Nigerian Artist Turns Scribbles Into Art

Olarinde Ayanfeoluwa has found an unusual way to express herself and create art in Lagos, Nigeria.

What starts out as distorted scribbles slowly shapes into portraits as well as cartoon and fantasy characters.

The 22-year-old discovered scribble art while attending an artists’ workshop in 2015.

“I was really frustrated because there was so much pressure on me, so I just picked up a pen as that was the only thing I could find around me, being that I was a pencil artist I had to use 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 said Oh, wow, then I moved on from there. So afterwards, I started building on scribble art, I started mastering it and then I figured that it was a better way for me to express myself,” she said.

She bagged a degree in Microbiology last year but has chosen to be a full-time artist instead.

Olarinde has worked on over a hundred scribbled pieces in the last two years. A piece can take 10 minutes or five months to complete depending on it’s complexity.

The pieces sell for US$140 and above, depending on the size.

Her work also highlights social challenges 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 tell one of the lies the government told us. All these our politicians they come in and they tell us that they are going to give us light, stable electricity and all of that. So this is an art work that actually shows a normal…like an average youth screaming “Up NEPA(National Electric Power Authority,” Alarinde said.

Olarinde is currently working on a series known as ‘Funk Collection’ that celebrates the music genre that was popular in the 1960’s and 70’s.

The artist also mentors aspiring ones through her “Charity with Arts” platform which teaches art in communities for free.

Olarinde says she wants to nurture talents and push more children and youth to discover unique ways of expressing themselves.

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