Oluwatoyin Covenant Ajetunmobi, also known as Morby is an illustrator, constantly trying to tell stories on a canvas, digital or traditional.
When he asked about how he started, he says, “My story can never be possible without mentioning my mentor, Ibrahim Ganiyu. He is the Creative Director of Imperial Creations Studio. He let me intern at his studio when I was done with high school and was waiting to get admission to the university. It was at his studio that I learnt about digital art and honed my skills enough to be a professional. I did my best to make myself useful to the studio such that even when I left for school, they sent me work to do. They were one of my first clients and I’m glad to have started from there.
Combining his professional work with his academic work is his major challenge. “I’m still an undergraduate and I work as a professional. My greatest challenge is the fact that being a student limits the amount of things I want to do professionally.”
Oluwatoyin tries to look beyond art for inspiration. “I have a number of illustrators whose work I admire, but as much as possible I try not to depend on only the arts (music and movies included) for inspiration. I also draw my inspiration from my everyday experiences with people, I’m constantly looking to tell visual stories in a way that people actually relate to, so I try to connect with people and hear their stories.”
On the project he has engaged that boosted his confidence, he had a lot to say. “There’s an annual festival for creative people and geeks called Lagos Comic-con. Last year, Vortex Inc., a studio I work with, gave me a platform to do an illustration that would be displayed on a big screen. The hall for the convention was packed, so people were looking at me work.
“It was a golden moment for me because I was put in a spot to inspire people that want to get into digital art, and my career is just starting. It made me realize that I don’t have to wait to be an ‘elder’ in this field before I start influencing other artists. I could start with where I am, with the little knowledge I have. Since then, I have been a lot bolder to help artists that come to me for advice.”
Now, he is “looking forward to getting better at concept design and character design. Then I’ll later on add 3d to my skill set.”
He thinks the Nigerian youth has to wake up to the fact that no one can really empower them like themselves. “Of course no one is self made, and there sure is need for assistance in one’s path but I feel that the average Nigerian should get up first and actually take steps towards fulfilling his or her dreams. The people that usually help out come along when you finally get out of your comfort zone.”
Reach him via Instagram: @j_morby