Interviews Saturday, December 30, 2023

Bolt the Designer: Illustrating Victony’s World through Artistry and Innovation

In an exciting world where music meets art, shines a brilliant collaboration between a talented Nigerian artist and a creative director who helps bring their vision to light. Bolt The Designer emerges as the mastermind behind the captivating illustrations accompanying Victony’s catchy and infectious tunes. With a keen eye in storytelling and a deft ability to incorporate contemporary designs, they take their audience into their musical world. Bolt gives me a glimpse into his artistic direction with Victony from brainstorming to creatively making magic through a blend of sound and visuals.  With this partnership comes a memorable and lasting impression on the landscape of Nigerian creativity. In this interview with WeTalkSound, we uncover the visual bond between an art director, Bolt and an artist, Victony as they connect with their audiences worldwide and add to the growing impact of Nigerian art on the global scene.

What is your full name and how do you describe your job?

My name is Andrew Odiaka. I am a digital artist and creative director.  As a creative director, I am in charge of everything that happens from marketing to strategic planning, branding and visual representation. I am also responsible for maintaining a cohesive visual for projects and campaigns.

When did you realize this talent and why did you know this is something you want to do?

I started making art as a kid. I think everyone at one point in their childhood can relate to that. I would say I started taking it more seriously in high school. It was a form of escapism and being in my own space which later translated into something I wanted to do. 

In your opinion, what is the key to effective storytelling through visual elements, and how do you ensure your creative work aligns with the brand or message?

I think the key would be what they are putting out. I can’t make something that doesn’t sync with that. That’s the first thing I look out for.  I prioritize my clients because their vision is first but after that, I try to see how I can merge that with my vision. I try to make what we see become an anomaly. This is making  things we see usually become an out-of-the-box vision.

You’re known for your work with Victony, I would love if you could elaborate more on how you met Victony and how the relationship came about?

With Victony, I have known  him for a while now. He is like a brother to me. He reached out to me in 2017. I had a certain knowledge on who he was due to some viral freestyles he used to do. Ever since then, we have been creating magic.

How did the idea for “Outlawville” come about  to be? Could you also elaborate on how its like capturing the essence of his music and persona?

 I think about two years ago that’s when we came about the idea of “Outlawville.” It was very casual. We were watching videos because we get inspired from a lot of artists. We came up with the idea of something that was crazy like “Astroworld” or “Lollapalooza”. Basically, something similar for Victony fans. It was not as simple as this but that’s how it came out to be. It was to bring people into his world. Working with Vic has been one of the craziest parts of my career. He evolves every second and comes up with a new idea every minute. To work with him as an artist, producer, visual director and whatever role, you need a fast mind.

How do you approach developing a creative vision for a project, and what factors do you consider in the initial stages?

Basically, I have to know what the project is about. I have to listen to the body of work and even get my source of inspiration like binging anime or something that represents the project. Different projects, different artworks. 

Can you share a specific example of a challenging creative problem you’ve encountered in the past, and how you approached finding a solution?

I don’t think I can remember having a creative block. I do get that challenge though, especially from a couple of artists I frequently work with. I think about what I have to do again to beat what I did last time. I pretty much just wing it.

What role do collaboration and communication play in your creative process, especially when working with diverse teams or clients?

Firstly, it’s the synergy between me and the artist because we have to sync for it to work. Knowing what their vision is and from there we find ways to depict it visually. Through this, everything falls in place like moodboards, where we get the inspiration and what the colour palette will be. Those things, I communicate with the artist and I like to play around. This is me being out of the box. 

Given the evolving landscape of digital media, how do you integrate emerging technologies and platforms into your creative strategies?

I pretty much started out as a digital artist. People usually transcend from traditional to digital arts but I started digitally. I still do traditional art. Afterwards, I went from using my palms and fingers to something serious. This was understanding colors, and where shadows will fit in. I started studying the whole dynamics and progressing from there. 

How do you anticipate trends evolving, and how do you plan to stay ahead of the curve?

I never pay attention to the trends or what any artist is doing. I am always in my own space and create what I want to do. The art section is crazy and a lot of artists are doing their own thing. 

What are some tips you would give to other artists in launching themselves in the art scene, and also how they can strive for recognition?

There is no certain formula or rule to art. I would not want anyone to pressure themselves. Just keep practising and have confidence to share your work. Don’t seek attention, your work will speak for you and they won’t be able to look away.

Finally, What are your thoughts on the landscape of creative work in Nigeria and how it has developed so far?

Nigeria is a canvas of potential. The creative scene has been tremendous and has seen massive growth. The blend of traditional and contemporary influences is wild. It’s an exciting time to be in. 

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