Intro Happy Thanksgiving, to readers who are celebrating. To mark this special occasion, I would like to highlight the work of my wonder twin, Isreyah Pradabvate. She is an early childhood educator, entrepreneur, former United Nations UNESCAP volunteer translator. She works full-time in a leading Japanese entity in Thailand. In this post, I pay tribute to artists and activists like her who give their time and talent towards making the world a better place for future generations. So proud of you, my sister.
Project details Hello everyone, my name is Isreyah Pradabvate. I am an early childhood educator, entrepreneur, former United Nations UNESCAP volunteer translator and an NFT creator with a full time job in a leading Japanese entity in Thailand.
“Kin Plaa Kaeng” (in Thai this means “Love Eating Fish”) is a project initiated by the co-founder of a startup where I used to work. His name is Krit Sangvichien, and he works with me, as well as with Kansuda Koompairoj, who is the project president and community leader.
Love eating fish Kin Plaa Kaeng has one objective: To turn small schools in rural Thailand into self-sustaining food producing locations. Because of depopulation and a centralization of economy that circulate only in big cities. Small schools are being shut down. Imagine what will happen to those children in affected areas?
Also, children consume insufficient amount of protein in their daily life. Due to many social issues which I would love to avoid getting into it. Protein is the most important nutrition that we need. We are made from Protein. Our brain, heart, muscles, body consume protein as their food.
Reason Unfortunately, good or alternative protein in Thailand is as expensive as in the United States. Balance that with the fact that people here are still facing unemployment due to the pandemic and even before. As a result, they can not earn enough to provide to their family. So how could they afford healthy meals for themselves and their children?
In some areas, children are able to only have streamed rice with fish sauce. Schools here have provided lunches but with a small budget, some people take advantage of the funds distributed so the meals never reach the children themselves.
Solution We came up with the idea of building a fish pond. We wanted to turn every poor school into self-sustaining food providers with at least one pond per school. We want parents and the community to be sure that they don’t need to worry about making a bigger income to provide good meals for their children. Some children do not even have breakfast because their can not afford material to prepare for them.
Outcome We have built one pond for Champanuang School in Srisaket Province in Thailand. Crowdfunding is done via this site linked here. We would love to build another pond for this school. And we want to build at least one pond for every school because they told us that they were really happy with the outcome.
We want the children have delicious fish to eat and fill up their tummies. In the morning, some children will go to school, knowing that they will have free good food to eat. For the sake of a better world, let us work to raise the quality of life of these children.
Outro Thank you for reading this presentation. It takes Isreyah 10 hours by train to travel to the Champanuang School in order to oversee this project. And she wants to build more ponds in more schools. Amazing that she gives so much of her time to helping others, and I am hoping that you will be inspired to continue doing good work in your own communities. Until I hear from you, be good.
Intro Hello everyone, and welcome to this showcase of contemporary art which features fine artists from the African continent. This past Sunday, I hopped into a Twitter space hosted by Apah Benson, Black Mamuu and Xader. I knew it was my chance to uncover the fabulous work that has been hidden under lockdowns, cryptocurrency restrictions and social media bans. But that is their story to tell. Read all about it as you scroll through.
As you browse the showcase and read the stories presented here, remember that social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are helping artists to move into the mainstream. I invite you to support my guests today by browsing their portfolios, and sharing them with your friends and acquaintances. Thank you.
MAX I am a digital artist from Nigeria. My work is heavily inspired by portrait photography and surrealism. I create abstractions using mostly female characters to express my way of seeing the world: as an blend of contrasts and opposites. I present that vision using black and white, dull and glossy textures, or vibrant and soft colors. Follow me on Twitter.
Elisha Nyong Hello. I am Elisha, a traditional painter and visual surrealist also based in Nigeria. I am known as a pro women’s rights and mutual representation activist. My artwork explores dreams and I use dry-brush techniques to accomplish that. You can find my work listed on Foundation. I am also showcasing my work on Twitter.
Apah Benson I am Apah Benson, digital artist and poet based in Nigeria. I am a graduate of the University of Benin, and work as a digital marketer. Below you will see one of my creative photography portraits, Mystique.
