My friend used to say something funny “Artists must suffer for the art, that’s why it’s called painting”. I have always been a very artsy person even from my secondary school days, I represented my school in art competitions and even won awards from prestigious organizations, schools even my classmates had gifts for me.
everyone had always told me that my future would be very bright because I had so many abilities and gifts and somehow I wasn’t so sure about that.
The thing is I struggled a lot with my confidence and even had a speech problem and although I had such a great ability to create art it still didn’t mean that people didn’t mock me or make really hurtful remarks so irrespective of my talent I wasn’t so sure of myself, and whats talent without confidence, a matter of fact what was anything without confidence? so you see I wasn’t so sure of the future and it scared me to death.
fast forward fifteen years, I was an outstanding artiste with mediocre sales and no marketing abilities. my friends would always sing to my ears about how I was so talented and should be doing more like I didn’t know this myself and was struggling to make things better.
I met Aishat two months later at an art conference and honestly she was my prayers answered in human form, she pushed me so much, knew people, and was willing to introduce them to me so that they could buy my art.
I did meet a lot of people through her and it was through her I met my business partner Obinna, Obinna was a typical Igbo guy, the one who would walk into a room and speak about business ideas he had come up with just by looking around the room. when we met I didn’t like him because honest to God I thought him loud and obnoxious but later I found that he was really just expressive and free-minded. He would speak about how I was supposed to be a millionaire with the talent that I had and I would smile sheepishly; I think that was why I didn’t like him anyways he came up to me one random day and proposed that we became business partners.
He suggested that we start a brand that supplied art to hotels, restaurants, and even luxury homes; my talent and clientele were bound to be forthcoming.
I had the busiest month I had ever in my career, I was making all kinds of paintings: small ones, medium ones, large ones, gigantic ones. it was all so exhilarating.
our first customer was an interior designer who wanted to design a luxury hotel, he purchased all my paintings which Obinna negotiated at ten million and we sold them. I was so surprised, I had never made so much money at one purchase and the craziest thing is Obinna didn’t want to split the income at a 50/50 percentage but wanted me to earn more with him getting a 40% share, it was unbelievable. It continued going on like this for months, years. I couldn’t believe my life was going this amazing.
my paintings were literally in every luxury hotel around Lagos and after a while, we were able to get a gallery where all my art could be displayed, people could even walk in to just look around and appreciate art.
I guess those people were right, my future was indeed bright.