Chijioke Anyacho is a ball pen artist who is super Mad About Africa. A graduate of Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Benin, he admits that his work is influenced greatly by Juan Francisco and Oscar Ukonu who challenge him to do his best.
Just after school and shortly after losing his grandmother who was the only Mum he knew, art became an escape route for Anyacho to channel his grief. He often describes his journey as angst propelled for he with a pen and paper which were the only materials available to him, started to splatter colors in ink that in a short period would become a source of livelihood.
Anyacho currently runs a venture out of hyper-realism ballpoint paintings on Facebook and Instagram where he has gathered considerable following and from which most of his clients reach out to him. He tells us that his works are very commercial, that he intends to take advantage of the platforms to expand his frontiers and as a plus informs us he’s yet to accept the tag “ballpen artist” which though entirely connotes his art is also a box he believes too tiny to fit in .
He is especially enthused by things happening around him both directly and indirectly and discloses that they largely power his creative process. He believes that the works of artists are most times response to these stimulus. A constant stimuli for him would be Chibuike Uzomah whose work and disposition he labels as having been a major inspiration, then Chiamaka Chinakwaeze, whom he describes as the world’s best Best-friend.
Anyacho’s amazing paintings start with him printing the image out, then in a quite capricious process that hinges on the image and the general ambiance at the time, he employs either the grid method to scale to size or the free hand sketch with a pencil. It is only when he is done with the sketch that he starts working over with the pen.
For the future, he intends to proliferate into other means of creative expression besides the ballpoint pen, particularly oil painting, conceptual/documentary photography. He also plans to run a series, an interplay of texts and images that evolves around the constant fuss over feminism on social media, its usage, coinage and what this means for the continent as a whole.
Anyacho is vowing to create art that is independent on photographic reference. In his words; I want art that are emotive responses, spontaneous and chaotic. I want to create from the inside out devoid of any conscious interference.
He likewise is deciding to travel more, to broaden his perspective, to apply for more residency programs and workshops, probably take some design classes, to one day when he can afford it attend New York Film Academy and basically expand his storytelling skills.
For as he tells us, whatever medium I deploy to achieve this; drawings, paintings, photography, film, I just want to tell amazing stories.
Mad About Africa is a First Culture series celebrating African individuals who are making changes in their locale that generally affect our continent. We consider them people who are Mad About Africa and who are dedicated to seeing it regain it’s true stance as the very First Culture. To nominate someone and have them featured, please visit the campaign page. Read more from the series here.