Toyin Odutola - Quotes

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The social media bit is really about documenting process. I like the dialogue if it's constructive, but I'm now at a crossroads. I've accumulated a lot of followers, and it's great, but I'm also at that teetering point where people are feeling themselves a little too much, commenting a little too much. ---->>>

Being a black artist, the first thing people want to talk about is your blackness, the importance of your blackness, and your black presence. ---->>>

For a while, I was nervous about portraying women because of the objectification that automatically comes with it, whether the artist intends or not. ---->>>

I kept wanting to push my image as validity; I wanted to see my portrait on a wall and know it was okay. ---->>>

I'm really interested in independent publishers and memes and mini comics. But even before that, I was interested in Japanese manga and anime. ---->>>

My identity is not based on performance; it's based on something that's pre-determined by someone else, and I don't even understand what that is because I'm an African who came to America. ---->>>

I don't think about race before I start drawing. I think about how to make that mark to fit whatever purpose I need it to fulfill. ---->>>

I needed to create something I could take with me wherever I went. ---->>>

The graphic style itself is influenced by a lot of very layered and detailed comics that I read as a kid, like 'Vagabond' by Takehiko Inoue. ---->>>

I moved around a lot when I was a child; two of the houses I grew up in have totally disappeared. One was burnt in a riot, and the other was pulled down. ---->>>

It's kind of a language I've developed over time that's basically breaking up the face into components and planes. Inside each plane, I draw gradation marks, and when planes come together, they form sinews, a hairlike weave that's like a landscape of the face. ---->>>

When I was in school, I conceptually didn't want black people to have context, to take it out of all that history. I wanted nothing to indicate where they are or what time it is, to place them anywhere. ---->>>


Nationality: Nigerian
Born: 06-21, 1985
Occupation: Artist

Toyin Ojih Odutola (born 1985) is an artist who was born in Ife, Nigeria. She received a BA in Studio Art and Communications from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2008. She also received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2012. Forbes featured Odutola in its 2012 list of 30 notable individuals under 30 in the category "Art & Style (wikipedia)