Spent a lot of time being stuck in Lagos Traffic this year, so instead of being angry for no sensible reason, I picked up a new habit out of boredom. I used the time to teach myself how to create minimal illustrations and animations using my mobile phone. My newfound obsession was called TRAFFICDOODLES(😃@trafficdoodles on IG); so everyday based on my road experiences, new illustrations/animations were born. I totally credit boredom for this, and it's a total change of perspective on what it means to be stuck and bored. I didn't care if my lines or motions were perfect nor did I overly criticize my creations, I just chose to continuously make my mistakes and share them regardless of judgements. So back to the cliché; BE FEARLESS, IT WORKS and FIND YOUR BOREDOM in the coming year.
Capturing my Traffic experiences with doodles started with illustrating a number of stills on my mobile phone, just a little over a month ago. It just only made sense to keep pushing, so that my 4 hours (daily) invested in commuting to and from work on the roads of Lagos, could even better utilised. So I got to learning how to animate any illustration made on my mobile phone while stuck in traffic, and everything below was borne out of my non-stop trial and errors.Read More
On a daily basis, I spend about 4 hours cumulatively commuting to and from work. Since I am stuck in Lagos traffic everyday, I'm constantly in search of new creative ways to spend my time. A large number of passengers are always glued to the screen of mobile phones, as I usually am, so I started using my travel time to sort of draw, based on everything experienced on Lagos Roads. Using the arrangement of basic shapes I tell the story of what I read,saw or heard while on my way, and I call them TRAFFIC DOODLES. I share them via twitter, and instagram daily.I have also compiled a number of them here for your viewing pleasure. You can follow @trafficdoodles on Instagram to stay updated.
Why we live in a time of so much lethargy eludes me, most of us all have lost what makes us humans; truly we are now shadows of what we were created to be, a distant semblance of what beings that have such amazing intellect should be capable of. I basically hate the world every time I lift my gaze and open my ears in curiosity. At this point all I do every passing second is echo the words from Charlie Chaplin’s character in The Great Dictator; and to a great extent, I believe sacrificing a few minutes of yours to listening to these words might stir something in you. So please, hit the play button.
Anyone who really really knows me can say one thing about me; I am obsessed with the Game: Plant Vs Zombies, why I relish the sight of brains being consumed by Zombies and play it a million and one times a day is beyond even me. The bloody game is even now part of my bed-time ritual, before I tune -into Radio slumber, I gotta just have my fix of Plant Vs. Zombies. This video below just perfectly captures my Zombie fascination, all thanks to @thesmilinghat. All I did was share a story with him and he brought it to life the craziest way possible. Collaboration is everything!
The beauty of riding in a Lagos yellow bus can sometimes be breathtaking: from the excessive lapping that happens, to the charitable passengers offering to pay your transport fare ( that's a scare and a tale for another day).
The experience just never seizes to amaze me-the headroom some of these buses offer cannot even be rivaled by some Boeing flight birds. The wary look of hustle plastered on all the faces within the bus is always quite a delight. The clash of colognes and sweat might want to choke you, but if you prepared yourself for it all,All you will do is smile.
Smile at all the dreams housed within the moving death-trap. The driver will stop so many times trying to correct the sparks flying from his battery terminal. The conductor will suffer partial hearing loss when you ask him about your change( balance) and then the bus tyre will go FLAT,confirming your much dreaded thought. You get delayed for eternity in the middle of the road, while he attempts to fix a spare tyre. The spare tyre finally gets fixed at which point your ears are already ringing with the blares of car horns, you sigh deeply thinking finally you are on your way home...Then the Death-Trap's battery refuses to start ....Tayuuun...yuuuun....yuuuuun!
Welcome Back to Gidi
Doing absolutely nothing about the state of affairs of your country is often considered a suicidal act, but then what happens to an individual who dared to speak up for the need to do something,and then back-pedals? Nigerians have been pretty cruel to 2face Idibia over the past number of days, and most especially today the 6th of February,2017 because of a protest he identified with. He changed his mind last minute for reasons that we are not all very clear about,but then people have gone haywire as regards his reputation. In truth, I won't go throwing verbal jabs at this dude who decided to pull out (wink) . His music does me all the justice i need.
