GET TO KNOW: THE MAN BEHIND ULTRABAMIK
DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST?
No, even though, I have appreciated drawing and loved making things right from childhood, I was also equally interested in science and technology, so i thought I was going to be an Engineering Designer or an Architect.
TRAINED OR UNTRAINED? HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR STYLE
While it’s true that I studied graphic design at the university, I like to think of myself as being self taught, because I had to learn many things on my own; from traditional techniques to the use of digital software. What schooling really did was to give me an introduction into the world and possibilities of Art and to bring me in contact with likeminded persons. On the matter of visual style, I don’t think I have what you might call a defining style, as I can adopt various styles depending on the project or my mood. I prefer to create work in series, rather than as single pieces, each series tends to have their own style.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU AREN’T MAKING ART
I like reading (a lot!), i also do some photography (which is a form of art, sorry). I also teach.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE MAKING ART
As an artist working primarily in the digital medium, irregular power supply is a big problem, but thankfully, portable generators have come to the rescue, so we can still make progress. Also not being able to make as much money as one would like to from making art and having to do other things or look for/ work a regular job is distracting.
WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION?
Music is a very important source of inspiration for me; I listen to music almost all the time (while working) and I constantly seek to discover new music artistes whose sounds I have not heard before. Music files make up most of the storage space on my mobile device and if it gets lost I probably might miss my music collection as much as I’ll miss my contacts. I am also inspired by books, nature, other artists, indigenous African art and History of African art.
HOW HAS AFRICA INSPIRED YOUR STYLE
While not all the projects I do adopts the visual language of African art, the creative spirit of the African people and the history of African art is an immense source of inspiration.
African art ranks among the best in the world, take for example the Ife and Benin bronzes; when Europeans first discovered these artworks, they caused quite a stir in Europe, many Europeans thought that such exquisite and detailed bronze works couldn’t have been created by Africans, they reasoned that the objects must have been created by the people of ancient Greece, and were somehow later transported to Africa. Further research has since confirmed that these works were indeed done by Africans and are imbued with African history and culture. So, really it’s not just the visual language of African art that can inspire a work, the spirit of artistic excellence exhibited in those works can also serve to inspire creativity and excellence in our pursuits as contemporary African designers.
WHAT IS YOUR CREATION PROCESS LIKE
My process is fairly straightforward; most of the time I start with a sketch, at times I make many sketches, at times just a few, but once the idea is captured to my satisfaction, I transfer it to the computer for further manipulation.
PENCILS OR DIGITAL OR BOTH
I use pencils only occasionally, I prefer using the ball-point pen instead, and I use it only for sketching. Every other thing is done on the computer.