My Art Studio

Over the years I have used several places/spaces as an art studio. I started off by using the corner of the room I shared with my twin sister in the late 90’s. I had just discovered Oil paints and I was painting like crazy. All my pocket money was spent on paints and canvas.

My sister being the ever sweet and supportive person that she is; put up with me and my craze…unfortunately that meant putting up with the smell of wet paint, smell of solvents which often stung in the eyes, the inevitable mess that accompanied artists- brushes, palettes and paint tubes.

Nkolika Anyabolu's art studio

As time went on we had no free space on any wall in the room because every space was covered with canvasses of works in progress, abandoned paintings (and there were tons of them!) and finished ones. It was utter chaos and I felt so sorry for her but I had no where else to use. It was then that I started looking for something else other than oil I could use. I did not have the stomach for watercolors and pastels seemed too messy for me. Then I came across Acrylic paint. Though it did not work for me initially I have learnt to make it work for me.

Nkolika Anyabolu's art studio

Then in 2006 as part of my medical training I had to move away from home and live alone for the very first time in an army barracks further up North of Nigeria.

My anxiety and trepidation at the thought of living on my own soon turned to joy when I walked into my accommodation and saw it had a lounge which was empty.

I immediately knew I was going to use it as an art studio. It had a good supply of natural light and thus I went about creating my very first 'proper' art studio. I had an easel built for me which was more or else a class board easel but nevertheless it served its purpose.

I enjoyed working there and it was from there that I created the works used for my 1st Solo Art Exhibition.

My lounge turned art studio in 2006

My lounge turned art studio in 2006

After 1 year I moved again, this time to a new country and a small flat. There was just no space to use as an art studio. I resorted to working out of a shoe box on the center table. I could only make small paintings and was very happy when I discovered ACEOs. I made tons and tons of them and sold quite a few on Ebay and Etsy.

I literally had to pack and unpack each time I wanted to paint and there was just no room for leaving works to return to them later. That greatly affected my art and for years I painted not what I really wanted to paint but what I could manage given my situation and lack of proper materials and lack of space.

And I had to consider my other half to whom I had just gotten married to, it really takes an artist to understand the mess that accompanies artists and having the mess strewn all over the living room expecting him to understand was a bit too much. Thankfully he has always been very understanding.

I moved yet again into a much smaller flat. Suffice it to say my art took a big break as I needed stability and it was driving me up the wall not having that stability.

A few months later we moved to a bigger flat with a spare room large enough to take a single bed and a small table. I resorted to painting on the small table. By this time I had small children and painting was all the more difficult because they were getting into everything but I still managed to do some painting, albeit very little.

Nkolika Anyabolu's art studio

After years of frustration at not having the space to use as an art studio and moaning about it constantly to my ever patient beau; it was not surprising that when it came to buying a house, our number 1 requirement was that it must have a large room big enough to take my easels. Our persistence and determination paid off in the end because we finally found a place that had what we desired. All I did was set up my stuff and voilà my proper Studio at last! it is absolute joy.

I love being in my art studio. There is a lot of work yet to be done to it and in it (needs more light! light! light!) but for me it is a sanctuary, an escape from the world. A place where I am allowed not to talk but to put my thoughts down on canvas. It has taken years but what really matters is where I am now and where I would be tomorrow. I firmly believe that yesterday shaped my today and my today is definitely molding my tomorrow. Same thing applies to you.

My Art Studio. Click here to view the works on the easel

I believe artists are passionate about what they do. This is what drives them. This passion helps them tap into that well of creativity and also helps them absorb all that life has to throw at them. It is that passion that even though it is shrouded in melancholy most times helps artists to look ahead to the future and create a path for themselves. This passion is what has been driving me and will continue to do so.