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Zoo arts C.E.O & visual artist Olumide Oladipupo speaks on art, success & more

Olumide Oladipupo talks to Business Day in this exclusive interview...
When I paint I try to show people the beautiful colours of life. I always try to show my audience that life is beautiful. I believe you could look at a painting and be healed from a sickness. Just staring at a lovely landscape or garden painting can ease the mind and ultimately the body. I am simply trying to radiate positivity through my paintings.”

This striking quote from Olumide Oladipupo, CEO of image zoo arts and visual artist extraordinaire gave me the chills. It actually made me realise that so many things in life are taken for granted and not much appreciation is given to the beauty God has given us as a world.

The talented visual artist who has been drawing and painting as far back as when he was in junior high school said he first painted on canvas in 2015 at an art class in Houston, Texas USA, where  he got an overwhelming reception from other artists. 
“There was something about the painting that caught the attention of everyone who saw it.  I always knew I had it in me but that was the moment I realised I wanted the world to see my work,” he said.
So I decided to take a step back and allow my mind to explore our beautiful world through the eyes of an artist as I had a chart with Olumide who has numerous art works displayed at different exhibitions, Facebook, Instagram, the online shopping mall and on his website

Walking into his art room, which lit up with vibrant, eye catching, colourful paintings, brought to my memory the popular hymn ‘all things bright and beautiful… the Lord God made them all’. Little wonder why Olumide says he gets his inspiration to draw and paint from everything around him.
“I could be watching a movie, listening to music or just looking out of my window and something tells me to get my brush and paint and after thinking about it as a finished product, I begin to see a concluded masterpiece, then I start getting excited,” he said when asked where he got his inspiration to paint from.
The artist who looks up to the historic Vincent Van Gogh as his role model says
“Van Gogh’s story was so touching to me and he made thousands of beautiful paintings while he was alive, he only sold one in his lifetime, but after his death, he started gaining recognition and his artworks sold at auctions for millions of pounds. I like him because he painted things around him and I find myself doing the same thing. I try to travel as much as I can and I take my camera everywhere with me so I can take pictures of inspiring sights and scenes.”
As I watched Olumide speak so passionately about art, I could tell that it was in-born and that the young fellow remains hopeful to the acceptance of art in Nigeria. To him, his effortless work of art is a gift from God and nothing can take it from him. However, he acknowledged that interest and talent is not enough as he has improved enormously having learnt new techniques from the internet, art classes and painting with kids at schools.
“I don’t think art work is dying in Nigeria, it has just begun with emerging artists like me and some others trying to come up the ladder. We are just getting started, there are too many talented people in Nigeria, but there aren’t enough platforms to show their work. If you take it serious you will earn more than white collar jobs. I feel people should respect artists for their time and effort. I have just started my career and I have sold over 100 pieces.”
“Everyone is my target audience, children, teenagers, adults, old people, black or white. I want to be able to relate with everyone. Some people don’t even like art but they buy it to fill up spaces in their house, office, and hotel or to beautify their surroundings. I will keep putting my work in their faces on social Media networks, exhibitions and art lessons.
“I see my signature in thousands of houses all over the world. My goal is to showcase art to a global audience so the world can see how blessed we are as a nation,” he added.
Reacting to how well Nigerian’s accept and appreciate paintings; Olumide said people appreciate art and it is accepted in Nigeria but only a few people understand it. If you can get a loan from the bank with a piece of art then I think that is acceptance.”

I insisted that the young, vibrant but quiet artist give words of encouragement to others who aspire to showcase their talent in drawing and painted and here is what he had to say;
“I will like other artists to keep on working hard, they should present their artworks in better ways to their audience, package them well and they will get more attention. Even if you have never sold keep on painting, you never can tell who will be interested in buying them all.”
As Olumide gave me some history lessons on art, its value, the meaning and importance, I couldn’t help but appreciate his God given talent and needless to say what joy it was to watch nature and life depicted through talented hands.

Culled from Business Day Online
 Business Day Online

You can win one of the numerous art works on by following Olumide Oladipupo on Instagram via @imagezooartwork
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