The ever smiling Victor Ehikamenor, a native of Edo State Nigeria is one artist that makes the Federal republic of Nigeria proud.
I first met Victor on Facebook through my friend Ruona and one thing that drew me to Victor was his writing; then I later got to know that he was an artist too. Victor describes his art as a figurative abstraction; using iconography. See big grammar on top o 🙂
There are days I would see a picture of his art work and though I may not understand it, for some reason it always feels so refreshing. They say the secret to a successful career is in genuinely enjoying what you do. Watching Victor as he relishes and enjoys his art is one that gives me joy. and as he draws, he stays smiling and stays drawing.
Victor can make a squeezed piece of paper have so many diverse meanings. His pencil on his paper seems to always make another sweet dream come true.
Apart from the fact that he is an excellent artist, he is also a foodie and a fantastic food photographer. Knowing him as an artist helps me understand the story behind each photo. It’s like knowing how a person thinks and being able to kind of know their moods at a given time without them explaining.
A regular person would see a pretty plate of Ayamase sauce with rice and fried plantain above. But knowing Victor, this Ayamase came served from the gods for eternal satisfaction from hunger; just like Manna from the heavens. And these little things are just what fascinates me about him. Victor cannot just be ordinary.
Knowing and seeing these things, I had to do this interview with Victor. And if you kind of read his writings, you would know that each response is accurate…as in, this is Victor…Never fails!
NLC: You’re a Nigerian artist. Where are you from in Nigeria?
Victor E: “I am from Uwessan, Edo state.”
NLC: What do you love about being an artist and a foodie?
Victor E: “I am an artist who eats to survive and sees art in the way food is presented in some instance. I also find humor in talking about food. I don’t know if these few facts qualifies me for a foodie.”
NLC: What’s your favorite food and how often do you get to cook/eat it?
Victor E: “Pounded yam and ogbono (ohiele in Esan language) soup. I eat pounded yam about four times a week. Cooking it is another matter entirely, I can cook a mean egusi and ogbono but I hardly do these days.”
NLC: How did you get your break as an artist?
Victor: “It depends on what you mean by break. Every completed piece of art work for me is a break, so there is no one particular hurray moment.”
NLC: how did you find out that your passion was in the arts?
Victor E: “I have been interested in art since I was four years old. When I got admitted into primary school at five years old, I used my chalk and slate only for drawings instead of writing 123 or ABC. Since then, I never left art and art never left me…we only took intermittent breaks to explore other things.”
NLC: How do you impact the community around you with your art?
Victor E: “One poignant one will be my talks with art students in tertiary institutions. I also have young artists come to the studio for talks. And I believe practicing and talking about art from Nigeria in some of my platforms help my industry and community. I would like to do more as I get older.”
NLC: Where do you see yourself in the future?
Victor E: “I am not that prophetic. I take one day at a time and honestly trust God to hold my hand into an unknown future.”
NLC: Your instagram feed is filled with beautiful pictures of you, your art and your food photography. What is one thing you want us to know about kicking off your career and humble beginnings?
Victor E: “Consistency and persistency will cook the hardest rock to malleable clay. There is no short route to being good at any chosen career except hard work and more hard work plus even more hard work equals luck.”
NLC: Please share with us one thing we don’t know about you.
victor E: “I don’t like goat meat and once I am full, food irritates me. (Since we are talking about food)”
NLC: What advice will you give to me and others who are pursuing their passion; mine being food?
Victor E: “Don’t look over your shoulder for anything else but inspiration. Find a lifestyle that suits your career and everyday becomes a fun holiday for you. Be innovative and be kind to fellow human being. Don’t step on others to climb to the top, ask them to help you climb.”