Amazing!! 100 Level UI Student Shortlisted Among The Best Three Young Visual Artists in Nigeria.

Amazing! An 100 level Student of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State; Mr. Toyosi Onayemi receives the honour of being shortlisted as the one of the youngest best visual artists in Nigeria.

Campus Verve NG had a talk with him.


- Can We meet You sir?

- What is your name?
Toyosi Onayemi.

- How old are you?
I'm 21 currently.

Toyosi Onayemi
Photo Credit: @ Toyosi Onayemi

- Give us insights into your background and family.

Nothing too special, I'm one of five children, the second of three boys.
I grew up in Lagos, with my family. We weren't the richest, so things weren't too smooth, but God has always seen us through.

- You were shortlisted among the best three young visual artists in Nigeria. How did you come about this sir?

There was a contest, organised by Everyday chapter, and I applied. I'm prolly not the best best out there, but I'm glad I was nominated amongst the best three.

- Which the name of your school?

University of Ibadan.

- Department and Level?

Physiology, 100lvl

- How do you combine Sciences with Art?

Lol, this is prolly the hardest question so far. I really don't know how I do it. I guess I keep figuring it out, day by day. It hasn't been easy, considering the accademic pressure of University of Ibadan.

- Do you believe what art critics say?

Well, everyone is entitled to thier opinion, I don't care. I can stay in my room and criticize Ronaldo or Messi, but that doesn't change the fact that they're good. Art is life. Take it or leave it.

- Do you consider yourself a good artist?

Well, I don't brag. If you know me well 😂, I prolly won't even mention that I'm an artist. But my works speak for me. I know a lot of people who went to learn to draw, and they still came back to learn from me. Considering that I didn't learn to draw, I'm sure it's Just God's grace.

- Do you enjoy your art class at school?
I'm a science student. I don't attend art classes.

- What achievements have you made through art?
Lol, a lot. My works have traveled far, and I'm part of my works.
A friend recently told me that I am on Google 😂, but it's a normal thing for you to be on Google. It's nothing special.

- Do you like modern art?
Art is evolving, day by day, but the very essence of art remains the same.

- Do you like paintings?

- Do you like sketching?
Yes, it's art.

- Do you prefer using water colors or oil paint?
Well, I'd eventually pick oil painting, later. But for now, I deal majorly with coloured pencils.

- Do you think it is proper to call nude paintings art?

Well, Art is in diverse ways. And it also depends on your audience, as an artist. For an artist like me, I don't see myself going into nude paintings.

- Do you think music and dancing are forms of art?
Ofcourse! Music is my heart beat. Dancing is my weakness though 😂. Music and Dance, are pure forms of art.

- Do you think of cartoons and comics as art?
Ofcourse, every artist you see today, started out with hand drawn comics.

- What art form do you like best?
Ironically 😂, I love making music.

- What is the longest time that you have spend on a painting?

That would be my best painting so far. The J.J Okocha painting. It took me about three weeks to complete it. I painted for about 3 hours daily though.

Toyosi Onayemi

- What would life be like without art?
Boring I guess. It's like removing your sense of taste, vision and smell. Since we have 5 senses, You'll be alive, but not 5-alive 😂, more like 2-alive.

- When was the last time you went to an art museum?

Well, I haven't. I plan to, in years to come.

- Who are some famous artists in Nigeria?

Damn! Arinze, Kennwadiogbu, Ayo-draws, Kelvin Okafor...
These guys are international. Making Nigeria proud. I'll eventually join that list 😋.

- Who is the most famous artist in Nigeria? What kind of art does he do?

I'd have said Kelvin Okafor, but he's not based in Nigeria.
Arinze is. He draws (makes magic) with pencils.

- Who is your favorite painter?


- Do you enjoy taking photographs?

Lol. Yes. Creative Photography has the ability to open the eyes of your mind.

Toyosi Onayemi
Photo Credit: @ Toyosi Onayemi

- What things do you like to photograph?

Nature, Buildings, and of course, Creative concepts. I have written a few of those concepts in a book, but I need the right models and materials to make them happen. Also, Wedding photography. Love is like a filter 😋. The effect shows when you take photos of couples ❤. Or when you take a photo that person you love 😂

- Do you consider photography an art form?

Yesssss, photography is surely a form of art.

