Freelance artist David Oku experienced many different aspects of the world's culture at a young age through his travels, which greatly impacted his artistry. He ultimately took the leap into being a full time illustrator and found himself working with major brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Reebok. The support he has received throughout his career is reflected in his work, which is full of symbolism of positivity, encouragement and unity. Even his color schemes are bright, strong and powerful. Now, David is embarking on his latest creation… Fatherhood. We caught up with the artist, and new Dad- to talk about how certain events in his life have helped him take risks that have paid off, and helped shape his style.
I have a few homes since I grew up between Germany, Nigeria, Italy and the Uk. But if I had to pick, I would pick London as it is where my career as an artist started to shape itself.
Luther Vandross – Never too much.
What is one thing you can’t work without?
Music, because when I am in my zone it drives my passion for art.
Favorite color combination:
Yellow, red, blue, white & black.
Words to live by?
If you believe in yourself, you can become whoever you want to be.
How did you get your start in the art scene?
It’s funny, but I have been drawing naturally from an early age. Since I can remember, I always drew. I believe I am blessed and was gifted with this talent.
How would you describe your style?
What would you say was the turning point for you professionally?
The turning point for me was taking the risk of becoming a freelance artist. I always felt it would not pay off but instead it did and I even got signed with an Illustration agency. Sometimes fear of taking risks is what pushes us to failure.
You’ve had the opportunity to work on many different projects with some incredible partners, are there any that stand out to you the most?
I have worked across multiple projects and had some big clients on my list, but the brand that will always stay in my heart is Wit Fitness. They have been my clients/family since day one and have always believed in my art, offering me multiple platforms to promote my art and linking me with brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Reebok. Thanks to them I did my first live events, shoe customisations and various campaign designs for the brands they sell in their stores. It's great to have your client believe in your potential and I can’t thank them enough for opening doors I needed to open in order to keep thriving as a freelancer.
You were born in Germany, lived in Milan and then moved to London, how has this influenced your style, if at all?
The impact was massive, as traveling between Europe and Africa as a child really opened my eyes to different aspects of the world's culture.
What type of an impact do you think art has on culture?
Art and culture, for me, are the same word. Since the beginning of time, art has shaped the world and told us the stories of older civilizations. I feel like it is a form of expression that shapes our world on a daily basis.
What projects do you have coming up next?
At the moment, there are no projects for me. I just became a Dad for the first time and am enjoying this new chapter of our lives.
What is the most important thing you want people to take away from your art?
My art is all about positive energy. So I hope when people see my work, they get a smile on their faces and get inspired as we all are artists in our own way. We just need to find our way.
Where can we see more of your work?