GET TO KNOW: WILLIAMS CHECHET
DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST?
No I didn’t. I grew up drawing and painting but I didn’t think I would end up pursuing Art as a profession. I thought I’d be a doctor, lawyer or an engineer like most kids but as time moved on I got more involved in Art during my secondary school and university days. I gave up my degree in Building Engineering in my 3rd year for Industrial Design and this was when I knew I was going to do Art whole-heartedly.
TRAINED OR UNTRAINED? HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR STYLE
I would say I’m trained. I studied Industrial Design back in school though I had been self-taught for a while before I decided to get a formal education. I discovered my style by basically studying the greats and researching what set them apart from their peers while telling their stories or expressing themselves through art. I use Pop Art and Afro-futurism as my style and I chose to infuse this with cultural influences I imbibed growing up in Northern Nigeria. I feel we have a rich culture and heritage to share with the world and I have chosen to tell some of these stories by fusing western pop art and traditional African elements.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU AREN’T MAKING ART
Making Art! …. Lol. Well basically watching movies, playing games and hanging with family and friends. There are a couple of things I’d like to do when I’m not making art that I haven’t done such as travel, but my art is basically my life so I hardly take breaks. I plan to start travelling soon though. I also enjoy spending time in my own head (this is very important to me) where I just get to be alone and enjoy my solitude and listen to my thoughts. I do this a lot and I believe it helps my creative process.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE MAKING ART
There are a lot of challenges making art but the by far hardest challenge to me is - Looking at what I have created and accepting it. I would like to say as an artist I’m my own biggest critic, I always try to question my creations.
WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION?
Listen to music, movies, watching Nat Geo, music videos, going through my old sketchpads, solitude, daydreaming, and the list goes on…
HOW HAS AFRICA INSPIRED YOUR STYLE
Africa has inspired my style a lot, the knowledge of Africa and its contributions to art history. Africa has a rich history and culture I feel everyone in the world needs to know. I grew up an artist/designer looking and making creations similar to western art from watching cartoons and reading comics, then works of the renowned Lemi Ghwariokwu changed my art world view. My dad’s Fela album covers lying around the house inspired me to start illustrations. The Art, music, culture and history of Africa has contributed to my style.
WHAT IS YOUR CREATION PROCESS LIKE
It usually starts with an image, which kick-starts my creative process. It could be a scene from a movie or a verse from a song or even a whole music album. I get inspiration from the weirdest places. So when the idea pops up in my mind, it haunts me till I execute it. I sometimes move around with a pencil and book or sketchpad to scribble these ideas when they pop up. I flesh these ideas out on my computer when I get home. I often work with reference images I get from various sources and they end up as a key element of the design or art.
PENCILS OR DIGITAL OR BOTH
Both. But more of digital lately.