We asked artist Damilola Odusote, who creates fantastic works using the uni-ball Pin pen, some questions about his life in art:
How did you get into art?
I’ve been drawing probably since I was about 4/5 years old. Its a part of me now I guess.
Are there any artists in particular whose work you admire and why?
I admire a range of different artists, both well known and not so well known; not just illustrators or painters, but sculptors and tattoo/graffiti artists too.
Do you have piece which is particularly special to you, can you explain the reasoning behind this?
I currently produce a wide range of works in lots of different styles, so its hard to single one out. I guess its like having hundreds of children –
they’re all special in their own way. But if I had to choose, it would be the Chaos 2012 drawing which was a detailed response to the London Olympics. Such an epic illustration for an epic event.
How do you approach a project that has been commissioned?
Firstly the client needs to have an idea of what I do and have done in the past and how I think. Then we would agree on the logistics of how long it might take, the kinds of materials used and also fees and contracts, which are all dependent on the client and usage of the image/s. Once all the legal stuff is out the way, I research and immerse myself in the subject matter. When I feel I know enough about the company and what the client wants, I start creating the artwork. Different methods naturally require additional steps and preparation.
What do you think is the biggest opportunity for new artists, and what advice would you give to them?
Social media is key, but not everything. Its changed the game; artists are not relying so much on galleries and are making a go of it themselves.
You need to be business minded, know a good deal and what would be a good collaboration as well as recognise bad ones; you need to know your worth and what you bring to the table. Not only that, you need to know about copyright and the legal side of things to cover yourself. Dealing with big companies is always an uphill struggle for an artist if you don’t realise that you have a lot more clout than you think, which you can have without being unreasonable. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bum deal. I’ve learnt that deals come and go, but the creativity remains, so just focus on good work and the rest will come. Just being open, transparent and honest will always help.
How do you keep your creativity and ideas fresh?
Constantly look to push your own skills, thinking of new ways of working, new subjects, and interpreting things in a different ways, whilst staying true to your own style.
What is your favourite music to listen to whilst working in your studio?
Again a wide range from artists such as Kendrick, Drake, Musiq Soulchild, Jill Scott, Nas, J Cole, Miguel, Jamiroquai, LtJ Bukem, to Tan Dan (Hero soundtrack), Soul and Classical. It kind of depends how I feel. I’d say this though, if I’m drawing I would probably not listen to something I could sing along to, as singing/rapping might cause me to move at a point when I need absolute control .