"My works mainly highlight my versatile use of colors and its role in passing a message to the viewers."
Tolulope Owolabi is originally from Lagos, Nigeria. She spent the majority of her early childhood and teenage years in her home country, before migrating to the United States at the age of 15. She currently holds two associate degrees; health science and arts, while still working on obtaining her bachelor's in Nursing.
"Sisi Eko" is a common word or slang that originated from Lagos, Nigeria. "Sisi Eko" can be translated in English as "Lagos Babe" or "Lagos Big Girl." In Lagos street slang, "Sisi Eko" is viewed as an extremely beautiful and youthful lady, who is both classy and trendy. She is often wooed by numerous influential and respectable men, due to her elegance and grace. "Sisi Eko" is a strong resilient, and resourceful lady who is able to thrive in a male-dominated society.
Despite growing up in a typical Nigerian household that pushes towards generating aspiring medical professionals and engineers, Tolulope still finds ways to treasure her artistic genes. From experimenting with stick figures and sketches of barbies at preadolescence to depicting human feelings and individualism as a young adult. It is clear she has not lost her ingrained love for art.
"Sisii" is a Nigerian alternative word to describe a pretty girl. Although "Sisii" is a pretty youthful lady, she is bold and fierce. Some might even say she is intimidating due to her striking looks and rebellious nature. From the high highs and extreme lows that come with living in patriarchal Nigeria, "Sisii" still manages to stay independent and powerful. She believed in creating a space for all rebellious and passionate women out in the world. She was indeed the original boss lady
Tolulope believes art should be a reflection of our innate self. Without the judgment or fear of how we would be perceived. Knowing this, Tolulope has established an artistic approach in bringing her inner word and feelings through her experimentations with the color wheel and numerous artistic techniques.
"I am a versatile artist and works with acrylics, watercolor, spray paint, markers, and sharpies."
The majority of Tolulope artworks and techniques are often a mirror reflection of her state of mind during the time she is producing a piece. This is evident in her color choice and techniques used. The use of dark colors or grey tones is often reflective of a somber mood that Tolulope felt while painting. The somber tones of the image are often in contrast with the bright and vibrant colors of the background.
"My artworks are in constant search for the best ways to depict my internal/spiritual world into physical reality."
Her usage of vibrant colors can also be interpreted as the internal turmoil that is one hides from the external world. In other words, "happy on the outside, sad on the inside." During this state of grace, watercolor, color pencils, and pastels are art materials Tolulope uses to produce her works. This is because of the soft nature of the medium and the complexity that comes with using them.
"Black Man," was created during the Black Lives Matter protest to show the beauty and pride that comes with being a Black Man no matter where a person is in the world. Although society at the moment might not be welcoming for Black Men, they are still indeed viewed as royalty and powerful. From their resilient nature to their unlimited potential, the black man should indeed be prideful of who he is.
"By using a dull-colored foreground and a vibrant background, I express the importance of having hope and faith during cloudy days."
"Dissociation is a mental process of disconnecting from one's thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity." It's the lack of connection or the lack of balance between the mind and one's body. This lack of balance brings with it an empty void of existence that creates an unhealthy sense of comfort. It's daydreaming, without the dream. Being lost in the voidness of a puzzled mind. Living on autopilot mode, but not being present. Misalignment between the body and mind.
When using watercolors and color pencils, Tolulope uses gentle brush strokes and utilizes whatever materials that are at her range of vision. Mediums such as sharpies, markers, pastels, pens. During this time, she exhibits a more childlike playfulness when painting and is more accepting of mistakes. "You do not make mistakes, only happy accidents."
Prize Ribbon (1)
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