LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
DATE OF BIRTH
CHRISTINA IREAYOMIDE SMITH
Teacher, author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, pigeon fancier, composer, and journalist, Julia B. Cameron is best known for her book The Artist's Way. According to her “The artist's way is a spiritual journey, a pilgrimage home to the self.”
Christina Ireayomide's pilgrimage home began in the wee hours of 15th October, 2004 with a nuchal cord or Cord-Around-The-Neck (CAN). So, from birth, the sign was there. She can be whatever she wants to be as long as it brings good and joy to humanity. Her parents named her “Ireayomide” meaning “my goodness and joy has come.” She was simply called Ire and grew up the chubby, creative kid who enjoyed her little coloring table with fresh crayons, coloring books, and construction paper.
Early on, Ire showed signs of having the soul of an artist. She was attracted to activities involving creativity, originality, and independence, such as painting, singing, dancing, writing, or just expressing her uniqueness even in the way she smiled as if she had just opened the door to happiness.
At first, she thought her artistry was just an emotion that showed up in hues, value and intensity. However, in her fifth grade, the variety of colors and textures began to curate into a collection of images that emphasized the many different concepts she could see and longed to give expression to.
She began to see herself as creative. Others recognized the gift and started calling her an artist.
Over the next eighteen years, Ire traveled through the changing scenes of life with the hustling and bustling city of Lagos, Nigeria as her canvas. With little formal training other than her experiences as her private tutor, Ire has evolved into a creative and an artist who is autodidact and has taught herself most of the amazing skills she has acquired today.
Ire grew up as the last child in a loving family of five; Dad, Mom and two older siblings. Six years later, the family dynamics was altered by the arrival of a younger sister. Having been unceremoniously dethroned as the baby of the family, Ire found consolation in the cosmos of art. This world would later prove to be a safe and caring sanctuary from her private battles with her insecurities and pain.
Like every other child, Ire had the basic arts and crafts taught to kids in primary school. Ire would find ways to be creative like forming paper-machè sculptures or cutting out colorful paper and magazine cut outs to make a story collage.
She also began to discover the endless variety of " free and available canvases" at home by drawing on anything she could find including the back of novels, exercise books, kitchen paper
towels, her denim jeans and even her face. She could take already existing characters, like Coco the Monkey, from the famous Kellogg's cereal, Coco Pops, and develop him into her own character. She would play with different colors as a child and could sit all day in front of the television watching her favorite show on Cbeebies which was Mister Maker, an arts and craft show that combines live action, graphics and animation to show brilliant art techniques in both 2D and 3D. Interesting to note while she struggled with how to write the number "5" even her amateur fashion illustration had many elements of haute couture.
In seventh grade, while attending Edgewood College, Lekki, Ire's art would begin to gain acclaim and recognition from her teachers and other students. She was selected as one of the few to attend an art event held by Guaranty Trust Bank- ARTmosphere. This event featured a wind sculpture by British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare. This event was held on Friday 27th January, 2017 to create more awareness about Arts and Culture in Nigeria. The experience would change the trajectory of her perception of art. Metamorphosis kicked in. Ire had been the larvae but Christina would be the butterfly.
In eighth grade, Christina participated in an art competition in White Dove School.
In the ninth grade, Christina participated in a school exhibition where her work on a calabash, titled “Journey” was sold within minutes.
In 2019, Christina went on to win the Honors Certificate at her new school, Chalcedony, graduating as the Best Student in Visual Arts Overall. She would go on to win this award for three consecutive years from years nine to eleven.
Her work can mainly be defined as abstract portraiture. It is situated in the realm of ideas and imagination, yet it communicates realism. It is therefore her own representational approach to reality.
Over a period of three years, she has transitioned from using watercolors, oil paint and acrylics, but as in recent times, they have amplified using the Procreate app. No doubt, drawing on “glass” is tricky, however, the results have been as rewarding as drawing the traditional way! Christina loves to use colors symbolism to pass across the message she’s trying to convey in her pieces. Completing an art piece, despite the abstract nature, still requires a high level of attention to detail.
Her style dictates she does not reveal an accurate representation of a visual reality. Rather, using various shapes and color contrasts, she is able to bring her vision and imagination to life. The concept of movement is very alive in her pieces. Most of her paintings have been defined as having a surreal almost eerie feel to them. This is deliberate because she wants your focus on the piece to be very intentional. Always beneath the colors, shapes, strokes, there lies a much deeper story.
Christina likes to say she was created to create.
Christina had been creating traditionally, using materials like oil paint, chalk pastels and gouache, but began creating digitally when she was gifted an Ipad Pro by NFT artist and story writer, Anthony Azekwoh, after viewing her art pieces and deciding she would thrive in the digital scene. Christina has been creating digitally ever since.
Mr Azekwoh, known famously for his art piece titled, “The Red Man '', also mentored Christina in a Masterclass, teaching her the tips and tricks using the digital art apps like Procreate, ArtSet, AdobeDraw etc. The session also included how to make brushes and develop textures that could serve as backgrounds or brushes as well. Christina recently became an artist under the NFT platform COLDSCollectivexSolana.
Christina has created various collections some of which would be featured in her future exhibitions. i.e Sanity, Water Carriers, Black History Month, SHE etc.
The Sanity collection being her first fully established collection. This collection features a series of very ordinary people with wide mouths in silent screams. Is it the woman driven by financial incapacity to the brink of insanity, yelling at herself and trying to get her story out; or the man who is cracking under the persona society has created of men to always deliver and be that superfly guy or the woman in the marketplace masking her pain behind layers of makeup? Christina is both their artist and storyteller.
Her works feature very intentional usage of color, which psychologically, has proven to evoke certain feelings in people. i.e yellow evokes feelings of joy and positivity. Magenta which evokes feelings of compassion. Or coral which evokes feelings of self love, creativity and balance.
At the back of her mind is the question , “What will people feel when they look at my work?” Then they look and return and look again.
Being a lover of everything art, Christina sees the strong confluence between visual art and music. She currently creates masterpieces in the comfort of her bedroom as she desires to begin her university education in art school abroad.
She knows in the future she will be pursuing a career in music, while also running an art school. She knows the process of merging the two will also throw up other things like a fashion label, a makeup line as well as books and poems.
Just turned eighteen, and it has been an amazing journey so far. Christina knows no spiritual journey to self is complete without an element of gratitude and surrender. She can because she trusts that whatever happens she is being nourished and she will return often to fill the well with goodness and joy .
1.Anthony Azekwoh| Author, Artist and Creative Entrepreneur| email@example.com| +234 804 721 6250
2. Christina Oyinkansola| Digital Communications Strategist at Yemisi Shilo Museum| firstname.lastname@example.org|+234 817 464 9651
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