Bekke Popoola who defines herself as ‘almost British, almost Nigerian’, is a graphic artist, born-and-raised in a forever changing Hackney, East London.
“I didn’t choose graphic design; graphic design chose me.” After studying fashion in secondary school, she picked up a keen interest in illustration. She went on to study Art and design in college, and her journey as a graphic artist went into fruition. “I’ve always been aware of how important branding and graphic design is – knowing the history of graphics and how essential it is to create awareness and connections with others.”
Her art allows her to explore, fail, critique; and simply be expressive in any way possible. As she embarks on her first exhibition with her fellow artists, Olivia Mathurin-Essandoh and Kariima Ali, she’s been able to create a space for progressive discussion, enlightenment and empowerment.
“This is probably the biggest achievement of my life so far, I knew this kind of event was needed, but demand has blown me away.” With over 700 people demanding tickets for the exhibition, the tickets were sold out within a few weeks. “The demand for this exhibition has exceeded my expectation, I’ve had mothers and young girls messaging me wanting to get involved in any way possible.”
“I feel nervous when I put out my work as a lot of time, emotion and money go into it. My work is a piece of me – as an artist, you can become defensive over your art.”
“I let things happen naturally – it’s all about improvement and growth. The person I was three years ago is not the way I am now, and how I am now is not going to be the same in the next five years. I don’t see competitiveness as motivation; I see it as a tool to police oneself. In what ways are you competing? Whose gaze are you doing it for?”
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