A highly ambitious Nigerian artist, Oluwaseyi Nurudeen Alabi is planning to take his work to all corners of the world and introduce a fresh outlook to the creative industry. On top of that he wants to form a school of the arts where children of different backgrounds and ethnicity can come from any part of the world to learn the craft.
Affectionately known as Sheyi, this super-skilled man from Bariga in Lagos was born into a family of nine children. He studied Computer Engineering but chose to do arts so that he could touch lives; mostly of struggling kids in Africa.
“I have been there before and I know exactly what it feels like. The future for my craft is bright. I have a lot in the pipeline and I’m sure you’ll see it soon,” he said.
For Sheyi, it all started when he was between the ages of 6 and 7. According to his dad, the pencil drawer always got into trouble simply because he would literally draw on anything he placed his hands on. Living in a home that had many children, it was always fun for him to be in his own space and draw every day.
“I belong to an Art movement known as hyper-realism. The goal is to make art as realistic as possible; bringing out every pores and skin texture.”
When you take a first glance at Sheyi’s art pieces, you immediately notice how different they are. He is a genuine storyteller. “I basically tell African stories through my work. I exhibit a nation and her future. I draw African women on most occasions, and women are known to be the backbone of every nation.
“I also draw children most of the time. As it’s often said, children are believed to be the leaders of tomorrow. I come from a part of Africa which says that children are the light of every household. African mothers would rather enjoy their houses being turned upside down than having a home with no children. They are the source of joy and bring life into every home,” he added.
Sheyi has done many many pieces of art before, but struggles to pick one as his favourite or most endeared. He says that his most recent work always turns out to be his favorite until he goes on to do the next one; and as soon as he’s done with it, the ‘next one’ becomes the new favorite.
He went on to tell us that another reason he is so optimistic about getting a breakthrough in Nigeria (as an artist) is that unlike before the social media era, it has become easier for unknown artists to make a name for themselves and market their work effectively.
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Follow him on twitter & instagram: @sheyi_pencilz