Don Okuchukwu ESEAGWU is a Nigerian Artist who hails from Delta State; popularly known for his inspirational pastel paintings. Just like every artist wields a “weapon of mass expression”, Don’s weapon is the pastel, and the fun part about the tale is that he’s a self taught artist. During our conversation, he described himself as one passionate and inspired by beauty and nature.
As a soil scientist and an artist, Okuchukwu often tries to find the best of both worlds, balancing nature and the beauty of art in one piece.
Okuchukwu also happen to be the founder of Talented Individuals Forum (TIF), comprising of a group of talented contemporary artists, passionate with the vision to amplify African Art to the whole world.
He’s famous for his facebook presence; utilizing the platform as both a visual diary, and a means to connect to the world. He has overtime influenced the art community in various exhibitions in Nigeria.
Some of the virtues I admire in this artist is the fact that he is resilient, passionate and self-motivated. He is always on the go irrespective of people’s opinion.
He is also known for his commissioned portraits of various top Nigerian Celebrities such as Burnaboy, 2face Idibia , Falz, Simi, Patoranking and many more. Alright! enough with the intro, let’s hear from him.
Me: We have been seeing your pastel art online, but tell us about yourself. Who is Okuchukwu?
Okuchukwu: Don Okuchukwu ESEAGWU (B.1993) Popularly known as Moonlight Art was born in Delta State, Nigeria and he graduated from the prestigious university of Benin(UNIBEN) with a B.Agric in the department of soil science and land management from faculty of Agriculture.
Me: How did your art Journey start?
Okuchukwu: I started at a very early age of about 7 and since then I haven’t stop drawing. However, I started drawing commercially in 2012 and I have experimented with various media and tried out various styles of art. Art have been my embryo of life. Everything around me revolves around Art, I see shapes forming from every object in my environ; these shapes make sense when I eventually sketch them down, though my early drawings began with cartoon characters before evolving to other styles.
Me: Who and what inspired you?
Okuchukwu: A popular surrealist by name Rene Magritte and Joelrea inspired me; everything beauty and nature also inspires me.
Me: From your art piece, we noticed you often use pastel, what inspired you to use this medium?
Okuchukwu: It gives me the freedom to express myself in the most miniature areas.
Me: Personally, I discovered you make use of cocoyam leaves to cover the faces of the people in some of your compositions. Can you explain why?
Okuchukwu: I make use of different shades of leaves not necessarily cocoyam. It represents nature.
Me: Going through some of your previous work, I noticed your love and focus a little bit on nude paintings, what led you to this path?
Okuchukwu: No, I don’t love nude paintings. I just do them for commercial purposes.
Me: What do you feel when you’re looking at a blank page?
Okuchukwu: I see the need to fill it up with my creative thoughts.
Me: Amongst your master-piece, which of them is your favorite?
Okuchukwu: I usually don’t have a favorite. I always fall in love with any new piece am working on.
Me: What are your greatest challenges as an artist?
Okuchukwu: Getting international collectors.
Me: What’s your future for art? Where do you see your self in the future?
Okuchukwu: A great well renowned artist both locally and internationally
Me: What’s your advice for artist out there following this same path?
Okuchukwu: My five Ps: Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Always be ready; Create work continuously; not being limited by circumstances.
Wrapping Things Up
For some people art is a career, for some it’s a “side hustle”, but for a good number of us who understand; art is a language of the heart. Sometimes it takes just one art piece to speak a thousand words. When you stop expressing your self, you start dying inside. So don’t stop! Be inspired!