You are not only skilled at running a business, but are also a very prolific artist. What do you do to keep up the motivation to create things when the business side of your career gets busy?
Yeah, that’s always the challenging part. I think I’m very emo in a lot of ways. Sometimes I’ll get into moods where I don’t want to, and even with the weather changing, it gets so hard for me to adjust. But when I feel like creating, I’m creating, and I’m not putting pressure on myself to create if I’m not feeling it.
When it comes to the business side of things, I just try to prioritize what is most important, because obviously, it’s a one-woman operation. I have to be everything for myself, which can be a little daunting sometimes, but I just take it one day at a time. I know that if I don’t get it done today, It’s okay. There’s always tomorrow, Lord willing.
As described on your website, your art is influenced by your Nigerian heritage. However, you also seem to go beyond the realm of making representative artwork. You plan events, design clothes and decorate homes with your influence. Out of everything that you have done on your platform, is there something you’ve done that you feel has significantly impacted your community?
I don’t know if I’ve done anything that has had a super significant impact. I feel like just doing what I do is impactful in a way, because what I do is very unconventional. I think typically most people that grow up in my culture are not necessarily encouraged to be an artist. It’s nice to know that by just being myself, I’m able to impact other people and show them that it’s possible. A lot of people message me all the time about how inspired they are, and how they want to start painting because they are seeing me do it.
Your VisArts’ bio states that you are a survivor of domestic violence, a very traumatic experience for anyone to go through. If you are comfortable with sharing your story, could you tell me how you were able to heal from such an event? Were you able to use your artwork to help you move forward?
Yeah! So, I am a mom, and my daughter is four years old now. We came back when she was two, so it’s almost two years ago now at this point. When I came back to this area, I came back with nothing from having to go through the whole divorce process and having to deal with being harassed.
The thing is, domestic violence is not a respecter of persons. It can happen to anybody at any level, at any class and at any situation in life. It takes a lot of courage to be able to move on from a situation like that, believing you want better for yourself, and if you have children, for your children. A lot of people don’t make it out, you know what I’m saying? So, I’m grateful that I’ve had this new start on life to be able to do what I love, and to be able to share and be honest about it.
I’m very blessed to be where I am right now and I don’t take it for granted. I know that I have a responsibility to share, because I don’t know who might hear this story or who might come across this. I just know it’s my responsibility now to let people know that no matter what you’re going through, if you really believe in yourself and believe that things will get better, they will.
Having that support system is key too. Community, family, people around you encouraging you and letting you know that things get better. You just have to take it one day at a time.