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I inspire generations of artists through art – Arinze Stanley

What is your drive? I’ve always loved drawing, even as a kid. My dad owns a paper company so I’ve been really fond of playing…

What is your drive?

I’ve always loved drawing, even as a kid. My dad owns a paper company so I’ve been really fond of playing with paper and doing a lot or drawings. In 2012, I met a couple of hyper-realists on social media and got to learn alot about hyper-realism as a movement of art.

How would you describe your art?

I would describe my art as an extension of myself, as I’m always driven to express my emotions through art even in the most bizarre way. 

What would you say makes your drawings unique?

Because I had to train myself, I see things differently from other art students. I would say that is what makes my drawings unique. 

How do you feel when people appreciate your works?

It’s an honour to me actually. I feel truly humbled that I am able to share my emotions with the world through art. It’s also a great honour to be appreciated and knowing that I could inspire a generation of artists. It’s just priceless. 

If you weren’t an artist, what would you have been?

I’m also a hip hop music writer and rapper. I think that would have worked out fine too. 

In what ways do you think art can be more appreciated in Nigeria?

Well, a lot of work has to be done by the artists and also the public. We need more diversity in craft, better gallery/artist relationships; we need the media to help in promoting our young artists, as they are the future. We need the government’s support. We need to educate people on the value of art. There are so many talents wasting in this country because there aren’t enough platforms to package and showcase their art. 

Being an artist in Nigeria must have its challenges, can you talk about a few and how you tackle them?

For me, it wasn’t so difficult.  All I did was close my eyes to all the negativity surrounding Nigeria and concentrated on self-growth.

What is creativity to you?

I feel creativity is basically using what you have to make what you want or need. To me creativity is using humble media like pencils to create art that could inspire others. 

What does it take to be a successful artist?

Success is a state of mind. And to be very honest, I don’t know what it takes to be successful, because to me, life as an artist is a journey and every day provides an opportunity to be successful. But you have to be willing to dedicate your mind and soul to it. 

What advice would you give other upcoming artists?

My advice to anyone out there trying to pursue goals either as an artist or any other endeavour, is to be patient, practice and persevere. These three principles have guided me throughout my career and still do.

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