Black Mamuu I am a photographer and artist based in Warri, Nigeria. My work features portraits of people with heavy contrasts and colours. I use colors to explore different forms of identity. I started selling digital art about a month ago. As I did so, I found out that the two biggest parts or processes are currently banned in my country Nigeria.
A Twitter ban and a cryptocurrency ban prevent Nigerians like me from joining the world of digital art (the Metaverse) at this revolutionary time in history. But as usual, we found loopholes in the form of VPN software. We used them to access Twitter, and we used peer to peer (p2p) trading to access the cryptocurrency markets.
Neither is ideal, but it’s our forced reality and we have to work through it if we want to be part of the global art community. Last year, both Twitter and cryptocurrencies were instrumental in the successful #EndSars (hashtag End SARS) protest against police brutality in Nigeria. You might have seen it on the news. It is my firm belief that Twitter and crypto are banned because of the effectiveness of the campaigns.
Recently, there has been an aggressive crackdown on peer to peer trading and the banks are shutting down accounts thought to be used for trading cryptocurrency. So, for a typical Nigerian to access cryptocurrency trading platforms, we have to be very creative.
I find that the NFT community is the easiest and fastest way for Nigerian artists to get recognition and value for their work. I made my first sale a few weeks ago, and it was life changing because it felt like I was finally being rewarded for all my years of hard work.
Luchong I am a digital artist from Nigeria and I make art on my mobile phone using the Autodesk Sketchbook software. My art comes from a deep place filled with many emotions that I often times cannot explain or express. I love creating beautiful paintings to show that there is beauty in everything we experience as humans.
Above is a recent painting of mine which I call “I have rollers in my hair”. I created it to express what it is like to be in an environment that tries to bring you down and crush all your efforts. This is about struggles we face in our daily lives.
Being a digital artist in Nigeria and getting into cryptoart, I have been faced with many challenges, ranging from the crypto ban and Twitter ban. In spite of all this, my love for art pushes me to keep creating and showing my art to the world however I can. That’s me in that tweet below. I thought I would show myself to my friends and colleagues. Mentioned in the tweet are Benson and Gus, two of my artist friends who are also featured in this post.
The Queen Mother NFT depicts the Ivory Mask of the legendary 16th century Queen Idia of the Ancient Benin Kingdom. Queen Idia,known as the great warrior queen, after the death of her husband, raised and led an army to fight off adversaries and ensure the reign of her son as the King of the Edo people of the Ancient Benin Kingdom.
The Ivory Mask of Queen Idia was looted from the Benin Kingdom, among other artworks, during the British Benin Expedition of 1897. It is currently held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The Queen Mother (TQM) NFT will serve as a members-only access for holders as the project leaders release initiatives and rewards to bridge the gap between non-fungible tokens and the physical world. Tokens can be purchased on Open Sea via the Polygon blockchain.
Gustus My name is Augustus Poku Sarkodee (Gus Sarkodee on Twitter) and I’m a multi-genre photographer from the beautiful West African country of Ghana. My work is greatly influenced by color and composition and I explore many different techniques most of the time. I recently started listing my work as non-fungible tokens. It has been an amazing journey so far, because I get to meet all these talented artists. At the moment, my work is listed for sale on both Known Origin and Opensea.
Xader Hello, I am Alex, a Nigerian student who is working to make a name for myself as a digital artist. I took a liking to the anime style of illustration mostly because of how extreme it gets when describing pretty much anything. I’ve been actively drawing for three years now and only got into the digital space in October, 2021.
It is very difficult to sell my art as non-fungible tokens based in my country because of all the restrictions set up by our government. Trading in cryptocurrency is illegal. There is also a Twitter ban so we must use VPNs to access Twitter to promote our work. On top of that, there are major power outages, which makes it difficult for some of us to use electronic devices to make art.
Kiel Orji I am a digital artist and street wear designer from Lagos, Nigeria. I am exploring youth culture and radicalism with a colourful rebellion against socio-political nuances of life in my home country. I am the mind behind Odd Surface and the co-founder of an independent creative collective, Popartii.
My creative practice is an exchange between working over a variety of surfaces, from digital paintings and murals, to luxury fashion apparel and footwear. For my clothing brand, I create statement pieces that are a professional reflection of his cool, calm collective ideals and with specificity, which are pleasing to the senses. Currently, I create skull art NFTs, which I have listed on various platforms, like Foundation and Open Sea.
