XXXII

Two years ago, to mark my 30th birthday, I embarked on the biggest art project I’ve ever managed till date.  You can still see it at olatoxic.com (for a short while)

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Following that was this period of depressing, abject nothingness. Sure there were tiny moments of artivity from time to time, but nothing really worth mentioning. A small blip showed up on the radar in May this year when the last edition of Crossroads magazine was released. Crossroads is the publication I’m charged with producing quarterly by my employers. While I was (still am) very proud of the work I did on that issue, it wasn’t my project.

It wasn’t an olatoxic

You see, a major issue I have with creating and putting out my art is that majority of the time, I can’t decide in what medium I should be working. At any given time, there’s a million ideas swirling around my head, each trying to be the one to pop out and find fulfillment. Due to this, I’m too often in a perpetual state of indecision on what to do. In the rare moment that I might pick up a pencil, or a pressure tablet, or a laptop, it’s that overwhelming sense of unsureness that gives me pause and causes me to yield nothing.

Somehow. Somehow… I’ve finally gotten my act together and done something. Jux a lirru something. A little big something.

This little something is big for several reasons. Because I procrastinated on starting it for so long. Because it took the separate but much appreciated motivation of Atim (aka Afrolems) and Captain Quest to get me off my butt and do something. Because it caused me to work in a medium I’ve always been uncomfortable working in. Because it’s quite literally big.

I painted a wall mural.

You might not understand how big a deal this is, so here, some context… I hate paint. I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but somehow, every time I found I had to work with paint, I hated the experience. So I embraced digital arts, and sculpture, and word-smithing and several other media, but always ran from paint. Then I stumbled on the art of mural painting on Instagram and I was mind-blown. Then my course mate from uni, Osa seven leaves the cocoon of paid employment to become a full-time graffiti artist… becoming an almost instant success at it and suddenly, my mind is seeing how I can extend my artistry to this medium. Then I move to this new apartment and all the walls are white. They’re all one long blank canvas just begging for scrawls and stains and strokes and… paint.

Yeah, paint again. Ugh.

I didn’t just hate paint, in particular, I hated the arduous task of applying paint to any surface with a brush. The mixing, the back and forth between palette and canvas. The messiness. UGH!

But then I came up with a compromise. These huge ass murals I constantly devour on my IG feed are often applied with just spray cans and a wide variety of spray caps. I also stumbled upon the magic that is acrylic markers. I’d use those instead. Except none of these can be found in our beloved Naija so yeah I’d have to order them online. However…

Recession. And as you know, time is money.

Once I figured I didn’t have enough of either to get quality spray paint, spray caps and acrylic markers in time to meet the deadline I’d set for myself to embark on this new journey, I decided “Screw it!” and went and bought brushes and wall paint and here we are.

I turn 32 today and the thing that brings me the most joy in celebrating another year of existence on this insane planet is the fulfillment that comes with (nearly) finishing my first mural in my own living room.

And there’ll be more. Many more.

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The sketch

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The gear

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Process

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The (almost) end result

 

Two more murals will go up shortly. I’ll be sure to update here as those come along.

Now let me go find some cake.

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12 comments on “XXXII

  1. zifahblogs says:

    Mindblowing, inspiring, beautiful, mystical.

    Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ehmie O. says:

    First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Now, I think it’s a great thing that somehow somehow you were able to step out of your comfort zone and apply yourself. You aren’t done with the mural yet and it looks really beautiful to me. I cant’t wait to see it when it’s done and the other projects you might embark on.
    I hope you had a good day today. God bless! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 4evaphoenix says:

    I swear my heart is literally bursting with pride!!!

    Well…

    Not literally. But almost. Definitely figuratively. 😁

    I really hope you had a good day today. May Abba continue to grant you the grace to BE. And soar. I love you booboo. 😚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cfao says:

    Happy birthday former crush. Wishing you a beautiful year filled with loads of love, peace and happiness. God bless you!

    Like

  5. Happy, happy birthday!
    The painting is ‘just’ amazing, and we haven’t even seen the finished work yet.
    Congratulations on successfully going out of your comfort zone and thanks for sharing your story with us.
    May God bless you plenty and open up numerous doors of success for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jade says:

    Love it! Just set up a proper space to paint from home and I’m itching to try this on my walls….
    Hear you on the dry(art/life/everything)spells and having awesome friends kick you up.
    All the best! Looking forward to seeing more.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. zinny says:

    Awwww. Happy 32nd birthday. What a way to celebrate it.

    Beautiful thing you have up on those walls.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. BintaE says:

    You. Are. Brilliant.

    Happy birthday you!
    Your best expressions are yet to be painted and written and sculpted..
    We expect ’em.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Toks, this is so beautiful. 😍 So much talent. It’s an amazing thing to face a “fear” and attempt something new and share it with the world. I love that you took this head on in a space where you’ll always see it and hopefully feel pride in yourself, you talent and your courage. Awesome stuff. Oh, happy belated birthday 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aarinolaoluwa says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Toxic one!!! I read this with a big smile on my face, and it helps me realise the importance of friends (good) . The ones that see your amazing talents, push you and make you uncomfortable so you can be the best your own mind didn’t allow you to be…. Pardon my blabbing… Lol!!! As always, Beautiful piece! Even in its almost finished state… Looking forward to many more.. Happy Birthday again!!! God bless and keep you!

    Liked by 1 person

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