Kugali Spotlight: Godwin Akpan
For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be shining the spotlight on the creative forces behind some of our favourite content. This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Godwin Akpan, a full-time concept artist and illustrator for Anthill productions, a multimedia facility that offers services in media productions and post-production located in Lagos, Nigeria. His work has been seen in the animated short PLAYTHING, E.X.O – The Legend of Wale Williams, Malika, The SIM and L.S.P.D (Lloyds’ Securities: Private Detective).
K: What gave you the courage to pursue a career in art?
GA: I believe the singular answer is love for art.
K: Can you describe the reaction of your family and close friends when you told them you were going to be a professional artist?
GA: I think everybody around me already felt I was made for this. So it wasn’t a surprise when I chose art as a career. I got all the support and encouragement from friends, family, and fans.
K: Now that you’re professional there’s a certain level of quality your fans have come to expect. Has this changed your creative process?
GA: My mission as an artist is to keep evolving. If I’m not getting better, then I’m getting worse. So I’ll say my creative process is constantly evolving both in speed and quality
K: Describe your favourite job or project and why?
GA: For me, it’s not so much the job as the people I’m working with. I find so much joy in the work when my colleagues become like family to me and this motivates us to create an environment where we all inspire the best out of each other.
K: Describe your worst job or project and why?
GA: I’ll say my worst project have been the ones where I wasn’t allowed any creative freedom.
K: Describe your creative process from the point of inspiration to final draft.
GA: It always starts with an idea. Either a client’s brief, a random picture or a random thought, then there’s a rough sketch of what the idea is, and then there’s reference gathering, and then I absorb myself into the painting and 60% of the time, I forget the original idea and just let the art control my thinking.
K: What do you think separates good art from great art?
GA: I think it’s what the art does to you. It’s nice to look at a beautiful painting, but it’s more enchanting when the painting speaks to you. Which is why you can sometimes stare at some paintings for a long time and not get bored. It’s not the beauty anymore, it’s the emotion conveyed in the art.
K: When you think of beautiful art what is the first name that comes to mind?
GA: Dylan Cole
K: We’ve created a device that allows you to could call yourself five years into the past, however, the call only lasts 15 seconds what would you say?
GA: That’s a funny one. I’ll say, hey, past me, looking good. I am future you and I have this to say; whatever you do, don’t stop doing what you are currently doing. You are on the right track. So stay on it. I must away! I don’t have much airtime!
K: What is your favourite Illustration or design?
GA: I don’t think I have one yet. I try not to fall in love with my own designs. But if I have to pick, I’ll say it’s the one where I painted a snowy day in Lagos. I’ve always wished it would someday snow here. So the painting speaks to my inner craving.
K: Describe your art in a sentence?
GA: Constantly evolving
K: What can we expect from you in the future?
GA: I’m currently working on my own graphic novel. I’m very excited about it I hope to make it available sometime this year.