Ikechukwu Henry Nnadi, also known as Nnadiarts, is a freelance artist with a variety of means to express himself through his craft.
On how he started, he says, “Well, art has always been the one answer I have had to all of life’s difficulties from childhood till date … It’s something that I found myself doing before I even got aware and conscious to put in the man hours so there is no exact point where I can say this is when I started.”
He admitted to challenges he has faced so far in his career. “Well some of the challenges nearly all artists as well as myself have faced, is first and foremost convincing your parents and having to deal with the discouragement that might come from them … that is the first and most difficult obstacle. Every other thing to me is secondary because they are stems, but the family is the root.
“Then of course second on the list is the appreciation artists get for doing what they do … personally, I can say I am doing alright and on the path to where I want to be, but as a whole despite the celebrity status African art has attained abroad, in Africa, folks don’t value it as much, it is just an element of decoration to most. For someone who puts in a lot of emotions into his craft, it is sometimes disheartening when it just comes across as a beautiful piece of work to some people and they miss the deeper message.”
He gets his inspiration from life. “My inspiration is basically my life and the way my experiences have come one after the other opening my eyes to the realities of the path … The fact that all lives can’t be the same … We all exist in our own different realities within the world … so my realities gives me one dimension then I Imagine the many opposites it could be for other people. And of course, the society at large also inspires me, especially on general concepts like love and appreciation.”
Making a life size canvass painting was one project that boosted the artist’s confidence. “Before I ever made a life size canvass painting, I always wondered if I was up to the task, I knew I was prepared but I hadn’t done it before so I was sort of nervous. I just told myself, it’s the same thing just bigger which is an advantage because I can detail as much as I want … so after completing my first larger than life painting, I really felt I was up for it.”
Ikechukwu is now seeking for the opportunity to take art residences outside our shores. “Basically, I am looking to take advantage of art residencies abroad, and of course grants which would go a long way in helping the bigger dream I have … I’m not one of those who believe in hand outs but I could do with leaving this environment … we get so stuck where we are for so long that we think everything we practice and believe is the truth … and I know it is not. There’s a larger life out there … I want to take my art and do something with it on the life styles of those other climes.”
Youth empowerment, he believes, is just a scam, especially as regards government aid. “But if we are talking about private sector aid, then I think anybody that wants to help you shouldn’t be
giving you money. The only way to empower the youth is to review our educational system because
all the rot comes from that model. It keeps us dormant for so long and far behind the rest of the world in terms of innovation. Most come out and get caught in the little money chase and get back into the school system to teach what they don’t even know to another set of youths.
“Instead of running around after graduation and 4-6 years of taking aimless lectures, courses should
be modelled to what is obtainable in the current world… In art for instance digital painting should be a course … That way you fully expose the youth, help them see the reality of demands in the labour market … Not all these schemes where they give stipends…. Africa needs to wake up.”
Find him on
Instagram : Nnadiarts
Facebook page: Nnadiarts
Twitter : Nnadiarts1
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org