Toyosi Onayemi
Photo Credit: @ Toyosi Onayemi

- Why do artist like to draw women's figures?

I like this question 😂
It's normal, I'll give you a few reasons.
Most artists are men, and everything thing about a man is not new to them.
So, drawing a female takes Thier mind on a journey.

The female body has more structures that the male body. It's like God spent two days making females 😂. Even biologically. So it's always interesting drawing a female.

- Why do you enjoy art?

Lol, the better question is, why won't I enjoy art 😂.

- Why is art important?

Because it serves as the voice of people. Apart from the excitements, artists use it to relay messages to the society. Talk of songs, paintings, plays...

- Why do people become professional artists?

Well, what most us are looking for is money. If artists get enough money from what they do, they'll eventually take it as an only profession.

- Have you ever participated in any art competitions?

- Have you ever been jealous of someone else's artwork?

Never. It's like the sky, there's enough space for every bird to fly. When I see works from those top guys, I don't feel intimidated, or jealous. I see possibilities of greatness.

- Do you have a favorite painting?
That would be my only self-portrait. 

- If so, what is it?
It's a drawing of myself, by myself, for myself. Artocracy 😂

- Why do you like it?
Because I wasn't too good as an artist then, but I pushed my limits.

- Do other people ever compliment your artwork?
Ofcourse. Thousands of people, from different countries. One of my drawings; the Steve Harvey drawing, reached 230,000+ people all over the world.

Toyosi Onayemi
Steve Harvey
Photo Credit: @ Toyosi Onayemi

- Do you have a sketchbook?
Not particularly.

- If so, how often do you use it?
I don't use sketch books.

- What kind of sketches do you make?
I really don't do sketches.
I do detailed works.

- Do you feel proud after finishing a work of art?
That feeling when you used firewood to cook beans, and it's ready. That's thesame feeling.

- Do you think graffiti is art?
Yeeessssssss, it is art!

- Do you agree with this statement? Graffiti is a form of art; a form of expressing one's mind.
Lol, ofcourse I do.
Graffiti is crazy, especially the 3-dimensional ones.

- Do you like to doodle?
Not at all. But I have friends who do.
One in Particular. Tunde Aina of MBBS, 200lvl university of Ibadan. He is crazy good at it.

- Have you ever gone to an exhibition?
Funnily, I haven't been physically present in one.

- Do you know any art galleries? Are there any in the place where you live?
There are art galleries in every state. You just need to find them.

- Were you interested in art when you were young?

Lol, after watching Spiderman, who won't want to try to draw him. I started out with making comics of Ben 10, Spiderman, and Superman.

- In your opinion, is design an important part of culture?

Well, yes.
What I like can be influenced by my cultural background. 

- Can you tell me the name of a fashion designer you know?
Lol. My sister is one 😋,

- Is design a great importance in your daily life?
Yesss, I like fashion. But you know you need to spend to get those exact things you want. So, sometimes, your style is directly proportional to the weight of your pocket.

- Were you interested in art some years ago? and now?
Yesss, ago, now and forever.

- Have you studied any pictorial movement?
Not particularly.
But I'm a fan of one guy in particular; Dawid Planeta. You can look him up.

- Is your work figurative or abstract?
Well, it's not either. But I have plans to go into figurative paintings.

- What is your medium of choice?
Colour, graphite and charcoal pencils for now, but I'll go into using pastels soon, and ofcourse, oil painting.

- What influences your work?
Well, I do not see things normally. What you see is a bird on a fence. But what I see, is a mixture of different colours of feathers and hairs, layed in perfection. And a beautiful sunset, causing special 'lomo' effect on the body of the bird. 😂

Basically, I like to see things differently. And I like to put out what I see. Through, photography, paintings, or music.

- If you could buy a great work of art, what would it be? (style, title, artist's name...)
Any of Ayo-draws works will do 

-Have you ever seen performance art?
Yes, live drawings.

- Does art imitate life?
Portrait and still life drawings imitate life.

- Are movies a form of art?
Yesss, the highest form.
It incorporates pictures, music, story, acting, everything all together.

- What's Your advice for Other Young Artists out there?
Keep doing what you do. Whether you're recognised or not. I say it everytime; you don't need to be famous or rich to touch someone's life. All you need is what you have already. Use it to impact your world. Never stop.
Previous Post Next Post