Ibe Ananaba is one of Nigeria’s foremost Painters. He is also an illustrator, cartoonist and concept artist with an outstanding talent for his craft. The creative team of olabodeskills recently had an encounter with him and he shared his experience, his view on digital and traditional painting and how social media has helped his work.
1) Welcome to olabodeskills.com, and thank you for joining us for this interview. Who is Ibe Ananaba?
Ibe Ananaba is a human being who loves LIFE, whose hunger to challenge mind and provoke thoughts with his arts keeps him warm and going. He is a husband, a father, son, a brother, a cousin, a friend, an employee, a tenant, an artist and the list goes on.
He hails from Abia State and grew up in Aba where he had his primary and secondary education before proceeding to Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu to study Fine and Applied Arts (Painting Major). He currently works at Insight Communications Limited as a Group Heart (Art) alongside his art practice.
What motivated you to come into this industry?
First, Calligraphy winked at me at an early age a little after I’d started a great romance with Drawing and I developed a mad love for it alongside. Dug deeper and I fell more in love with the way it compliments images I drew and images I saw in the magazines, TV and billboards.
From then the hunger to play the Puppet Master role with my creativity began to grow and is still growing, knowing that I have the ability to re-engineer people’s perception with my crceativity. So I can say that’s my major motivator.
What has been your experience so far
Blissful despite the odds. At the end of the day no knowledge is lost. It exposes one to different areas and keeps you on a thinking mode almost all times. It breaks the 9-5 official structure. It’s like a mental gym. You get to meet different people with different cultural backgrounds.
Shed more light on your style of artistic expression
My style of artistic expression is determined by my mood. I love freedom, I love spontaneity in the process of creation, I love vibrancy, I love serenity… I love to capture moods a lot and the exploration of the human figure helps me a great deal. With time I realized I tend to lean more on the joyful part of my mood and it reflected heavily in my art.
What type of medium do you prefer most?
The pen! Lately, watercolor and oils have been at struggling for that position. They all come before anything digital though.
To what extent do you explore Digital Technology in your artistic expression?
I’ll say to a great extent. Perhaps I should give thanks to the times we live in and nature of our business as well. I always start with the traditional way of visualizing what is on my mind on the paper or whatever surface I choose to, then depending on what the final outcome would be I’ll know the next step.Technology with all its gorgeous possibilities have availed us the chance to scan and edit digitally so I always fall into that trap most times to enhance my image.
What is your take on Digital Painting, has it brought down the value of the traditional painting?
Digital Painting has become an art of its own and it has its amazing role to play. As living beings, we have to keep up with the times or else we fizzle out. The idea of creating a means to paint digitally is both smart and brilliant. I love digital painting in as much as I hardly engage in it; it inspires me a lot when I see a good one. As regards de-valuing traditional painting, it depends on how one looks at it. From my viewpoint, sometimes it sort of takes away the SOUL in art. It’s like comparing the sensation of driving an auto car to manual. For me I like to have total control. I love PROCESS in art making.
I love to feel the texture of what I’m working on. The smell of the materials adds to the whole sensation. The fact that I throw a wrong stroke and have to work my way to achieve what I want at the end of the day is priceless. It helps to make me firmer in decision-making. Given the privilege to ‘DO’ and ‘UNDO’ automatically by clicking a button sometimes takes away the joy.
On the other hand, if one considers time, convenience, reproduction and some other factors then Digital option makes a whole lot of sense. It depends on what one wants. Personally, I have more regards for the traditional painting more than digital.
Do you consider Digital Technology a plus or a minus?
I consider it both. Like I said, it depends on rocks your boat at that particular time. All cases or situations are not same. The main thing is to deliver what will give desired result when viewers see the work.
What influence has Social Media’ had on your work?
A great one!!! I’m a great fan of Facebook especially. It’s helped in shrinking the world. It serves as a great means through which I get to see and gauge how people think, create and respond to things.
What is your favourite design software
Tell us one gadget you can’t leave home without
My mobile phone. (The tin don turn us to slave)
What can you consider as the most memorable moment in your career so far?
Poach offers. To me it means VALUE and there MUST be something(s) I’m doing RIGHT.
How do you stay inspired
By opening up. By assuming the role of a sponge. By taking in what is happening around me. By imagining. By engaging my mind. By flipping through the net. By listening to music. By sharing jokes. By being thankful for a new day!
Who would you say have influenced you in the industry both locally and internationally?
The web and the use of illustration as an alternative visual format other than photography.
What word of advice would you like to pass to upcoming artist and the fans of olabodeskills.com
1: Dream BIG… in fact, very BIIIIIG and BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE.
2: Conquer fear
3rd one would be NIKE’s proposition – -JUST DO IT!
I once localized a NIKE ad so as to sensitize, challenge and inspire fellow creative guys here and posted it on my facebook and I’m happy with the response I got. It’s a copy-led ad that reads “NA YOU DEY DELAY… JUST DO AM!” It was inspired by Uche James Iroha who would usually tell me ‘NA YOU DEY DELAY’ each time we’re brainstorming on things to be done.
Ibe Ananaba’s work can be seen on his website http://www.ibeananabart.com/
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