While it may seem like a mystery to understand, Adedeji makes it so effortlessly attractive, constructing facial expressions in words.
Blurring the lines that border a face and reshaping it into words of hope and inspiration is a tactical and deliberate effort aimed at making a statement for Michael Adedeji whose impulse is art. He describes it as “the ideal facial art make over”. It is what he has added to his portfolio since graduating, the interpretation of a portrait is the outcome of his love drive for inspiring art.
Most of his time he spends surfing the net for latest developments from the producers of Marvel Entertainment, United States of America and veteran Nigerians artists like Ato Arinze and Kelvin Okafor. “Their drawings, illustrations and their works stand them out. Any artist who has carved a niche for himself in the art world is my role model, because they have distinguished themselves from others,” he says.
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He is a graduate of Graphics Design from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, and he has an unflinching dedication to typographic portrait.
Describing how he discovered his path early, he says, “I like arts. Music, art are my drive. Art means a lot to me. Right from when I was in primary school, I loved it. When I see artworks like comics, magazines, it makes me want to replicate what I have seen.
“I discovered my path early in arts, because I was convinced that I would take art as a profession. I started drawing and, later, improved on my drawing, and have since walked towards the arts. Art is everything to me and like my source of happiness.”
While it may seem like a mystery to understand, Adedeji makes it so effortlessly attractive, constructing facial expressions in words. He says using text to interpret his work makes it more valuable at the same time obeys the anatomy and the rules of art in the work.
“Every human being likes praises, and people are happy when they are commended in one form or the other. I discovered that when you insert words into the arts, it engages the minds of people and, on a daily basis, they discover new things in the work which they have not seen in their previous observation the work. The words describe the individual in positive ways, and it makes the person tolerate to the design of the working the personality of the individual,” he explains.
Social media and the environment lend Adedeji’s portraits more definition. He draws on the emotional and psychological needs of humans, and works it into a blend of structure and text using following the simple design rules. “The environment influences my works greatly,” he adds.
“When you look out the environment, there are many things going on, and they inspire my work greatly. For example, when people look at posters or billboards, they get attracted by the ads. Likewise, I like to work and make people look out my work and imagine what the work is all about. Photography also is a big deal for me, because, if the picture is not taken in a very creative way, the typography may not come up well,” he says. “The lighting, color and all that need to be perfect.”
Having cut out this edge for himself, the versatile artist is not resting on his oars. He wants to expand the reach and acceptability of the art, take it to the global village from his own corner.
He says, “I see typography art becoming more accepted in this part of the world and becoming a part of people’s lifestyle either by owning it or gifting it. This way, there will be an awakening and appreciation of our own art. Once we get to that place where we can appreciate art, the need for it will be stirred naturally. The only way is to tie it to an experience that is pleasing and appealing to life. This is what I strive to achieve with my works.”
Although his work is marked by a single dominant approach, hanging from a wall, it starkly resonates beauty, structure, softness that engages the mind at once.