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My relationship with arts was on-and-off – Eno Young

Before 2022, Young had battled with her calling and passion as a creative. Now working as a multidisciplinary artist, she speaks to Daily Trust on…

Before 2022, Young had battled with her calling and passion as a creative. Now working as a multidisciplinary artist, she speaks to Daily Trust on Sunday on her growth and journey into the Nigerian arts space.

How are you enjoying your growth as an artist?

So far, I’ve had access to resources, tools, art mediums, and materials that I’ve worked with and had different experiences with. Sometimes I find them useful, other times, somewhat challenging. I’ve also been opportune to meet people that I’ve had conversations with around how I can navigate my way through life as an artist. These and some other experiences have helped and are still helping me grow. I still have a lot more to learn, so I’m taking everything one at a time.

Eno’s paintings


When did you decide to fully go into the arts, and what prompted your decision?

I always considered myself gifted in arts or creativity, but I’ve always had an on-and-off relationship with it. I always knew I would have to take it seriously and decide to fully become an artist at some point in my life, and so, the year 2022, for me, was one for having a lot of serious conversations with myself and “self-discovery”. What prompted my decision to finally fully go back to one of my “first loves” was having a serious constant feeling of “creative itch” and intense desire to do creative things with my hands again. I officially started working and living as an artist at the beginning of this year.

What does art mean to you? How does it make you feel?

Art for me is the best way I can be really loud without being orally loud. It is very important that I’m able to share my creativity with the world. It is my favourite way of expressing myself using colours, shapes, or lines. It is how to let myself be heard, it is my way of “storytelling’, it is my way of sharing the gift of aestheticism and beauty with people.

Is your artwork a reflection of yourself?

My artwork, though it may have my signature and cohesiveness to it, can always mean or be about many things. I create artwork that is a reflection of myself, our society, the world, and experiences that are similar and relatable between people. Remember I said I see myself as a storyteller?

What’s your creative process like?

I usually know what I’m going to make even before I finish making an artwork, as I have a lot of ideas want to bring to life. Every project starts with what I call the “planning phase”, and it usually takes a day or two to properly plan the whole thing. Once the idea for a new project makes more sense in my head, I make a mood board around it. I do a lot of research on anything I think is necessary to have in the artwork and I add them to the mood board. Once it looks good and I feel like nothing is missing, I make a roadmap for it, making it as detailed and descriptive as possible. I take my time to properly plan my projects because I like to work in an organized manner, because if I don’t, I’ll be all over the place with different ideas for the project, and l’ll most likely not properly manage my time. Once I’m done planning, I can finally begin the project. Not everything in the mood board will make it to the project because there can be unexpected issues and I’II have to think of solutions or other options.

What are your goals as an artist?

I have a lot of goals, but I’ll talk about my main three for now. My first goal as an artist is to make artwork and do work of eternal relevance, making artwork that will loudly tell stories and get global recognition for all the right reasons. My second goal is to remain consistent in producing artwork that is arresting, exciting, unique, meaningful, expressive, and innovative, anything less than these and purpose won’t be fulfilled. The third goal I have is to explore as many unique mediums that my hands can get on, that I can make awesome artwork with.

Can you tell us what medium or style you feel comfortable with and why?

I’m very open to always trying out different mediums and styles, like I said before, one of my goals is to explore as many of them as I possibly can. My current favourite mediums to work with are oil paint, acrylic paint, and wood for painting on, sculpting, or constructing with, and canvases to paint on. My current favourite styles are definitely painting and sculpting.

Describe your perfect work environment

I don’t have one right now, but someday, I would love to have a really big, spacious, and airy space that I can call my studio. I would also love to get to a point where I can hire as many people as possible so I can work at a faster rate. Work isn’t slow per se, but I have this vision anyway, because I know how big the kinds of project ideas I have will get.

What will you say is the best thing about being an artist?

Freedom. The freedom to express myself in my own creative language, the freedom to express my confidence in my style, the freedom to say what I want, the freedom to allow myself to enjoy bringing my ideas to life, and the freedom to enjoy what I create.

What is the hardest thing about creating a painting?

I do more than just paint. So, the hardest thing for me about creating/producing an artwork is not getting the result or “effect” I had intended on achieving with my tools or mediums.

At what point will you consider yourself a successful artist?

When I have ticked off the boxes in my list of goals.

How much time does it take you to complete an artwork?

The time it takes me to complete my artworks varies depending on the choice of mediums for each one, and how large, small, complex, or simple each one is. It can vary from days to weeks to months.

Aside from art, what are your other passions?

Art is my main passion for now, so it’s the only thing I largely focus on.

Do you have any habits or mantras to help boost your creativity?

When I’m not working, feeling a bit worn out, or just not psyched enough to make anything, I like to take physical or virtual tours of galleries to see other artworks by so many phenomenal artists I admire. I also like to watch a lot of content around art. This helps fuel me a lot.

Which artists have had the most influence on you?

Titus Kaphar, Gil Bruvel, Kaws, etc

How profitable is art as a career?

There are many ways to make a profit as an artist. Selling original artworks, doing commission work, and selling prints are some of them.

Is there any song or food that adds to your creativity?

Waves of Blue by Maid Jordan is such an incredible song to work to.

If you could have one superpower, what will it be?

I already have God; I don’t want any superpowers.


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