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.

The Birthday Post

Well, the title says it all, doesn’t it? It’s my birthday today 😀 I should probably just end the post here and know that I have done what nearly every blogger in these parts feels obliged to do at least once a year…

Put a post up on their birthday.

As nice and all as it is, that is cliché…

This would be where you would expect me to add “…and I never do cliché”, right? Which would be me contradicting myself, seeing as you reading this means that I HAVE gone ahead and done the cliché thing by putting up a birthday post. Well, what I was actually going to say/write before I began this deviation was…

But for once, I shall gladly do cliché

But only in my own way…

#Barzzz -_-

Birthdays are usually seen as a time for celebration by loved ones and acquaintances for the life of the celebrant and on the celebrant’s part, sober reflection and the reminder that the biological clock ticks on. Or maybe the latter part is just me… *shrug*. Well, personally, I like to set goals that go something like “By the time I’m so and so age, I’d like to have acheived so and so” or “By my birthday next year, I shall have completed so and so”… You get the idea, yeah?

Well, while I’d like to give everyone the opportunity to celebrate me (hope I didn’t sound too vain and full of self there), I’d also like to ask the favour of whoever is reading this to help me with my sober reflections.

I would like that YOU tell me two things on here:

1. What one thing, if given the chance, would you change about me? That flaw that you first notice about me; that little (or big) thing that, for whatever reason, irks you everytime I do it; that thing that if unchanged, is left only to my own detriment. What is it? Help me become a better me. Afterall, “Even the man who uses a mirror cannot see all of himself at once” #ToxicWisdom

and

2.What one thing about me would you preserve and celebrate if given the chance?

It does not matter how long you’ve known me, how you know me, how little you know me or that you do not even really know me at all. Perhaps all you know about me is what I tweet, or this blog, or you haven’t seen me in over a decade or have never physically met me. Maybe all you even know about me is what you’ve read on someone else’s timeline or this blog post is the first encounter you have of me. Please, share still.

Both questions can be answered about anything you want. My writing, my carriage, my philosophies, my career, attitude, dressing, gifts, sense of discipline… Anything at all, no matter how mundane or of epic significance it seems.

One thing you would change and one thing you would not.

This post is unashamedly all about the comments. Please use the comment box freely. I would consider it an honour and a birthday gift of sorts if you did…