1. Three lines about yourself
I am Effa Solomon Eteng, a fine and fast rising visual communicator. I am from Cross River State, Nigeria. Born on the 4th of September. Born and raised in Lagos state. I studied Visual Arts & Technology in Cross River University of Technology from 2010-2014. Am currently practicing in Abuja.
As the head of DeMotif’ Art, I am merging art with all other disciplines of life as I finds that creativity should be a necessary fuel to facilitate works and tasks in this world in all works of life.
I am an impressionist and expressionist painter, I loves to explore waste materials too. I loves painting in cools of blues, greens and greys and my colours sometime seem depressive. I am also a graphic designer, illustrator and a poet. I views Arts as a deity and its renditions as a ritual. I also sees Artists as creators and divine being sent not just to make the earth beautiful but also to solve problems that lingers in the society with their language of creativity to extend the lifespan of God’s creation.
2. What do you like about Abuja
Abuja is a land of promise, calm, peaceful, and orderly. Good weather, not extremely rainy/sunny.
Unlike Lagos State, the land of opportunities, whereby the number of person involved in the same practice as you are in their thousands Increasing competitions (sometimes very unbearable competitions that makes you feel like you’re at war with your colleagues), extending the length/time frame to fame, Abuja is a place that has a place for every creative individual, competitive too, but instead makes you feel a family kind of relationship with your colleagues.
Most Abuja residence still find our creative ideas in this twenty first century strange and new to them and also fascinating which urges them to participate in the trends with their patronage. Though Abuja is doing well in her level of art awareness, though I still feel has not really beating the Lagos art market but with consistency of our current level of practice, Lagos better watch out for us.
3. Describe your images
My art are most times an expression of my personal urges, plights, and celebrations. My art as well looks into the society to reveal/point out some ills, not necessarily solving them, it would take a purple leopard for just one man to change the world, but in the words of Tu Pac Shakur “our job is to spark the brains that would change the world” and if we keep speaking about how bad it is out here, people would rise to get it cleaned up. And when I say speak, I do mine not just with my mouth but with my arts and creations cos one piece of art has to power to speak a million words in just a moment in various languages.
4. Ten years from now, where do you see yourself
Hmmm! I see myself finally being able to prove that there should be a seat for an artist in every company, organisation, factory, establishments, etc. I see myself been able to sign and train as many upcoming artist who are very fresh in the industry. If we must conserve the culture of art in Nigeria and keep it from being extinct then we most never leave the younger generation of artist to be on their own. The hustle in the industry in a Nigeria like ours where every family draws out their scale of preference for their house hold and hardly would find purchase of artworks in their to do list, a Nigeria where the art patrons brag about buying works of veterans and of course with very good millions, a Nigeria were it seems like no one is paying attention to the young and up coming, can drift or knock off our young talents of track completely due to lack of attention and patronage. The next you hear is them taking minor jobs that aren’t even related to there fields just to survive, keeping them day, months, or even years away from practice, exercise, and exploration of new ideas. Some you will start to find at betting centers, and some involves in internet fraud and so on.
I sometimes feel that the creative veterans in Nigeria seem somewhat unconcerned about their succeeding generation. This is a call to them all to save the industry today for tomorrow when their pencils would spend more time on their tables than on their hands, by pulling us closer the themselves and of course to the market out there.
So Ten years from now I see myself happy, successful, more creative, more innovative, more inventive and of course a blessing to the Nigerian creative industry.
5. One lesson you teach people
Idea’s, inspiration, wealth, and success do exist but it must find you working (2 Thes 3:10). No one made millions in their beds, No got a world changing idea by being idle. The best idea comes to you when at work, when experimenting. So what are you doing right now at this moment? You don’t have to wait for a neighbor to invent portals for man to pass through walls and to the rest of the world when you have the capacity to do so yourself. All you need to do is get up and work. Even if you are the type to copy Ideas and works of others to imitate or reproduce them, it also takes a hard working and very creative mind to understand how a design was started from mare studying its finished work. So get up and work.
6. What makes you uncomfortable
The fact that I haven’t gotten to where I really want to be in the industry makes me uncomfortable. The fact that artist are paid less attention in Nigeria makes me uncomfortable. The fact that majority of Nigerians under-prize the worth of art whenever they need a job done makes me uncomfortable. The fact that it looks like it so hard to solve all of these makes me very uncomfortable.
7. What motivates you
I try to put God first, cos He is the first and the best artist ever. Understudying works and ideas of my role models and other colleagues also keeps me motivated. Money as well keeps me motivated cos with that I have the capacity to stock my studio with more materials that I experiment with. Having limited materials limits my exploration. I love listening to good music while working, I love a clean studio and a clean environment, it helps motivate me to work all the time. I love good food. Most times before I design, invent, or create any form of art, i’ll visit my kitchen and make myself a very delicious meal before I start.
8. Tell us about your dream award
It would have to be the highest award in my area of discipline that would recognize me as an advocate for young and upcoming artist, but who knows, God can give me a higher recognition that this. So if I let myself speak about what award I think i’ll love to earn then it would be that am limiting my worth to what God sees me to be. So i’ll just wait for God to surprise me.
9. Any marketing tip for aspiring photographers, Designer or Artist?
Artist should learn to be their own promoter. They should learn to be their own advertisers.
Am glad to be in the twenty first century where everything is influenced by technology. The social media has been more of a blessing that a cures to our generation. It depends of what you use it for. These days it easier and faster to be recognized via the help of social media but it amazes me when creative individuals post more irrelevant content than that of their creations. I advise that creative individuals should from now, embrace the use of social media to get noticed and involved in the world. Advert promotions on social media are now as affordable as a day’s meal. It really works.
Also I use to say “Its your fault if you don’t know”. Knowledge has no been made free in this twenty first century via the help of google and various other internet search engines and encyclopedia. It is a way you can walk through walls to the rest of the world too see what goes on at the other sides of the globe. Inquisition makes ones works and ideas richer.
10. Do you think storytelling can influence policy?
Yes I do believe. Living in today’s world where fun and entertainment has taken over the atmosphere which the people have found and use to distract themselves from sad and disturbing truths, It would be best to use this same mind reliving and trouble distracting tool to point their faces at the things they want to be distracted from till something is done about it. So yes. Lets influence policy with the stories we tell in our arts, and various other forms of creativity.
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