Abraham Oshoko is a writer and an illustrator; Farafina finds out if either art has his greater attention…
I started drawing very early. There was this bubble gum when I was little [5 or 6 years old?] it has a wrapper with illustrations of cowboys and Indians. I think that was the first thing that fascinated me. Writing came afterwards, when I came across Battle Picture Library, Commando comics, Marvel comics and so on.
Since I knew how to draw, I wanted to create my own stories just for the fun of being a ‘creator’! It’s funny but I love being alone, creating things.
2. What training, if any, did you receive?
I am self-trained although I did take some distant learning courses in cartooning.
3. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
“There is a spirit in man, the inspiration of the ALMIGHTY gives them understanding.”
4. Which creative process do you prefer, writing or drawing?
It’s quite difficult to have a preference among two different but equally enjoyable creative processes. Writing is unique as you flesh out characters and create scenarios that never existed before [particularly if you are writing fiction]; but drawing is very unique in its own way also.
5. What else have you published besides the June 12 graphic novel series e.g. comics?
I was with Pandora comics for a couple of years and also Kalabash magazine. My works featured in several newspapers and I also illustrate and design children books like Speaking Donkey, Oh! Poor Scorpion, Animal Naming Ceremony etc.
6. How do you go about realising your ideas?
I begin by writing a synopsis [if I am writing fiction, but I read and do research work first if I am writing non-fiction] after which I write the plot and work out the characterization; then I script. It is after scripting that the processes of illustration [like thumb nailing, character design, penciling, inking etc.] takes place.
7. Do you write everyday?
No, I don’t. if I write everyday, I won’t have the time to draw. What I do is writing for a period of time then drawing for a period of time.
8. Do you hole up in a study?
Yes, I do. Creative works requires a high level of concentration and seclusion [at least for me].
9. Do you exercise before writing or drawing?
No, I don’t.
10. Do you write and draw full time?
Apart from teaching the Bible or teaching people how to draw, yes. I write and draw full time.
11. Would you tell us about the Profilix school of cartoon and graphic art?
The Prolifix School of Cartoon and Graphic Art is an art school that covers that aspect of art and creativity that traditional art schools are not offering. Aspects like how to draw, cartooning, characterization, digital painting, animation, illustrating different genres, creative writing and so on.
12. How did it start?
When I located the need and thought of how many years I had to learn on my own and how some of the existing traditional art schools are rigid and place too much emphasis on marks such that students tend to view art from a merely academic exercise instead of it being an expression of life.
Also, when I realized a very powerful fact: EVERY ONE CAN LEARN HOW TO DRAW. THEY JUST NEED THE RIGHT TEACHER.
13. Where is it based?
In my Art studio. 235A Idimu Road, Egbeda-Idimu.
14. Who can apply?
Everyone. Whether a student, a nursing mother, a banker, a career person etc. The only requirement you need is a serious desire to learn how to draw and the willingness to work hard at it.