[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] A stunning interview with Layo Bright, a young African born artist with such an elegant personality. She responded eloquently to the questions with such passion and love for art.[/dropcap]
Q & A
- Brief info about who you are and what you do.
My name is Layo Bright, a 23 year old from Nigeria. I am an artist based in Lagos, Nigeria.
Art is my passion and my calling. From a young age I have been drawn to Visual Arts, and it has always been a crucial means of expression for me.
I work mainly with oil paint to create vibrant works of art, which address human vantage points and nature.
- What’s your favourite piece of work that you have created? (Including a photo would be great!)
My favourite painting so far is “Greenland”. The intriguing part of this work was that I went with the flow from start to finish. There was no pre-existing plan or idea for this one. I threw caution to the wind, and let the blank surface speak to me. The result was “breath-taking” to me in terms of what the concept turned out to be.
- Do you have a favourite artist? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
Leonardo da Vinci: for turning the seemingly simple into a mysterious and thought-provoking piece of art. He captured what many would have missed. I also admire the works of El Anatsui and Peju Alatise.
- Can you remember one of the first things you drew/sculpted/painted/photographed etc.? What makes it memorable?
It is hard to recall the first drawing, since I drew so much all through primary and secondary school. My classmates were fond of calling me ‘paper lover’, because I would sketch in almost every class. My first painting on canvas however, was made in 2008 right after secondary school. I had never painted on canvas before, and decided to do a little experimenting (laughs). It turned out to be quite good, and I still have it till this day. At the time I wanted the painting to express my longing to pursue my creativity and be understood, and when I look back at it now, I feel that the work truly captured that.
- What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment, I am working on creating several more paintings. I also hope to hold and partake in a number of exhibitions.
- Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
My works are largely motivated by personal experiences, and my perception of people, events and societal issues. Music and visual sights also inspire me greatly. Its also good to have a change of environment once in a while, so travelling and seeing different cultures inspires me.
- What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
Successfully pursuing my passion is my foremost goal. I would want to pursue further studies and research in Visual Arts, and become a renowned artist at home and abroad. I know I am destined for greatness.
- What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your artwork?
Other than painting, I enjoy cooking, travelling and meeting new people.
(Fun story involving your artwork)
Soon after attending a summer intensive course in Drawing and Painting in 2013, my perception of art changed greatly. It became something that just flowed, without much thought. The first painting I made following this experience, is titled “Women’s Conference”. I actually dreamt that one; at first it felt odd to keep dreaming of a particular finished concept out of the blues. So I went with the flow, and it has since birthed a new technique for my artworks.
Soon after my experience, I came across the Van Gogh saying “I dream my painting and I paint my dream”. My perception of visual arts has since changed.
- What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?
For me, the hardest step would have to be how to interpret the concept as it is in your mind. There is always that initial doubt or fear that the work may not turn out as pictured in the mind.
- What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I studied Law, and I am currently in the process of attending Nigerian Law School to be called to Bar.
- Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
If ever you are kicked down, never stay down. Perseverance and determination are key to succeeding in your field. Never give up.
- And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share two to four images and tell us a little about each.
Title : Women’s Conference
Medium : Oil on Wood
Year : 2014
Size : 106.5 x 122 cm (42 x 48 in.)
This painting was conceived to address the perception of women in African society, especially in regards to gender roles and the ‘glass ceiling’ African women encounter frequently.
Title : Trek “Aye”
Medium : Mixed media on Wood
Year : 2014
Size : 75.5 x 46.5 cm (30 x 18 in.)
Different walks of life, different destinations. Life is a journey, of which we have our respective paths to take.
Medium : Mixed media on Wood
Year : 2014
Size : 75 x 122 cm (29 1/2 x 48 in.)
The land is green; washed in a hue that conveys the state of my land as I see it.