Ololade I’m a fine art photographer and NFT from Lagos, Nigeria. The journey to establish myself as a digital artist has not been the easiest for me and other creators from Nigeria as you may have read earlier in this post. Twitter and cryptocurrencies are the major means of putting ourselves out into the world and sharing our art. Regardless, we find unconventional means of promoting ourselves and our craft with strong beliefs in our creative ideas to spark conversations on topics around the world. There are many stories to be told.
Famous Umobuarie/Fame Identity I am a hyperrealist artist, and I create realistic drawings using a pencil and other mediums, such as a ballpoint pen. I was born in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. I started drawing at the age of five on the back of my notebooks, chairs, doors, and on walls. I generally draw from the things going on around me and my environment, society, and circumstances to see if an idea, emotion, or critique can be communicated using bodies, symbols, and titles.
People around me are amazing and I use different amazing souls as inspiration when creating a drawing. Our need to effectively communicate with each other is essential. If we cannot communicate, we cannot truly bond with each other. This is why I use my work to communicate with others and tell their stories. Some of my portfolio work is seen on Art Station. Most recently, my artwork was featured on the Instagram account of Open Sea, the most well-known ethereum based NFT sales platform.
Godiva Omoyuri/4th Finger Studio I am a fine art portrait photographer and a collage digital artist from Edo state, raised in Lagos, Nigeria. I am the creative director of 4th Finger Studios. My artwork showcases the beauty in human diversity; self-love; equality, and other societal paradigms. My objective is to normalize weird and embrace what is different. My goal is to inspire those who see my work to live above the status-quo, to get off that labeling, and be our own standard of beauty while also letting people discover that there is beauty in being unusual.
Chuma Anagbado I am a multi-disciplinary artist & designer whose work cuts across traditional, digital, and emerging creative mediums. My work reimagines Igbo culture and identity. I am the co-founder of Nigeria’s first multidisciplinary design firm, and I work to shine a light on human capacity development, identity, and social impact. In my work, I reimagine functional ways of using both material and non-material aspects of Igbo existence in designing new structures and narratives that people can use to help build a sense of identity, spirituality, and community.
Special Guest: Subhash Nair My name is Subhash Nair, and I am a wildlife photographer from India. Currently, I am ambassador for Nikon India and Oppo Mobile India. Africa is one of my favourite places for photographing wild animals, and I travel there two or three times every year. Nature and its creatures are amazing and we can learn a lot from them. I am at my best when capturing animals in their natural habitats.
I think people who don’t love nature and wildlife cannot love anything. Places like Masai Mara and Amboseli are like second homes to me. I visit the Masai village when ever I travel to Masai Mara. My most recent visit was in October, 2021. Besides the wildlife, what fascinates me are the people, food and culture of Africa. Everything attracts me and I am happy to say that I have made many friends there and will be back to visit soon. Stories from the Wild is my collection of photography compiled from five years of exploring Africa, India and Indonesia. They are listed on the ethereum NFT platform Open Sea. Follow me on Twitter, or for a spectacular wildlife safari, find me on Instagram.
Tell us about yourself, Ishika I am a self-taught abstract artist living in London. I work spontaneously and mainly for myself. It is something that heals me, gives me hope and makes me feel free! I am never myself without my colours. The best of me, the happiest of me, is when I am painting. Sometimes I paint only for the very reason people want to talk to communicate. Vibrant colours become my voice when nothing else works.
Is it difficult to create abstract works of art? My abstract paintings came naturally to me. Expressive abstractionism has been my comfort zone from the very beginning of my journey as an artist. It gives me much-needed freedom and I feel at home painting in this style. I feel that it unlocks the aspects of my personality that otherwise would lie dormant, remaining silent and nebulous.
Describe your art, style or process My art is mainly concentrated on abstract expressive mixed media (oil and acrylic). Each one is deeply reflective, and I try to make them fly beyond the borders of the canvases I paint on. Mixed media allows me to be spontaneous, and the whole process seems playful and adventurous to me. Often my subconscious mind takes over, and the process feels quite liberating. I do what I feel like, no plans, no rules whatsoever. This world is so full of rules, so I reach for that sense of freedom while painting.
