As the year draws to a close, we at digitartists.com are very proud to bring you our very first digital artist exposé. Let’s take a look into the mind of one of the most inspirational abstract expressionism artists on the scene today – The great Ohab TBJ.
Born in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, Ohab is the middle child of a family of five children. His four brothers and a sister have had a huge influence on his digital artwork. He explains that if it wasn’t for his siblings, he wouldn’t be where he is today. He insists, “growing up with three more brothers and a sister teaches you a lot about life, they’ve definitely had a huge influence on my life and my work”.
In the Ohab TBJ interview, he fondly remembers looking back into his childhood, he recalls his siblings helping him hold his pencil in the correct manner and they would often have drawing competitions to see who could create the best masterpiece. He goes on to say, “To be honest, I’ve never won the family drawing competition, I suppose that gave me the drive to get better and improve.”
He recalls his Ohab TBJ art had various obstacles he had to overcome to become the established artist he is today. Growing up aspiring to be an artist in Nigeria isn’t too common. Certain members of his family would often ask him to choose a different career path, such as studying to be an engineer or a medical doctor. It took time for them to realize how serious he was about making it in the art world and now he is pleased to say that all his family are now very supportive and match his drive and ambition.
Dear God was inspired by another work of mine titled ‘Daughter of the universe’.
On this piece, I have depicted a beautiful young black lady with her hair as the universe. An epitome of beauty in the best form.– Ohab TBJ
When we asked what gave Ohab TBJ art the most inspiration, he said proudly it was genuine emotion. He went on to say “The number one inspiration for me and my artwork is love and the second inspiration is genuine emotion. When the two collide, I believe this is where the ‘magic’ happens. Love can generate so many different emotions, thus giving me so many opportunities to capture the moment in my art creations”.
Someone said: You deserve people in your life who think you are a big deal. No competition, no backhanded comments, no jealously, no comparison, no hate just simply “I love you and there is nobody like you and there will only ever be 1 of you” type energy ❤️❤️– Ohab TBJ
In the Ohab TBJ interview, he elaborated further “For me as an artist, I believe it’s incredibly important to capture genuine emotions. It’s these very emotions that fans of my artwork can relate to. Whether we like it or not, we all show our fears, desires, pain, and love in our expressions, and what drives these expressions? Our genuine emotions. I try to illustrate these expressions in my creativity, generally focusing on love and positivity”.
A dark skin fashionista who tends to make so much noise with her fashion sense. She hears the noise, and she respectfully wants you to hear it, too.– Ohab TBJ
Looking into digital artists of the modern era, Ohab goes on to mention that Mohammed Agbadi, known as ‘Mohammed’ is one digital artist that he really appreciates. He says ” He has an incredible drive, and nothing can derail him from his mission. His artistry is created down to the finest of details. I would say he’s a perfectionist and that is something I can relate to deeply.”
“Inspired by the positive affirmations ‘You Will Grow’
She knows it. I know this. You know this.”
– Ohab TBJ
Another digital artist that inspired his Ohab TBJ art is Mandy Jurgens. “Her portraits generally emanate from mythology and wonder. She has the ability to create subtle emotions through micro-expression artistry. I would say she is one of the best digital artists of the modern digital era.” He goes on to say with a beam in his voice.
As we dug a little deeper into Ohab‘s personality, we got a sense of his deep craving to capture raw emotion in his artwork. When we asked what the best moments for his art creations were, he said “I primarily love to draw strangers. Not many digital artists follow that trend. I think a person offers their true emotion when there’s nobody around to judge them. Based on my experience, strangers offer a more insightful look into their true emotions.”
The name Folake is of the Yoruba (Western Part of Nigeria) origin which means ‘One who is taken care with wealth’.
Here I tried to celebrate the gorgeousness of an Afro hair. I also introduced Ankara fabric to her scarf for aesthetics.– Ohab TBJ
As Ohab TBJ interview progressed, we started to get sense of his deep love for life and the beauty life installs within unplanned moments. It’s these very moments Ohab looks to capture in his digital artwork. Looking into his past and present, we see he has collaborated his artwork with some big hitting companies such as Google, Facebook and Disney. When we asked him if there was any specific company, he would like to work with in the future, he said “Nike is probably my dream project. Nike is a brand that ‘connects’ with almost every age group on planet and its design has a unique simplicity to it. I would like to think my artwork has a similar format that can reach everybody”.
As we can see, Ohab’s motivation comes from artwork people can connect with instantly. He says proudly “Emotions can provide a memory and it’s that embedded memory I hope to interconnect with my work. My aim is to stir-up positive past emotions by looking at my digital artwork – that and to make people smile.”
“Chief remember when your people cried
Chief you remember when they were afraid of the tide
Many were scared to glide, but there you were
There you were promising to be their guide
Promising to take their hand and be on their side
Many tried to believe you chief
They never knew you had a lot to hide
Chief your greed, your lust, your envy, your lack of empathy and your pride smh
Chief under your care many died
Chief if only they knew you only wanted to steal their bride
Hahhha! Woe betide you now chief ‘cos you lied
I think they’re coming for you chief
The monsters you made.”
“This piece was inspired by the corrupt government officials who steadily lie to their subjects with so much promises that they would never keep.
On the other hand they are subconsciously making monsters of these subjects without knowing.”– Ohab TBJ
For more on Ohab TBJ, stay tuned for his exclusive NFT drop here @Digital Artists!