Nofi: An Interview with Curls

Hey readers!  

So today I thought I would share with you an interview I recently had with a French publication, Nofi.  I often get asked similar questions by various people, so I thought that my blog would be a great place to share this info.  Hope you all enjoy the read.  Any questions just drop in the comment box below and I'll get back to you!

 How would you describe your art? -  I would describe my Art as a vibrant celebration of black culture, love and traditions.

How and why did you become an artist? -  I have always had an interest in Art from a young age, however it was during an extended period of unemployment, that I used my spare time to explore my personal interests such as Art. After a year of trying to find work, I successfully landed my first full-time role as a Graphic Designer, but I continued to create Art in the evenings and weekends. Over the years I have continued to balance both full-time work and life as an Artist, with my work continuing to evolve and develop.

What do you hope to achieve through art? -  I hope to tell both a colourful and engaging story, broadening peoples minds of Africans and the continent itself. Growing up and discovering art myself, I grew increasingly aware of the underwhelming presence that people of colour had in Art books and galleries. Often, the only time that they would be present, were when house maids and slaves were being depicted. As a result, as I grew into adulthood and as an Artist, I made the conscious decision that I would only display Africans and other ethnic minorities in a celebratory and positive light. I hope to uplift people through my pieces and encourage them to reflect back to their home lands and memories past.

What/who are your inspirations? -  I gain a lot of inspiration through my family, as well as nature and social media accounts via Pinterest and Instagram. We are so lucky that we live in an age where we can view images from around the world at the click of a button.

Why do you chose to focus to Africa in a significant portion of your art? -  The main reason is to shake some of the stigma towards the continent of Africa and its people. I think black people on the whole grow somewhat tired of the constant negativity spread in the media towards them and if I can help counter balance that then I guess that is my contribution for now.

Do you have hopes for Africa in the future? -  In a dream world, corruption within the continent would come to an end. But for now, I hope that we continue to grow amongst ourselves and ensure that the traditions of our ancestors do not die between generations. We have the ability to be a global power house with our resources and knowledge. It’s the nurturing and development that is key.

From France, the social situation of Black people in the UK remains quite blurry to many.  They seem to have a much better representatibility than those in France do, yet many of them still seem to be impacted by major social problems as exemplified by the 2011 riots which were blamed by many observers on ‘Black culture’. What can you tell us about it? Does the Black British experience somehow impact your art? -  There is no doubt that an underlying level of discrimination and racism exists here in the UK today. Looking at somewhere like London, its vast multiculturalism and diversity could easily make an outsider think that everyone was treated equal. This however is not the case. The Police throughout the decades have largely discriminated against black people, especially young black males, which has led to a break down in trust between communities and the police force. This was exemplified by the police killing of Mark Duggan which in turn sparked the riots. Communities were angered that another black man had died unlawfully. However, whilst the initial protests were peaceful, other races and members of the UK used it as an opportunity to vent their own anger at the widespread economic chaos in the country at the time. With regards to my art, although I am fair skinned -this experience has definitely had an impact. I was someone raised by parents who taught me to be proud of who I am. I experienced racial bullying in my younger years but due to my upbringing, I always managed to fight off the bullies and emerge stronger. I guess I want my art to have that same uplifting and empowering effect. No matter what ethnicity, mix, hair type, eye colour etc…there will never be another you. Learn about your culture and your ancestors. It’s part of you, both the good and the bad!

Any last words? - For those that enjoy my Artwork and can relate, please tag a friend! I’m always on the look out for new projects and platforms to create on. My latest series “Royalty,” focuses on Royals past and present from various tribes across the African continent. 

Until next time.

Creative Curls x

Stay up to date with weekly blog posts by entering your email below.