Tell us more about your inspiration My paintings are inspired by music and poetry. Each painting tells a story from my life, including my own traumas or happy memories. Many of my paintings are inspired by Charles Bukowski, Ogden Nash, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling, Jibanananda Das or Sylvia Plath’s poems. The emotions and the messages I find from their powerful poems are what I translate into paintings.
Do you have a team or do you work alone? As a full-time artist, I have worked on collaborative projects, such as book and CD cover design, collaborations with a carpet company and also with an industrial designer who has designed chairs based on my artwork.
Tell us about your new home world, Twitter I joined the NFT community on Twitter a few months ago and have already sold a number of non-fungible tokens on the Foundation platform. Right now, I am collecting digital art as I enjoy being part of an amazing group of talented artists and creatives. For me, this is about having a family outside your family. I enjoy being in a community that supports me without judgment. This is a great place for artists who are not here for financial gain but who want to feel accepted. No other platform, no other community, can provide me with that support and love I receive here.
How do you establish your brand presence? Apart from Twitter, NFT, Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, I am also curating an art promotion page on Instagram for Involute Magazine, which I co-founded with my talented artist friend Pratik Chitte. Pratik is a brilliant charcoal artist from India. Together, we feature artists from around the globe. Pratik also interviews artists for the magazine’s blog, which is hosted on WordPress. We do this to support the creative community internationally.
Any final thoughts? As editors and curators, Pratik and I believe that each work of art tells a beautiful story to our viewers. Art is like a powerful vessel that connects all of the scattered fragments of our innermost feelings. They make us look deeper inside ourselves. Now, if you happen to be on Instagram, please visit our profile page and let us have your feedback. We would love to hear from you.
Best wishes for All Souls’ Day, everyone, and welcome to a special photography showcase. In this post, I will introduce award-winning photographer, Street Spirit, Sreeranj Sreedhar. We became acquainted during a space (Twitter Spaces) and enjoyed some pleasant conversations. Then, after I asked 3D artists to hang out here, one of Sreeranj’s followers told me I had to create a feature here for him. I knew he was an esteemed photographer, so I sent him a message and held my breath.
I was relieved when he agreed to be featured. And then, we took our time and worked out the details. One of the things they never teach you about social audio is that a good host needs situational awareness. Social spaces tend to flatten hierarchies. Which means that if you are present, you are equal to everyone. But your authority as a host is defined by your ability to pick out the jewels from among the crowd. And you do that by listening.
Reading the atmosphere surrounding people is important because some of the most special ones have humble spirits. This skill will bring opportunities to meet and learn from the best and brightest. This was how I came to know about Sreeranj. He has a gift for capturing the colorful sights of his hometown, Kerala, India.
For the past three years, Sreeranj has worked as a full-time photographer. During this time, he has documented the culture and traditions in his hometown. Before that, for twenty-eight years, he held a corporate position in Dubai.
Sreeranj became interested in photography in 2011, when he became fascinated by unusual moments of daily life, including festivals all over the world. He has attended masterclasses by Magnum Photos and other respected photographers in order to fine-tune his skills.
He now gives photo tours in addition to hosting workshops and being a mentor for aspiring photographers. If you are interested, you can register for them via his website. He is the administrator and curator for various photography groups from India and Dubai. Sreeranj is one of the eight members of the Indian street photography group, ‘In-Street Collective’.
Presently, he is working to document all the major festivals and cultural events of Kerala. He wants to help promote some of the dying art forms in the region as well as to encourage artists to continue celebrating them. Through his activism, he hopes to encourage people to engage in responsible tourism.
His photography has been exhibited all over the world. In print, he has been published in National Geographic, NatGeo Traveller India, Lonely Planet Traveler Magazine, Digital Photo Magazine USA and Wanderlust Travel Magazine UK, among others. He has also received many photography awards in this short span of time. His portfolio can also be seen at his website, sreeranj.com, where you can purchase photos. On socials, you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Notes: Today is Tuesday, November 2, All Souls’ Day, and this post is dedicated to the late father of our guest. Sreeranj lost his father right after agreeing to be introduced to you here, and because of that, he was not able to connect with me until this past weekend. To readers who have lost loved ones in recent years, this post is also dedicated to you.