Q&A with the Emerging Artist — Rudi Okasili ­Henry

This interview is part of a series of interviews Etch Collective has been putting together this past year. If you’re an emerging artist or just someone interested in the arts, we hope you can derive inspiration from these short question and answers by actual emerging artist from across the globe. Our goal is to create inspiration for you to go out and explore your own creative endeavour.

Rudi is an 18 year old university student studying Illustration and animation

Etch: How long have you been involved in the art scene and what makes you intrigued with it?

Rudi:I haven’t really been involved in the art scene very long, all though I been interested in it for a really long time. I think the thing that intrigues me the most about the art scene is the sense of community and the way artist, especially now can get in contact with one another and find a large variety of artists, who for me personally find inspiration in and an insight into am incredible range of art styles.

E: Do you think art/creativity has inspired you or has broadened your life and if so, in what ways?

R: I definetly think art and creativity has inspired and broadened my life and the way I look at things has really changed the more I learn and find out. I think one of the things I do a lot is whenever I watch something animated or see a painting, drawing or any sort of art piece, I spend a lot more time than I used to observing the different brush strokes, marks and the way animations made. I look at colours especially, as I find I’m not as good as I would like to be when it comes to making colours and blending tones so I spend a lot of time trying to see the colours that go into making a certain tone in an area of a painting or piece of art.

E: What, artist (musician, painter, sculptor, author) dead or alive, inspires you to create the things you do?

R: A lot of the artists that inspire me are artists I have found online and through social media. I like artists/illustrators such as Ohnips, SaintChase, Jake Parker, kelogsloops and Fiona Staples.

E: What is your creative process? How do you get in the zone for your creativity? (what are your rituals, habits?)

R: I don’t really have any or habits I think I just kind of doodle until I come up with something I want to expand on or finally become inspired to draw something.

Etch: If you’ve learned one thing through your creative life, what would you tell aspiring young artists?

R: I think the thing I came to realise is that art is really the only direction I plan on heading in. I used to want to study psychology and history but I kind of realised that they’re not fields I would be necessarily be happy in, thus realising art is what makes me happy and is the best thing for me.

Etch: If you could tell your 5-­year-­old self today a lesson you’ve learned by being an artist what would that be? (in other words: what is something you’ve learned now that you wish you had known growing up?

R: I think I would say to practice more than I did because for a while I stopped drawing as much because I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be, but I think if I just kept at it for the enjoyment and the feeling of accomplishment of completing something that I created, I would have never stopped drawing, which would have been amazing. I would also say that it’s the one thing that helps us, or at least me, express myself, because there’s not a time when I can’t draw something my mood doesn’t matter I’ll still draw just maybe the outcome will be different depending on my mood, but it always helps to channel and understand how I’m feeling at the time, so I would tell my 5­year old self to never stop drawing.

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