My name is Ogechi. You might think the name sounds feminine but I am a man. A full-fledged man who has come to find love in family, nature and most important art. On inked dotted lines I go by the name Animashaun Tanimowo Ogechi Paul. All I see is art even when I sleep and when I am working. I have a binding covenant with the painting brush.
Like the Peak Milk commercial says "It's in you." Art practically runs in my family from my mother to my elder brother, myself then to my father and sister of blessed memory. I started with banner and poster making with my elder brother who was studying art then. I scaled up by making greeting cards during festive periods or events. All this was done under his supervision.
Lagos was the city, where my birth cry was first heralded. I grew up in the same city, in Ajegunle precisely. My primary and secondary school education memorably was in at Layeni Primary School, Ajegunle and Amuwo Odofin High School, Mile 2, Lagos. I was the go-to-guy for students who needed help with sketching and drawing in my early years in school.
My decision to thread this path of life was strongly supported by my art teacher, Mr Okin at Amuwo-Odofin High School. He was the support system I had pulled off my first art exhibition in school.
Years later, I got admitted to the University of Port Harcourt to study Theatre Arts. Don't raise your eyebrows as to why I didn't take up Arts as a course of study. Let's just say I wanted to add a touch of difference. While I was in University, I was the one called more in terms of designing the background, props and set, costumes, special-effect make-ups, and more for the productions.
I am a trained actor and a chorister who loves classic songs, opera is my preference.
I have to accept the fact that every knowledge is an added advantage. During my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) in Plateau State in 2013, I opted to learn sewing before relocating finally back to Port Harcourt in January 2017.
I believe education is the bedrock of a good foundation and this propelled me to ensure I had my degree. I moved further to learn furniture making - Call me Jack of all trade and master of all. All these learning experiences have afforded me the ability to fit into being a painter, tenor singer, actor, costume designer, carnival float designer, fashion designer, greeting card designer, props and set designer, graffiti artist, bridal business entrepreneur, interior and exterior designer.
I am proud to say that I want to be famous and leave my footprints on the sands of time. Coming from an average family. With only my lovely mum and my elder brother being there to motivate me.
I feel indebted to do something extraordinary to better their lives.
The government has not put structures, so the youths of our nation have to carve a niche for themselves. These fired up my motivation to take on this beautiful path.
However, my biggest source of motivation in life lies in my family background because being brought up in a family that did not belong to the upper class. I felt the need to change the status quo.
I have always tried to rise up to expectations and also to improve my society and immediate environment with my art-driven spirit. My father's demise, experiences of religious crisis and bombings in the north has also helped me to become more mentally matured and focused.
My advice to a newbie in this vocation is to keep an open mind and also borrow from the first law of 48 laws of power by Robert Greene, "Never outshine your master." Learn and hone your craft then other secrets which you don't know will be opened up to you like Deja vu.
They should also learn to free their mind and not to work in an emotional discomfort or being emotionally drained except the working art needs them in such mood to be able to pass a related scene. The truth about Art is that your peak could be another man's starting point, so stay hungry. Don't get tired of your art because it is self-expression and freedom of the mind. Cooking is art, Loving is art, Sewing is art and when you sleep, that's art too. Find a way of always preaching art in a way that can interest people.
My greatest challenge over time is in trying out new designs or work methods that have not been done in Nigeria. Lack of resources is another factor.
I am a passionate young man who presently has one weapon and that's my art. One day at a time, I hope to pull down every negative interference and leave the world a better place.
You reach out to me via these channels:
Facebook- Apollo Zeus Tanimowo Instagram- @omociano
Pinterest- Animashaun Tanimowo Ogechi Paul