Oyedele Adedokun, a Nigerian ballpoint artist, who drew a portrait of Donald Trump, US president, says he was not bothered collecting peanuts when he started out because art is not about money.
Adedokun has been trending on social media since Monday, after Trump’s commendation on a portrait of him made by the young Nigerian artist.
“Not only did I see it. I think it is fantastic. You are a wonderful artist, never give up your dream!” Trump had written on Twitter.
Speaking with The Interview, the artist who hails from Osun state, recalled how he started out his career with peanuts, particularly his first artwork, which fetched him N500 Airtel recharge card.
“Yeah. It fetched me N500 Airtel recharge card back then. I cannot forget,” he said.
He also played down doubts about the lucrativeness of choosing art as a career in Nigeria, especially not being able to foot his many responsibilities.
“No. it is not about money. No. No. No. For me, Art is not about money. When I first started, people were giving me jobs of N3000, N4000. I was happy then because it was not about money but about creating something,” he said.
The talented artist said his penchant for art transcends monetary gains, adding that such passion has helped him work even without the aid of a studio.
He further said Trump’s commendations of his artwork work is spurring him to do more.
“It is indescribable,” he said when asked about his feelings after Trump lauded his work.
“I do not have words to express how I felt. It was overwhelming. It was amazing. That Trump portrait means a lot to me. People have been reaching out to me, admiring my work.”
He appreciated his parents support for his career, noting such backing has been invaluable.
“They (referring to his parents) support me very well. My parents are very supportive,” he added.