High Artist Spotlight: Akanji Bolaji

Akanji Bolaji is a Nigerian born artist, a person of colour and as well as an entrepreneur. He sees layer of identification of self influencing his artistic practice and approach, which of course broaden his style and technique. The style and technique used in representing the year theme "music" are naturalism (for Addict II) and a stylized technique borrowed from araism (for the joy within) developed by Mufu Onifade. He has participated in several art exhibitions in Nigeria and Abroad, likewise some art competitions. He is a multidisciplinary artist with his practice involving photography, traditional and mural painting. Most of his painting are influenced by western painting practice which he uses as a model for his African representation of people, culture, stories, and economic situation around him.
We recently caught up with Akanji after High Art 2022 to learn more about his most recent inspirations:
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
I often find my creative inspiration mostly from other artist's work, my environment and nature.
Why do you do what you do?
I do art as a form of self expression, a way of documenting my imagination, to build a career and also to make a living from it.
What art/artist do you most identify with?
I am largely in influenced by different artists across cultures and I tend to identify most of my artistic piece with surrealism.
What themes do you pursue the most?
Social life
What role does an artist have in society?
The role of an artist is to give a colorful meaning to imagination.
What is your artistic outlook on life?
Be intentional with your practice, also know how to place and identify value for your creation.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Know your passion, your strength and embrace the world as fast as it moves.
Do you listen to music while you are creating? If yes, tell us your favorite song and artist.
Sometimes yes, to boosting my productivity and to kickstart my appetite for work.
What's the best thing about being an artist?
The best thing about being an artist is the ability to bring imagination to life; the ability to make people "see the mind".
What is your dream project?
As an artist as well as an entrepreneur, I see myself building a unicorn around the entertainment industry.