My First Artwork Fetched N500 Recharge Card – Trump Artist, Oyedele Adedokun

Oyedele Adedokun, the Nigerian artist whose work caught the attention of US President Donald Trump, speaks in his first major interview after his work went viral

Young Nigerian artist, Oyedele Adedokun's ballpoint portrait of Donald Trump has elicited praise from the US president.
Young Nigerian artist, Oyedele Adedokun's ballpoint portrait of Donald Trump has elicited praise from the US president.

Oyedele Adedokun, the Nigerian artist whose work caught the attention of US President Donald Trump, speaks in his first major interview after his work went viral…

Many know you as @doks_art, your twitter name. Who is doks_art?

My name is Oyedele Adedokun. I am from Osun State. I live in Oshogbo town with my family. I just graduated from secondary school.

I will be taking Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam, next year. I want to study Fine Art at the Obafemi Awolowo University.

When did you start Art?

I started Fine Art as a kid. But professionally, I started in 2017.

Can you remember how much you sold your first art work?

Yeah. It fetched me N500 Airtel recharge card back then. I cannot forget.

You don’t choose art. It chooses you. It is all about inspiration. If you look at great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and others, you will see that they never wanted to be a painter, they just happened to be painters

Are your parents in support of your decision to study Fine Art?

Yes. They support me very well. My parents are very supportive.

So how did they react to the news that your work got commendation from American President, Donald Trump?

My mum and dad were very happy. My mum actually went into praise, worship, thanksgiving to God. You know how African parents do.

How did you feel when you saw Trump’s tweet, commending your work?

It is indescribable. I do not have words to express how I felt. It was overwhelming. It was amazing. That Trump portrait means a lot to me. People have been reaching out to me, admiring my work.

Do you have a studio where you do your drawing?

No, I don’t have a studio. I work from my mini space at home.

Donald Trump said you should not give up on your dreams. Where do you see your Art in the next 10 years?

I see it global. I see myself attending Art exhibition worldwide and being known as an artist.

No. it is not about money. No. No. No. For me, Art is not about money. When I first started, people were giving me jobs of N3000, N4000. I was happy then because it was not about money but about creating something

Why do you choose art, knowing people don’t take it seriously as a profession in Nigeria?

You don’t choose art. It chooses you. It is all about inspiration. If you look at great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and others, you will see that they never wanted to be a painter, they just happened to be painters.

There is just this thirst inside you that makes you want to create something. So you don’t choose art, it chooses you.

So, you don’t mind if art does not pay your bills…

No. it is not about money. No. No. No. For me, Art is not about money. When I first started, people were giving me jobs of N3000, N4000. I was happy then because it was not about money but about creating something.

What is your next big move?

I commit all to God. But more importantly, what I want to focus on now is my Art. I don’t want to be distracted by the fact that my work has gone viral.

I don’t want to be distracted by that. I want to focus on my art and improve my platform.

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