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Jibola Fagbamiye - Illustrator

Tell us about you
My name is Jibola Fagbamiye and I've been an illustrator for as long as I can remember. I was born in Nigeria but I live in Toronto. Recently, I quit my job to start a social painting studio called Sip and Paint   Sip and Paint is socializing with art and wine, and it’s something anyone can do with friends or family, it’s especially more fun if you have zero art skills.

How did you hear about Manyatta Network?
I heard about Manyatta through a friend.  She told me about it, and I’ve always been excited to come.
Tell us about your profession
I’m an artist. My first love is drawing, and recently I’ve been experimenting a lot with fusing graphic design elements with illustration and traditional painting. Artists who influence me are Klimt, Dali, Warhol and one of my all-time favorite Gariokwu. My website is I’m also on Etsy.  
Being a full time artist is very different from any job I’ve ever had. Apart from running Sip and Paint, I also do art commissions for anniversaries, weddings, and birthday gifts. Often, I exhibit in group shows in the city, for example – this April, I’ll be at a group at Propeller Gallery, Queen West and at the Art Gallery of Burlington in June.
What are your daily challenges?
Trying to balance being an entrepreneur and artist is a bit challenging – but it comes with the territory. For instance, with Sip and Paint, there is a lot of sales, marketing and event planning (to mention a few) involved. In addition to that, I have commissioned work that have hard deadlines, I need to spend at least 5 – 6 hours a day on drawing ( and that’s not enough), I have to apply to galleries, art fairs, grants, competitions, and the list goes on. For Sip and Paint, I get all kinds of requests for private events. Not too long ago, we had a male nude model for a bachelorette party! Try instructing 35 tipsy middle age women about color values and anatomy while standing next to a nude model… Let’s just say it was an interesting experience. With team building too, clients get really creative. However, all things considered, I feel lucky to be able to do what I love, things are good right now and I’m loving life.
What is your vision of the future?
To grow my business is first priority. Getting more people to experience Sip and Paint, I really believe what we’re doing is truly special, getting people who have never painted before to create something, is very rewarding on so many levels. I’ll also like to have more shows, both locally and internationally. I’ll like to exhibit in Lagos, New York, Miami…. Also, there’s still a lot of room to grow artistically, a lot to learn about color, composition and all the technical stuff.
For now, I'm in a good place. I’m happy.