Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria

Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa

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AyoOluwa Nihinlola Elisha, also known as AY, is a Graphics artist, illustrator, and digital art enthusiast.

Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria

“In the early days, I did much as I could to learn – sleepless nights, working part-time, hours in cybercafés watching tutorial videos – to learn the basics of computer graphics. I joined the Facebook craze around this period which gave me an early encounter with some awesome Nigerian digital artists like Alagbe Adegbola, Matthias Aragbada (Dudutoonz), James Alabi (Abinibi), Tola Alabi, Jydekris Okonkwo, and few others.”

“I spent hours studying the designs of these folks and many others, trying to figure out the software and techniques they employed to achieve their designs. All these started to pay off when people started responding to designs I posted on Facebook. Approval also came from friends and family and later, from other members of the design community, who were ready to comment, commend and critique my works. All these helped forged my design and career path.”

Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria   Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria

“I have always had passion for art,” AyoOluwa says.  “This passion is what lead to my choice of study at the university, but I was fortunate enough to be exposed to the computer system at a really early age (around 6-7 years) and I was really fascinated by how the system works and more amazed when I came across software’s like PowerPoint and CorelDraw. So, with my passion for arts and the discovery of this different digital software, I knew this was what I definitively would love to do for the rest of my life.”

“I went ahead to study Fine and Applied Arts, at Obafemi Awolowo University, majoring in Graphic Designs. I also studied at Ile-Ife and later went for a one-year program in 3D animation and game design at The Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences, Pretoria, South Africa.”

Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria   Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria

The Yoruba culture inspires his art. “I take a lot of inspiration from the Nigerian culture, Yoruba culture to be specific and it has a great influence on my work. My early childhood was spent in Oyo town, Oyo State, and it gave me access to some understanding of the Yoruba culture.”

“Growing up I also had access to the very good Yoruba pieces of literature like Ògbójú Ọdẹ nínú Igbó Irúnmalẹ̀ by Daniel O. Fagunwa and the Alawiye books, these really inspired me a lot, and I have always imagined them animated or illustrated.”

Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria    Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria

“I also take inspiration from Nigerian proverbs and folklore; I think they are some of the intelligent sources of content.”

Reach him on

Digital Illustration by AyoOluwa - the spark youth empowerment platform of nigeria

Instagram: @ayooluwaelisha

Facebook: Nihinlola AyoOluwa

Twitter: @elishaayooluwa

Email: elishaayooluwa@gmail.com/

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The Spark is a youth empowerment platform in Nigeria that projects the average Nigerian youth doing something, anything positive. Our mission is to reach out to as many youths, “EMPOWER and ENGAGE!!!