Asking the world a not so innocent question. We all thought this nightmare was a joke, but it has surely come to rob us all of our common sense. I never for once thought that in my lifetime I would see so much hate envelope the times,but it surely is what we are dealing with right now.
I know not why I bleed not,
my heart fills a path that strangles my soul.
All seems dull and dark beyond night,
the journey has become one of blood and sweat
but not tears, for a stone took the place of the gentle beating giant within.
The rebel in me is long gone,
she must be found, she must be;
her tender ways and thrilling voice is needed
to soothe my night and love my mind.
As the wind blows, and brushes my skin,
I shut my eyes for times long gone.
In search of memories that shine bright and true
and taste the future in the air.
I follow your shadow no more
No more, I say…no more .
GIF Credit: Babble Creek Monster
If you are anything like some weird guy I know (which I pray to the high heavens, you are not). Once 2 or 3 days have gone by and he has not learnt anything new, he gets grumpy for no reason at all; responds reluctantly to greetings, flies off the handle over mere jokes and makes minimal talk with annoying facial expression. Pretty sad but I find it interesting.
So to save all of us from weird grumpy friends like mine, I have decided to share the one stop destination that is perpetually thrilling and informative. A podcast that will fill any mind in leaps and bounds,with knowledge that will jettison all forms of grumpiness. The most amazing thing about every single episode of this podcast called 99% Invisible is that each one is brilliantly produced and is a virus you will most definitely share shamelessly without protection.
I can not point you to any favourite episode, right now, because I love every one of them equally for the depth of research and style of presentation employed.So if for any reason you have a mental itch to scratch or you have any Mr or Mrs Grumpy for knowledge in your life, just head over to 99% Invisible to get your mind blown. You will thank me later (I hope).
GIF Credit: Sander Van Dijk
Something has to be done, I pick up this bloody device close to 40 times a day, and I think I just might have withdrawal symptoms while in meetings, as I battle my mind to stop reminding me that I might just be missing out on something going on.
It is great that some of us have escaped the Crazy world of Blackberry, with that crazy red-light blinking to remind you of a new chat message or some irrelevant news event. Back then it was easy to blame the LED lights on the phone as the reason for constantly picking it up, but now with most mobile devices without the evil blink, things are even crazier.
I am not alone. According to the latest report by Ofcom, the UK communications industry regulator, which released figures a couple of weeks ago; the average amount spent online has more than doubled from 9.9 hours a week 10 years ago to 20.5 hours. And most of this online addiction is done on mobile phones.
Meanwhile, a separate report suggests that the average Briton checks his/her phone 50 times in one day. I wish I could quote accurate statistics for Nigerians on their mobile phones. I for one know that I need to break this addiction. It is getting to a point that I might just start introducing myself “AA” style- “Hi, I am Seyi and I am an addict”.
The first thing I reach for every morning is my mobile phone. My hand just goes on in search of it in the dark (Thanks IE,EKEDC etc), until it surfaces and blinds me with its bright back-light and then I struggle to adjust its and my focus. And throughout the day in moving vehicles, within meetings, in between conversations I still stare at it…and in the short time it has taken me to write this piece, I have picked it up about 4(four) times to verify and check random things I had no business looking for. I am so looking for the best way to break this bad habit. WHAT ABOUT YOU?
