Thursday, October 11, 2012

Recent Work: Sleeping Beauty And Frankenstein's Monster

I have just concluded work on the third instalment in my Revised Fairy Tales And Fiction poster designs. My version of the story Beauty and the Beast showcases Frankenstein's monster and Sleeping Beauty. This latest work features my take on the fictional reanimated creature as he rescues the enchanted African princess from captivity. The silhouette of the prison tower can be seen in the background.
To start, I had to make a fairly detailed pencil drawing with shading to guide the colour rendition. In CorelDRAW, I draw the outlines in vector closing following my pencil drawing. And after proceeded to add flat colours and build details into each element. To make the work less complicated, I drew each element on it's own layer. Various stages of the rendering are posted below.

You can view the whole project so far at my Behance portfolio. 
2012 Copyright Olusola Akinseye

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Past Work: My Early Oil Paintings

Though I did some oil painting during my undergrad years, I remember getting pretty serious about the medium after my graduation. I bought Walter Foster instruction books on painting and tried to learn on my own- part of the reality of being self taught. I bought mainly Winsor & Newton products because the only major art supplier around was a distributor. They were very pricey! That was a really expensive hobby for me (and for my parents who footed the bill). Most of my works then were abandoned as I travelled to Port Harcourt for my post graduate studies (in Engineering).

Years later, I discovered my parents had kept my works and later displayed them around their home. Just looking at then takes me back. It wasn't all fun then, I had a really difficult time understanding and getting used to the vast difference between using watercolours and oil painting. But today, those are fond memories.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Recent Work: Hand Made Card For My Wonderful Parents

Last month I presented a card to both my parents from all their five children. Since their birthdays are about a month apart, we decided to celebrate it together as this year our dad turns 70!

The card was presented at The Macopolo, V.I. during a family luncheon.


I had just three days to create the card including rummaging through piles of family albums. I wanted to use both current and dated pictures to capture their growth over the years in a marriage that has spanned 44 years. It has been a long time, almost two decades I think, that I had worked with card boards to make custom cards. Anyway, I managed to pull it off. 

The inner designs were made in both Corel DRAW and Photoshop and printed using the Epson large format printer. The cover is made of embossed cardboards all mounted on hardboard to provide support. 

I made it a 6 page design. The first inner two pages contained general appreciation and benediction while the next two featured personal messages from both their children and grand children. 

I look forward to doing this again ten years from now, D.V.!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Recent Event: My Home Studio Raided by Armed Robbers

Some minutes past 4AM yesterday morning, I received a call informing me that armed robbers raided several houses along the street including my apartment. I did not spend the night at home, so, fortunately, the robbers met my absence. At crack of daylight I went home knowing fully well what I would not find there.

The assailants easily broke through my mosquito netting but could go no further on account of the burglary proofing at the front entrance. Undeterred, they make their way to the rear door. Sadly, the burglary proofing was not up to the task and they gained entrance into my sanctum sanctum. 


The out-of-focus pix above is the kitchen floor littered with debris from the smash-in. One of my neighbours testifies it took only two kicks to break through! 

Blood spatter on the door must belong to the guy that broke through the door. If this happened in one of the CSI programs, the blood sample will be cross matched with the criminal data base to reveal the culprit. But alas this is real life, in Nigeria! 

The gun men obviously looked for the occupants of the apartment searching even the guest toilet. 

They were in a hurry as evidenced by the confusion they left in their wake. 


The shifted positions of my scanner and yet-to-be-installed prepaid meter showed they had a hard time making up their minds on what to take. 



I am first of all grateful to God they did not meet me at home. I heard stories of how my neighbours and their children were heartlessly threatened at gun point. I am also grateful to God that the robbers were ignorant log-heads. As such, I was spared the otherwise painful loss of my Wacom Cintiq and external hard disks with all the irreplaceable data stored therein. 

The gun totting thieves made away with stuff worth over N200,000. The most painful being my 17 inches HP Pavilion laptop. I am however encouraged with the fact that money can be earned, laptops can be bought, but life is irreplaceable. 

I asked a co-tenant why the police were not called since the robbery operation lasted quite some time. She replied that the police were in fact called and responded they could not come over due to the lack of a squad car. Another woman described their guns as having big round barrels. 

My appreciation goes to all my friends and well-wishers who have called in to sympathise. May you never have course to look down the business end of a loaded rifle. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Recent Work: Promotional Poster Design

Just finished creating a custom-made greeting card under very tight schedule (to be uploaded later). I took some time off my studio commissions and unwound with this promo artwork. Now I'm ready to get back on schedule tomorrow!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Recent Work: Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul & Mary

I enjoy listening to the mellow music of the 1963 song Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary. I also find the story about the poem that inspired the song equally interesting. This is my version of the magestic creature and his young friend Jackie Paper.  
Artwork copyright 2012 Olusola Akinseye

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Recent Work: Music Studio Mural Art

I was commissioned to create a Sci Fi influenced wilderness landscape painting for the broad wall of a music studio. Armed with the dimensions and a photo, I tried to envision how the large painting will look using vector graphics.
Posted below are various stages of the actual painting.
And the completed painting...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Recent Work: Afro Retro + Art Nouveau + Greek Mythology Design Concept

I am in the middle of making calendar art, mural painting for a music studio and creating concept art for a prospective commission. I had to take a little time off to clear my head.

I enjoy the result when creative elements from different and varied concepts, genres and ideas are combined. I recently made a design by mixing aspects of Greek myth, European art nouveau and 1970s Afro fashion. Just something I wanted to do to clear my head during crunch time. To make it even more interesting, I used a restricted colour palette.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recent Work: Gender Equality & Women Rights Poster Designs

The issue of gender equality is crucial, especially in my part of the world. I have heard lamentations about how few women hold their own in the science/technology based industries in comparison to their male counterparts. But in truth, the story is not that different in the creative fields as well.

I have been a studio manager working in the comics creation/illustration business in the country for many years. I have had the opportunity of working with highly talented professionals on several projects. Yet, the ratio of females to males, in almost a decade, is appalling. Even a survey of the resumes received over the years show the number of female applicants in single digit, out of over a hundred applications!

The idea that men are smarter or more productive is a myth. I have two sisters who are holding their own in the finance and IT sectors and I believe if given the same opportunity as men, more women will be visible on the professional scene. Also, marriage or care-giving at home are no longer tenable excuses, especially in the world we live in today. The economic realities have left many men very open to their wives holding full-time jobs.

Copyright 2012 Olusola Akinseye

Friday, June 29, 2012

Food for thought: Illustrators Are Artists

I have always loved art since I was a child growing up in Palm Groove Estate in the 70's. This interest has been close to my heart even as I grew up to an adult. Imagine my surprise when I came across opinions and mindsets that belittle illustrations and consider illustrators as lesser than or different from 'artists'. I believe any form of visual expression or communication that requires creativity, personal perception and interpretation is art. Most people with this mindset have no problem regarding Michelangelo as an 'artist'. Of course he was a great artist. But a close look at his paintings reveal he was really an extraordinary illustrator. I have usually avoided making an issue of this though. 
I was delightfully surprised when I came across Brad Holland's illustration (above), especially the hand written message. I have taken the liberty of typing it out clearly. I think this says it all.