Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.
Hey guysss. So, I have learnt that nothing beats being able to expose raw talents that have potential of exposing the beauty and possibility of certain things.
I actually had this idea a long time ago, of meeting people with a lot of potential and in my own little way, expose them as best as I can. So with that said, enjoy.
Good morning and what is your name?
My name is Valerie Urom Fab-Uche.
Urom? That is a very unique name. What does it mean?
Urom literally means bottle but the in depth meaning is usefulness
What do you do?
I am an artist.
Do you have a brand name?
Yes. Valerie Urom Uche. Urom is my brand.
Who or what inspires you?
In general, African traditional culture and classicals are what inspires my art and sometimes I like going contemporary. Not doing the normal, going above the normal, doing extraordinary things with art, my art. I also do not like going too far from my culture when it comes to doing things African related, but then I do everything though.
What is your favorite part about being an artist?
Ahh!! 🙂 The ability to express yourself. I mean, not just expressing yourself. You can express yourself and recreate but then I express myself to create, that is, doing something that has not been seen, being a genius with my creations.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Yes, I am working on two photography performances. One performance on the last Saturday of this month at Yaba and then a photo performance on “Nsibidi”.
What is Nsibidi?
Nsibidi are African traditional symbols. It is a secret code writing done by the people of southeastern Nigeria.
Apart from being an artist, what else do you do?
I am a performer and a model.
A performer in what sense?
I sing, dance and act and I also partake in performance art. It’s a form of art but it is done live.
Would you say modeling is a major part of your life?
Well, every part of my life is major. So it is one of the major things I do. I model for myself and for other people. Even in art, I model for people, like in paintings.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
Yes I do. It goes like this “In life, I have come to the understanding that there is a difference between knowledge and understanding and it takes one with understanding to understand the latter”.
There is a lot of understanding in there :).
😄. I created it myself so it is kind of rough around the edges but it gingers me.
What would you say made you take art and being an artist seriously?
Jamb actually. :mrgreen:. After taking the exam, it was time to get serious. My family kind of adviced me that art was obviously a natural part of myself . At first it was not something I wanted to major in. I mean, I had the dream of owning an art school and other things but after much thought and seeing as art is something I enjoyed doing, I went for it.
To be honest, at first it was hard. At first sight you would think it is every one who has the ability to draw that can be serious about it but the whole school process brought out the difficulty in it and it kind of separated the wheat from the chaff.
What are you doing at the moment?
I am attending series of workshops.
Have you been able to gain from them?
Yes. I have learnt a lot and I have gotten a lot of connections from it as well.
What are the chllenges you face being an artist?
Getting people to understand what I do. Also in the aspect of my performance art I often find it hard to get people to participate and not just be spectators.
What are your thoughts on failure?
I believe failure is inevitable but I believe that we as humans should not dwell on it. I believe after failure, something big is about to happen. If people do not criticize your work and just agree all the time, I feel you are just blending in.
Does your art carry a particular mesaage or is it meant for pure pleasure?
I would say it does but different works carry different messages.
In my opinion I believe upcoming talented individuals and even the ones who have found their placing have this idea overload where they have new things they want to try. Do you have that and if you do how do you manage it and still get everything done?
Yes I do. Due to the overload, I tend to have a stream of ideas and then the next time I am just blank, that is what we creative people call a creative block. I have a journal where I just write everything down and I make sure I write something everyday and I write it in a way that I can remember what it was I was thinking.
If I gave you an elephant where would you hide it?
I would put it in a painting so people can never imagine it is meant to be hidden.
What do you do when crossing the road?
I usually shout :mrgreen:. On a serious note I do the normal, look left and right.
Actually, I hide behind someone who looks confident.
Yes yes, I do that too. 😂 . I did that last week Thursday actually.😹
What is that piece of clothing you are most comfortable in?
If you were given the opportunity to adopt a wild animal, what animal would you adopt?
Imagine this. You are the CEO of a company which occupies a four storey building and on this very faithful day all your employees were called for a meeting on the first floor and suddenly there was a fire outbreak. How would you escape with all your employees intact?
Actually, during the interviews I would make sure all the employees can do high jump. 😂. That way everyone can jump their way to safety.
In a room full of artists, what makes you stand out?
My style. It is usually my lipstick color where I put different colors of lipstick or my hair. Also my legs. Being simple is one of the ways to be complicated.
Imagine this. You had a customer who pays very well and likes to be in control and he/she wanted you to do a life potrait and he/she decides to pose in a very strange way. How do you correct him/her?
I would welcome it actually, I would boost the customer to do more. It is money. :mrgreen:. Being an artist allows me to be fascinated by weird things… the thing is when art begins to displease people, it begins to cause conversation and the artist becomes a controversy and this actually exposes the artist more.
What is the first thing you do when you want to work?
I say ‘God please help me’. I am not saying it because as a christian I should. God is my center so I just ask Him to help me. Also sometimes just because things are not looking right at the start does not mean it won’t look right at the end so I keep going and if at the end it doesn’t, I know it would appeal to someone else.
I usually have this thing where I already act out a scenario in my head, maybe for a novel but when I put it down it is totally different from what I thought up. Do you have that and if you do what do you do about it?
Yes. I accept it. I believe my works are alive, so in the process of creation I let the paintings direct me. I do not like to over think things.
Have you done any special events?
Yes. I have given workshops, I have had performances. I would be having an exhibition next week at Terraculture, Victoria Island. Everyone is invited.
Lets say you went for one of your shows and before that you made sure no one knew your identity. So you are standing in front of one of your works with a prospective customer beside you and he/she begins to express how complicated the art is and he/she goes as far as undervaluing it with words. What do you do and would you ever let he/she know you are the artist?
I would explain it well. I would never let that individual know I am the artist.
What is your favorite art equipment?
Pastel. It is like chalk, but it lasts long.
Would you say art equipments are expensive?
Yes. I spend a lot. There is no limit.
Would you say art is to be funded?
Yes. It is a very big investment. By God’s grace, in the nearest future, a single biro painting of mine would cost a lot. 😄
Do you believe art is not limited to artists alone?
Yes. I believe everyone has art in them. Even down to the butlers.
Do you think death gives absolute relief?
In a way. Especially to people who have gone through a lot and just cannot take it anymore.
What advice would you give upcoming talents?
You should stay true to yourself. Be your own person and be your own brand. Do not try to be other people and open your mind.
Wow! It was absolutely wonderful having you. 😄
Thank you so much. I had fun too. 😄
Works be Valerie Urom Fab-Uche.