P.S- I do love distractions when working...hmmm...maybe, that's why I constantly pick up my phone :)
Image Credit: Nicolas DC
Last night was really a rude awakening of the society around me. Thanks to the Buhari economy,I had to do a lot of Public transportation (a delight whenever it happens). So I flagged down this tricycle (Keke Marwa) at the dead of the night and announced my destination, he motions me in and starts to move like he belongs in the world of Need For Speed.Read More
I hope to high heavens to never stop playing.Read More
As creatives, we need to constantly remind ourselves that the more experiences we have the higher the chances of our minds coming up with ideas that scare the hell out of us. Too often we remain chained to our desks and try without end to be creative. The restriction in motion seems to seize the free flow of ideas, making this work we love. so much harder than it ever should be. The deadlines will always exist, and the demand for fresh perspectives and thinking will never go away, so let's do ourselves a favour and escape often to improve what we see and what we think. So my friend, if you are reading this, you really do need some time off. Get off the damn desk and go for a long walk, exactly what I will be doing right now, but I think I will keep my phone on (just incase) *wink*
My Guest Post on the Luerzer's Archive
It's time for African creatives to step into the spotlight, argues Nigerian creative Owalawi Seyi in his guest post for Lürzer's Archive.
A couple of weeks ago, all every boxing lover and non-lover could see was news about the fight of the century between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. It was difficult to escape the hype. From the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas to almost all TV screens, mobile phones and laptop screens in the far continent of Africa, you just had to know something was going down.
But why can’t Nigerian (African) creatives have this same type of reception and talk value for whatever work it is they create daily? My guess is; many of us are contented with being local champions.
We have become jaded to the profession we felt so passionate about at one point in time. We have gotten used to; “Do it the client's way”. We move over, forget about it and deny when any of our friends ask if we had anything to do with the ad or campaign. This bothers me a lot, so I have tried to itemise some reasons why our work has very limited talk-value outside the confines of our country.
The majority of our creatives only do work similar to that of the foreign agencies they admire, replicating their work and styles, rather than invent one that is organically ours.
We really have failed to own and propagate our very own voice, texture, typography that speaks to our deep cultural heritage and rich customs.
Our press ads, tv, quasi-digital campaigns and radios are only slightly localised variations of those we have seen on the pages of certain magazines or ad forums we follow. With this mindset, majority of our works are rarely perceived as original when seen by the international community we intend to impress.
All this money - for what?
A large number of Nigerian agencies would never part with thousands of dollars just to give an ad the perfect 3D finish or give it the splendid image retouching that instantly glues the target to the intended message.
We try to do cheaper, faster imitations that end up looking like badly cloned doppelgangers. Trying to beat other western markets that have gotten a better grasp of how much financial commitment is required to create every creative piece will continue to limit our chances of competing and showcasing our best on a global scale.
Creative vs Client Services
An unfortunate great divide exists between these departments, and it constantly affects the kind of work that can be created by most agencies here.
Too often, the creative department is allowed to grow in isolation of what the client service department knows of its works, hence, the client service department has little to no knowledge of what the creatives do or how best to strategically sell their works to the clients. When the client service executive has no knowledge of the latest trends, ad styles or campaign gimmick, how can (s)he sell the client on a totally novel idea?
The Client is King
The saddest bit of it all for me is the actions of the brand managers. They focus more on meeting the numbers, sales targets for specific financial quarters, rather than thinking about investing in a long-term identity for the brand in order to totally set it apart from the competition. What is requested of most agencies is the simplest of low-budget communication that just helps them meet the sales target beforehand, and the future of the brand can wait.
All of these are quite a few elements of what inhibits our global creative footprint, in my opinion, and I believe we need to keep fighting the good fight to change them, and make ourselves seen as global creative players.
Are you an African creative?
Owolawi Seyi is a copywriter with several works published in Luerzer’s Archive, and he has what he calls a fancy title at SO&U, a Nigerian ad agency (pictured above). Do you agree with his thinking, that it's time African creatives stepped into the international spotlight?
Please follow the link to view more Luerzer's Archive articles; http://luerzersarchive.net/en/blog/blog-detail/why-do-african-creatives-remain-unseen-und-137.html
I look all around me, ponder why so many things have decided to take such twisted turns.Why my beloved country constantly shocks and amuses? I have no clear understanding of why, but I have a consistent,yet defining tune in my head,and I am sure some weird people I know might too