Artist Spotlight: Chuka Pencils

What is your name?

My name is Patrick Chuka.

Tell us a bit about yourself/background.

I am Nigerian, born in Victoria Island, Lagos. I graduated as a science student from Weenoble International School, Ejigbo, Lagos. I'm the eldest of 4 kids and currently live with our single mother. I'm a self-taught artist, I use a vast range of mediums to represent my artistic Ideas, from Graphite and charcoal (my favourite mediums), to Water, Acrylic, and Oil paint and most recently, I discovered the magic that is "Ink". I sell my pieces in prints and do a lot of commissioned portraits for clients all over Nigeria. I also like to think I'm an experimental artist, considering the fact that I invent my own technique and style. I'm still young enough to search for stronger footings in art, so with every new piece, I try to change a thing or two and try a very different approach. Most times, it’s a win, but when I fail, I learn.

When and how did your art journey begin?

It started from the pre-nursery. I remember my mum teaching me how to draw a cup, but she drew it in a way that was so different from what my teacher showed us. My mother added shadows and perceptive and I was completely mesmerized by that. It started professionally in February 2016. I got a chance to intern with a big artist in Lagos, he liked my works and wanted me in his studio, and I was immediately blown away by how he uses materials to create art in ways I didn't know could be possible. That spiked my interest and with a lot of practice and sleepless nights, here I am - growing.

What was the reaction/feedback from those around you (family/friends)?

My family is amazing and super supportive. My mother is my number 1 backbone, Adviser and content creator. My friends are just the best. They take time to share my works all over social media and grow my following. I have gotten gifts from a lot of them too, money to buy new materials to pencils, paints and brushes.

What inspires your art?

Beauty, Africanness, Social-politics and Humanity.

What are the most challenging projects you've executed so far?

I did a painting of the Last Supper last year, 7ft x 21ft for an Anglican Church. It was by far the most tasking and challenging piece I had ever done. Took 7 months to complete.

How viable is the art business in Nigeria?

I'm not going to lie, Art doesn't sell in Nigeria. Only a small crowd understand its value. But that has never bothered me. I make art because I enjoy it more than anything. Everything else is secondary.

Who would you like to work with?

I'd love to work with Nigeria's foremost Collage Artist, Mr. Sylvester Aguda. The most talented hyper-realistic pencil artists, Chibuzor Destiny and Ken Nwadiogbu.

Future plans.

I plan on heading on to study Fine and Applied art professionally in the university. It has also been my dream to support young artists everywhere in showcasing their art, getting value for it and also developing companies that would make art materials here in Nigeria so they can be easily accessible to creators that can't afford to import materials.

Facebook: Chu Ka

Instagram: @artistchuka