A plagiarist cannot prove authenticity, my audience cares about authenticity - Artist - Ini Oluwa (the brain behind Iriri)

By Kemi Mobuse - Monday, March 26, 2018

Once school is over, you discover that real life is extremely busy 😓😓😓. Between bitching sessions about Buhari and his alleged incompetence in ruling the Country, or fuming at your ex’s new polyamorous lifestyle on Snapchat and being at the desk for a 9-5 job that stresses you so much you have no social life, who has time to actually form an coherent opinion about all the art constantly on view? Certainly not me! I know next to nothing about Art to be honest 😆

My comments about art range from “That looks nice” to “Can you imagine that in your living room?!”.

But, the one thing I’ve learned through my exposure to art through my work as a blogger is that; despite not being any sort of art expert, it is still possible to develop a certain appreciation for the arts, like this one made by talented multidisciplinary artist Ini Oluwa, the art got my attention and I couldn't resist sitting him down for an interview, so as to probe his mind,about what makes him tick....kindly read excerpts from the interview below:
Kemi mobuse Blog: Can we meet you?

Ini Oluwa: I am Inioluwa Aboluwarin, a multidisciplinary artist.

Kemi mobuse Blog: What first inspired you to start doing art?

Ini Oluwa: My *first* inspiration - was as far back as primary school – It was frankly because I had a "best friend" who could draw well, and it amused me. So I thought: "I want to know how to do that." And that was it!

I stopped drawing after secondary school, I eventually picked it up again, but this time, I drew my inspiration from some other source i.e. my mind. In exploring my mind - with minimal relation to outside experiences, I find a wide range of interesting subjects to get inspired by.

Kemi mobuse Blog: How would you describe your artistic approach?

Ini Oluwa: The psyche (subconscious) is both interesting and elusive, and that's why I have decided to make it the focal point of my art.

I create patterns via several media, and express them.

Not so that the viewer can decipher them, but so that - in trying to interpret these patterns - the viewer gets to understand the inner workings of their own mind; something which they might never have been conscious of.

In the untitled series I'm currently working on, I am combining these patterns with emotion (via facial expressions) so the viewer doesn't just think in words, but also in feeling.

Kemi mobuse Blog: Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?

Ini Oluwa: My mind.

Kemi mobuse Blog: What are you passionate about besides your work?

Ini Oluwa: Good music, psychology, understanding people and building awesome relationships.

Kemi mobuse Blog: What is your favorite art medium to work with?

Ini Oluwa: -Acrylic

Kemi mobuse Blog: What areas in art are you still not satisfied with your ability? What have you done to try and get better at it?

Ini Oluwa: That would be digital art.
Consistent practice is what I do. For instance, in the month of February, a producer friend (FIF) and I worked on a project we titled "ESCAPADE" that involved making a digital art piece alongside FIF's music.
I ended up making 24 digital art pieces for the month of February.

Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdj4UPzCH_i4mOg9ylOK0EZ4MbbpbVA1Q

Kemi mobuse Blog: How has putting your art on social media affected your creative process?

Ini Oluwa: Very positively. It has given me an opportunity to influence a wide range of people with art - without necessarily organizing a formal exhibition.

For instance, in the case of this Twitter post, I was able to reach a wide audience and I was gingered to continue the series.

It has also provided me very viable connections.

Kemi mobuse Blog: Nice one!

Kemi mobuse Blog: Do you find that the online art community is more supportive or competitive?

Ini Oluwa: It's actually more supportive than competitive.

Kemi mobuse Blog: Do you worry about plagiarism online? If so, how do you combat it?

Ini Oluwa: At first, there was some sort of worry, but as time went on, I discovered there's very little to worry about.
Simply because: A plagiarist cannot prove authenticity, my audience cares about authenticity.

Kemi mobuse Blog: Have you ever noticed specific differences between those who are self-taught in art, and those who have gone to school for it?

Ini Oluwa: So far, I haven't noticed any specific difference except for the learning process involved.
I am a self-taught artist, (studied agriculture in school) and so far, also drawing from influences like Tolu Aliki and Chief (Mrs) Nike Okundaye, I've come to discover it's basically about honest expression and mastery of style; irrespective (or in spite) of a formal education in art.

Kemi mobuse Blog: Do you have any superstitious beliefs or rules that you live by?

Ini Oluwa: I believe (through meditation and study -as opposed to superstition): There’s a Living Infinite Intelligence that's the source of all things, and everyone has access and lives by that. As this source has given us all that we need for creativity, life, innovation and everything that we need for advancement.

My core values are:
- Creativity
- Integrity

Kemi mobuse Blog: What is the best piece of advice you have heard and would repeat to others?

Ini Oluwa: I'm sorry, but there are three of them.

As regards art;
"Be honest".
                 - Ayoola Gbolahan

As regards living:

"Ever loved someone so much, you would do anything for them? Yeah well, make that person yourself and do whatever the hell you want."
                                                                      -Harvey Specter (SUITS - the series)

For decision making:
"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts."
                                                                               -Paul the Apostle

Kemi mobuse Blog: Five years from now, where do you see IRIRI?

Ini Oluwa: I see ÌRÍRÍ evolving as an art style that is widely recognized, acceptable and fully functional in several fields.
E.g. in the field of psychology, an exploration of patterns by a subject can be useful in a journey of self-discovery.

- Politically, in expressing culture and underlying beliefs, ÌRÍRÍ can be a tool, not just for expression of these, but also for unity of these beliefs depending on the mind-capacity of the artist, and the viewers' power to observe and connect.

Kemi mobuse Blog: What services does your brand render?

Ini Oluwa: For now, Ini Oluwa (my signature Art brand) does murals alongside framed works (Portraiture, abstract art, mixed media) and body art.

_I'm currently working on a series (yet to be titled) combining portraiture and ÌRÍR͍. There'll be an exhibition of that sometime in April.
I also run an accessory brand called Pend'afrique. We help confirm identity via art - with our African themed neckpieces.

Ini Oluwa is also a creative writer (poems, short stories and screenwriting) and a spoken word artist.
I'm currently working on my poetry collection titled: "Dreams from Hades"._

Ini Oluwa: Now, in list format:
  • Artworks
  • Neckpieces 
  • Murals
  • Body Art
  • Creative writing
  • Spoken word artistry
Kemi mobuse Blog: Lastly, how can you be contacted?

Ini Oluwa: Name : Inioluwa Samuel Aboluwarin
Email: inioluwaaboluwarin@gmail.com
IG: @Ini.Oluwa
Twitter: @Ini_Oluwa_

For Pend'afrique:
IG: @pendafrique
Email: pendafrique@gmail.com

For commissions and purchases, call:
+2347032948998, +2348138659176.

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  1. Interesting read! Well done interviewer and interviewee.. I look forward to IRIRI