We chat to David Osagie who is a Nigerian based creative designer.He defines his work as “digital art and illustration with an African grunge style.”
Your photo manipulation work looks very technical. Where did you gain this skill?
Photo manipulation came to me naturally. I think I find myself different from a lot of ‘normal’ people as I believe I have a great imagining power, hence I try to create these ‘imaginations’ in any media possible. It was basically in 1999 when I got drawn into Photoshop 5; I found the possibilities of expressing my ideas beyond limits and that was how it all started. Later versions of Photoshop helped to better enhance my manipulation skills. But I would owe more of my skills to practice and looking up to the work of other designers like Peter Jaworowski of Ars Thanea.
Your skill would be perfect for CD covers and posters. What cool projects have you worked on?
Well, in terms of projects, I’m yet to find a really fulfilling one. It’s been a clear fight over giving your best and really having clients pay for that best. Over here (Nigeria), the music people don’t give so much for album art and all that, not because it’s not appreciated, but I suppose there’s only so much an artist can offer owing to lots of disorganisation within the music industry. But I’d say, working on ‘MO’s work was beautiful. We took the cameras out and shot a few ‘Keke bikes’, his shoes, buildings, papers, it was simply crazy watching all that come together and the freedom it gave for expression was what made that project really worth something for me.I also worked for a few big artists within the Nigerian music scene: Morachi, Samklef, Jeremiah Gyang, Kelly Hansome, Weird MC, Tunde Ednut and Vector, to name a few.
How would you define your style of art/creativity?
My works majorly feature a mix of African grunge and pencil etching. Just recently, I added a watercolour feel to spice things up. I got inspired by Ibe Ananaba’s paintings and smiled. Really, I loved how the figures faded into the background. It was simply lovely and I thought it’d be nice – I had a feel of that somewhere around my work.
I also hope to do something abstract African soon. It’s been on my mind, but time is the problem. I’m sure it will happen later in the year, I should have a portfolio update.<
What are you currently working on?
Well, for now I’m doing some personal work for my solo exhibition coming up in a few months. I’m looking up something fresh as this would be my first solo exhibition,so a lot of my time basically goes into this for now.
What can we expect from you in the future?
You can expect a lot of really out of the box DA pieces. I’m doing a couple of collaborations with photographers, so also expect a lot of that, and expect a musical album from me (lol, seriously, I love to sing) and probably some tutorials and creative workshops. For now though, it’s a lot of hard work and more hard work.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
I would say stay out of Photoshop as learning the tools is not what matters, spend some time thinking. Designers need to do a lot of research before choosing to create art. Also, I always say “look at images”. That’s what helped me a lot. I might have seen more than 10-million awesome artworks; I had hard drives dedicated to the images I loved. Understand that your brain stores each image you view. Perhaps you think you won’t need them, but what you see always affects the sort of works you produce. Also, work on organisation. Keeping an organised life is key to success as a creative.
Where can the readers view more of your work?