Develop your creative muscle memories…create, destroy and create more… create to feed your soul and set it on fire!
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Create what floats your boat and when you find your niche, create, create and create to feed your soul and set it on fire!
If you could change anything about the art world, what would it be?
That is simple… Equality! The art world is a bit skewed with the gatekeepers limiting access to others, so I would work to remove this barrier and open the gate for a more balance representation across races.
How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
My creativity is influence by my cultural identity. I grew up in a very colorful culture, our clothing, our language, our food and our landscapes; all very colorful. You can see this in all my work as I consider myself a joyful painter. I love textures and these influences come from rich textures in our guinea brocades, lace and traditional aso oke.
What do you wish to accomplish with your art?
When I first started painting, I painted so many different things without any objectivity and most was representational. I am very much interested in creating body of work that are more thought provoking and centered on a theme. Works that approach social commentary, environmental impact and awareness, women issues, community connection are what resonated with me and I hope it resonates with people!
What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in your field?
Be fearless! Practice your skill set daily creates with abandon, destroy when necessary and re-create again. Repeat all over. Strive for better version of yourself, it will take you farthest!
How do you make the leap from an idea in your head to the action you produce?
As and intuitive painter, when idea is percolating in my head, sometimes I write it down or sketch it out. When I take the idea to my easel and start on a piece or series I am in the intuitive state and listen to the piece and let it tell me what directions I should take. I try not to be dogmatic about what the idea was and getting stuck. Sometimes the result might be what I had in mind or not. Either way, I learn something during the creative process.