My art journey?
I still remember my first contact with art and that was in the nursery classes in Olatunde (Montessori) Memorial School, Ilesha. The art class then was fun, we were creating patterns from leaves and also drawing maps when we were introduced to geography in primary 1 was my beginning of loving science and art. Then we moved to Lagos and I continued my primary school at Unique Children School, Omole where I was introduced to computers and its endless opportunities (especially the gaming). I continued to draw and I can remember drawing Pope John Paul form the cover of TIME magazine and also drawing my dad’s picture.
Also taking art classes in junior high exposed me to new forms of drawing and colours but unfortunately I dropped art for science in senior high. I finished high school at Nigerian navy Secondary school and studied Industrial Chemistry in Federal University of Technology Owerri. While at the university, I learnt design and various software applications used to design by downloading tutorials online and made some pretty good cash too.
After NYSC, I met Ganiyu Ibrahim but we call him Sirgai during a one-day workshop organized by IC studios, where I was introduced to the colouring processes in photoshop and I was marveled. That day, I met so many creative people but I cannot forget Stanley nuts and Balox. They inspired me to improve my drawing and colours.
So took it upon myself as usual to get better, and I was given an opportunity to work and learn at IC Studios. Along the way, I met Raphael and Godwin who shared their knowledge with me and also made me want to push myself harder. I cannot rule out the impact of seeing great works done by Nigerians on facebook.
Well, fast forward to now, I can say I am not where I used to be as I have gotten better but I keep learning and seeking inspiration every day.
June XII experience
Well, while working at IC Studios I found out that Nigerians were actually doing comics. I found that in trying to tell our stories we must keep it deeply rooted in everything Nigerian and African and this greatly influenced my art.
June XII is not new to me, and it continues to amaze me. He is too smooth and all the mystery behind his existence and powers keeps me on the edge. I always want to learn more about this guy.
Then I heard Vortex signed the title and from my chat with Sirgai and he was pretty convinced that it will help push the title forward. So, one day I received a call of Somto of Vortex comics and he asked me to help finished a June XII vs One Punch-Man poster. I guess I did a good job because this landed me the opportunity to work on Issue #3 of the title.
When I got the line art for June XII Issue #3, I knew it was going to take away my sleep because I had to mix it with my day job and my advertising classes. I was professional while working on the colours and was open to criticism from Newman, the Art Director.
Most memorable moments in career
My most memorable moment in this industry was winning the fan art challenge during last year’s comic convention.
My process is not so different from every other person. It is a 4 step process that involves cleaning the lines, doing flat colours, adding details and finally effects.
- Cleaning the line:
I apply levels adjustment to the line art to make the blacks darker and improve the whites, especially when the line art is not digitally drawn. I also look for wherever the lines are not closed and I close them, this will make sure that there is no bleed when I drop colour using the paint bucket.
- Flat colouring
At this stage I fill the line art with local or base colours on a layer below the line art.
Now, I duplicate my flats layer for back up and I begin to add lights and shadows to the colours.
When colouring comics, I mostly use the cut and grad techniques. It involves making a selecting using the lasso tool and applying light or dark using the gradient tool or soft brush.
At this stage, I add effects to enhance the art and to express certain actions in a visually appealing way. This stage can be easily over killed, so caution to know when to stop is key.
After all these stages, I take a break and when I come back, I take a second look, adjust a few things and on to the next one.