I think it’s a classic case of our experiences shaping who we are and how we show up in the world, so yes, my upbringing definitely inspires my work. I grew up surrounded by art – my father being an architect meant having a studio and house filled with art. As a young boy, of course, I was actively absorbing all of that consciously and subconsciously. I even started painting at some point.
One major thing growing up in the Eastern part of Nigeria did was inspire a genuine love and appreciation for the culture and tradition, as raw as it can get. I have often found myself chasing that nostalgia and trying to capture memories of that time in some of the works that I create. During my time in Rome, I also absorbed a lot of the art and beauty that was abundant in the city even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I especially fell in love with literature and the world of storytelling and would write all these short stories to express myself. I even got published in the reader’s digest magazine at some point, and as a kid, that was pretty exciting for me. Today, I think that influence shows up in different aspects of my work, yes, but especially in the way I name my projects and the stories I weave around them.