Donald Okudu is a Nigerian based illustrator and designer. His work is inspired by the anime, architecture, religion and pop culture. His artistic skills ranges from digital painting to installation designs. These days he illustrates and art directs for several high profile clients in various industries. Donald’s workflow varies and he paints digitally using Photoshop, Illustrator and procreate using static forms and bright colors to create dynamic composition highlight exciting issues and dark palettes and textures to generate mood. What holds it together is his focus on a theme or emotion in each artwork, and communicating it through the art, often inviting the viewer to fill in part of the story for themselves.
The contrast in your pieces are so vibrant and bold! Can you tell us a bit about your creation process? Where do you find inspiration for these pieces?
I am very experimental in my approach to each collection and they take a while in the early phases of the project.
I draw inspiration from the things around me, societal issues and anything I feel serves as a anchor for future conversations. Then, I source for reference materials that capture the mood and expression I am hoping to convey to the audience.
My pieces mean to express the evolving nature of problem in our society – with the mindset that “problems” are subjective.
In the pieces that you’ve shared with us, the models are set against a minimalistic background and there is not much emphasis on their faces, but their accessories stand out. Could this be read as an opening for a conversation about materialism over emotions and human connection?
You could say that.
The minimalist background suggest the struggle with mainstream standards of beauty and intelligence.
The name of collection, ‘Fudge’, also points to the objectification of women, particularly women of African decent, as a way of imagining them as chocolate.
I wanted a subtle expression on the models as a sign of indifference.
Was this your first experience with NFTs? And if so, how did it compare with your expectations?
This was my first NFT project so that made it a big deal.
I had worked on over 50+ designs before I discovered the Unique trait chart. I was pretty amazed at the results I got but most importantly how every artist had a unique representation of Van Gogh.
I’d been trying to get on it for months and The Other Avatars project made it possible.
How did you approach this project?
I wanted to the explore the idea of VG through the lenses of culture, ethnicity, pop culture, and different personalities. I downloaded tons of references so I started working on assets and major pop culture references that were easily identifiable ( movie, musician, political figures etc). I also wanted the character to pop out against a solid background since I had a lots of brush strokes on the art. Going through the works of the other artists, I couldn’t help but notice the use of textured and complex background and the work still looked amazing. I was always inspired by the designs of the other artists. That really kept me motivated and influenced some of the art direction I took. I love the community, and am constantly inspired. I am still in awe of a lot of the pieces.
It’s been really rewarding and the fact that we got SOLD OUT on my first NFT attempt – That’s a big deal!
I think that seeing everyone’s success as your success is a big deal too! Thank you for your time. Your art is beautiful with a beautiful message to and about humanity.
It is one of the major responsibilities of the artist, happy to be of service.
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