To celebrate the Children’s Art Week 2018, LagosMums interviewed Waspa the bitty artist (Waspa_art), an 11 year old Nigerian who is currently making a name for himself in the creative world and we enjoyed talking with him! Read and be inspired!
1. Introduce yourself.
My name is Kareem Waris Olamilekan, I’m in JSS1 at Oke Odo junior college. I was born in March 14th, 2007. I am 10 years old. I am from Ogun state but based in Lagos State.
I’m an artist. I do drawings, painting, designs and wall mural paintings.
2. Tell us about your beautiful family?
I am from a Monogamous family. I stay with my parents at 17, Kewulere street, pleasure bus stop, Iyana-ipaja Lagos. I am the second child of my parent and I have two siblings. My eldest sister’s name is Kareem Sherifat and my junior sister’s name is Kareem Fathia.
3. For such a young boy, your work is extremely professional and amazing. How did you discover and build your talent?
I started drawing before the age of six years, but I started drawing professionally when I was 8 years old. I was 7+ going to 8 years old , my parents and I moved from our old house to a new house at Pleasure, Iyana-ipaja. On getting to the new house my parents rented, I met an artist called @ayowole_art One day I stood at the corner and participated with @ayowoleart apprentice luckily the boss saw my drawing he said “he loves my lines” also he said “it’s in me” .
After then they asked me to join Ayowole art vocational academy. Since then I started drawing professionally.
4. Can you tell us how you manage to excel in your art alongside school. How do you mix them both?
It’s really hard balancing the both for I can leave one for another. I work on my art during the day if I didn’t go to school and study /read my school textbooks or go through school works. And if I go to school Monday to Friday, after coming back by 4:00 I go the studio to work. I’m really excited to tell you that i’m the overall best student in my class. We are about 80 students in the class and I took 1st position first term and second term.
5. How did you get your nickname and your popular quote ‘it’s in me’?
I got it from what AyoWole told me the first he saw my drawing. When AyoWole arranged a still-life composition (kettle and headphones) for their apprentice to draw, so I stood at a corner and participated with them because I was a bit shy, luckily Ayowole saw the drawing , he said “I like your line” and also said “IT’S IN ME ”
6. Tell us about your most prominent work (or the ones you will like to talk about)
I love so many of my work but I will like to talk about the mother and child painting because the inspiration came from my family.
The mother and child painting was painted in monochrome colours. In the painting there is a woman carrying a baby, the mother kiss the baby on forehead and the woman ear ring is comb. The comb I use there is an adinkra symbol that symbolizes beauty. The kiss on the forehead of the baby means believe and at the background there is a cowries that symbolizes blessings.
I use those symbols to tell story of my mum. The beauty means, despite how my mummy hustle to feed us she is still beautiful. The kiss symbolizes believe. my mum believe that I will be the one to bring cowries which is blessings to the family .
7. What support system do you have and how do you manage your career?
I get support from my family most especially my AyoWole art.
8. What is one thing that shouldn’t be missing from every home?
The one thing that shouldn’t missing from every home is love. And support. Parents should leave their child to become whatever the child wants to become for the better.
9. What are your plans for the future?
Do you do paid work? If yes, how do people employ your service?
I do commissioned jobs. You can check out my Instagram page @Waspa_art
I want to tour the world through my art and I want my works to be hyped just like The Monalisa!
Watch his interview with BBC PIDGIN