Here is someone I’ve known way back in high-school. He’s Someone who’s neither ashame nor intimidated to express his soul via art; he’s proud to be an artist. Peaking right into his journey as an artist; irrespective of the tubulence and storms he keeps getting better and better. When it comes to passion he’s an epitome. Art for him is more like a life style than just a profession.
Like I always say: every gladiator has his signature weapon he wields; rather than sitting in front of a canvas he prefers sitting in front of his computer.
To be a graphics designer you have to know how to think like a great graphic designer; that’s what we are eager to learn.
Meet Chineke Ifeanyi, popularly known as “Iflo”; a dedicated graphics designer and portrait illustrator from Enugu, Nigeria. He graduated from University of Nigeria and was awarded B. A honours in Fine and Applied Art. He is the pioneer of Iflo graph. One thing special about Ifeanyi is that he doesn’t only know how to think like a great graphic designer; he also manifest the trait.
Me: Let’s meet you, tell me, who is Ifeanyi?
Ifeanyi: Ifeanyi is a passionate and dedicated freelance graphic re-designer and portrait illustrator from Enugu state, he studied fine and applied arts in the prestigious university of Nigeria, Nsukka and majored in Graphics design.
Me: What inspired your passion for digital art?
Ifeanyi: Well, right from my secondary school days I have always had intense love for art, it has always been my passion. In my second year in the university I was exposed to computer graphics and also got my very first laptop, that moment I knew I would one day drop my pencils for the computer hahaha…I was inspired by illustrations from some of my classmates like Oghenero Ubiomo fondly called “Mr Kpuri”, Ewurum Victor and my mentor Mr. Anioke Mike who taught me a lot during my industrial training. But my deep love for the craft drove me on, so from that moment I started practicing.
Me: What kind of graphics software do you use?
Ifeanyi: I use CorelDraw majorly for all my works.
Me: Why CorelDraw?
Ifeanyi: Well, I started with Photoshop but I left it for CorelDraw because I felt more comfortable with the software, in fact it just feels like home when I work, I became more productive.
Me: What is the best part about working with CorelDraw?
Ifeanyi: For me the best part is the workplace and its features. The user experience for me is top-notch.
Me: How do you choose the subject of your art?
Ifeanyi: To be honest my subject can be anything at all, anything that just inspires and connects with me, sometimes it could be determined by my mood at that very moment. It’s just random.
Me: I notice you do more of logo designs than portraiture, what stired your passion for logos?
Ifeanyi: Yes I do more logos, it’s one of my major strengths, I just love logos because it’s the face of a brand and the fact that I can also create one excites me a lot so I tend to keep practicing every day, I also draw inspiration from other logo experts as well, when I see a very good logo it inspires me naturally.
Me: I have seen your logo art, it’s impressive. How do you generate your logo ideas?
Ifeanyi: Well it has to do with a lot of thinking and brainstorming and most importantly connecting with my clients and the brand itself.
Me: What does it take to create a professional logo design?
Ifeanyi: It takes the ability to create, think, understand colors and express the company’s values. The most important part of the logo creation process is the conversation you have with the client, you have to make sure you are in sync.
Me: What does it take to be a graphics artist?
Ifeanyi: You need to possess the necessary tools in place (laptops, softwares etc.) and also acquire all the necessary skills needed via graphic design schools or video tutorials. You must have the passion and be willing to practice non-stop.
Me: How long does it take you to finish your work?
Ifeanyi: Well the time I spend on a particular work depends on the nature of the job, for example a male portrait illustration takes me at least an hour plus, a female portrait takes more time because I have to take time to deal with features of the hair.
Me: Do you have a role model?
Ifeanyi: Mr. Anioke Mike (a renowned digital artist whose works has cut across the globe.)
Me: What is your greatest challenge being a graphics artist?
Ifeanyi: My greatest challenge is having my profession disrespected, in this part of the world we don’t get enough credit, another challenge is trying to beat a deadline especially when I am not mentally ready to create something i just have to go out of my way to still create something, so in essence I have to be in the creative zone in my head at all times.
Me: How do you handle critics?
Ifeanyi: I always try to remain calm and just listen, I believe we learn everyday so criticisms are always welcome especially the productive and intelligent ones.
Me: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Ifeanyi: I see myself owning a platform where graphic design and digital art experts come to teach, and where aspiring digital artists come to acquire various skills. And I also see myself expanding to other fields of art.
Me: What advice do you have for upcoming Artists following this same path?
Ifeanyi: Practice, Practice and Practice. Stay dedicated, connect with top artists around you. Don’t stop practicing.
Wrapping it up
I personally learnt few tricks from him which in turn improved my skills in graphics design. One major virtue dominant in his personality is that he is a” hustler” meaning he never gives up. We should understand that nothing good comes easy, you have to aspire to acquire the desire you admire; even if you perspire, do not retire, rather re-fire until you acquire your desire. Be inspired!