Category Archives: Arts

#FreedomFriday – From my heart ♥

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Hurrying up to go to work, I move from room to room and back again trying to ensure everything is in place. King Earl walks up to me:

KE: Mum!!! Please can I use your green pen?
Me: No, sweetie. I need to go to work with it.
KE: (protesting) but I need to use it, I want to write something from my heart!
Me: (shocked, but I did the adult face) you can use a pencil or a black pen to write it.
KE: Yes…but I need the green pen because I want to write something from my heart (he insisted)

I’m not given to joking with ‘heart matters’, so I hand over the green pen and continue with my concerns. Time to leave and I ask for my pen.

KE: I’m not through, Mum
Me: I need my pen, baby.

KE hands over the pen with a very sad face 😦 and I put it in my pocket. Picking up the ‘thing from my heart’, I realised it was a really beautiful drawing he had started. “Wow! It’s beautiful baby. I love it!” His face lights up at my words. “Please, draw it well ok. Mummy loves the picture”.

We are not done with the heart matter, but here is what he has done so far. What do you think?

Earl's Heart Drawing

 

WHEN ARTISTS MEET…

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Whenever I’m to go for an event and the ‘stress’ is much, I usually would still go because that tells me there’s something I need to learn there and I’m about to miss out on it. That was the scenario I found myself in before deciding to go for the Connect Nigeria 3rd Writers Conference, tagged “The Business Of Writing” on the Saturday, 21st May 2016, which was my first!

Like I said, I got in quite late with 2 hours left to go and I’m wondering “why did I burn N145 per litre of PMS and a family time-out to get there?”, but I didn’t regret it a bit. I’m still excited and motivated and on a whole new dimension. When it comes to my articles, I’m so looking forward to the next conference. I guess you won’t understand it until I share what is making me gush even days after.

My time there started out with Efe Paul Azino, he is an interesting fellow. If I saw him on the road, I would readily call him a sculptor or painter (he had those hands and keen eyes) but he’s a poet! You see, I was discouraged before now about my poetry, by someone I shared the desire to publish them years back, as in his expert opinion (a doctor by the way) “Nigerians don’t read much, talk-less of poetry”. Listening to Mr Efe say things like

  • To be a really good poet, “your consumption = your production” READ! READ!! READ Everything!!!
  • When it comes to performing, if you like theatrics, go ahead and perform yours like that. If you prefer to read out the poem, by all means, do that. Just perform it the way you are.
  • For a wider audience, try writing poetry in other languages. I’m trying out my pidgin English skills on this one.
  • Find your voice! Be original, so whenever anyone reads your poem, they can tell it’s yours. I would refer to this as your USP!
  • Learn to withdraw amidst all your successes and recreate yourself.
  • Form or join other poetry groups.

…I’m ready to go beyond the stars with the poems.

Mr Onimisi Adaba spoke for 5 minutes on the importance of having audio books, as some of your audience might not be the hard-copy crowd. For an intelligent writer, it is expedient to meet the needs of your diverse crowd in a fast-paced world, “Don’t just do hard copies, bring your words to life with the requisite emotion and pronunciation, using audio books.”

I’m not sure I was expecting to gain much from Ike Nnaebue a renowned Nigerian Movie Director/Screenwriter, as I’m a poetry and prose person, but by the time he started speaking I was yearning for more and already seeing myself as a screenwriter or applying the elements to my poetry and prose. As Mr Ike gave the ELEMENTS necessary for a good Screenplay Writing and I sat awed.

  • The Art of storytelling = The Art of Seduction. Try to woo, lure, entrap, persuade and capture your audience to remain in that world you have created till you are done and ready to release them. I love this! Yummy, I tell you.
  • To be a good writer, continue to ask question, make your audience asks questions too! Do not answer their questions, until you have new questions for them.
  • Have a unique idea. Make your characters, hate-able or likeable to the point that you create an emotional bonding.
  • Make your tale unpredictable by creating unique dialogues. Step out of the norms. Try not to use the first idea that comes to your mind, keep writing, more and better ones will come.
  • Though you are to consider the budget of your market, low budget doesn’t mean mediocre. Let your creative juices flow!

For Okechukwu Ofili, a self-published author and a non-conformist, Self-publishing is the way out. He expounded on his 10 Rules of writing. I love those rules and even when we refer to him as a non-conformist, all he said is a re-enactment of what others said. Be unique, everyone has got the same number of alphabets to work with, be interested in the writing as well as the sales amongst others.

It was a time well-spent seated amongst people with like-minds and if you want more, check my tweets @imaniking . Connect Nigeria Writers Conference 2017, here I come with other writers!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

The Queen is back!

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Needing respite and more inspiration, I quickly grabbed the opportunity by my colleague to follow him to an art Gallery just around the corner. Of course I know I’m going to an Art Gallery, so by default, I’m expecting to see Artworks and more Artworks and probably some ‘crazy looking Artwork!’

But nothing…NOTHING prepares you for the world you are about to step into!

I was blown away!

I felt like a child in her favourite toy shop…I went from one section to the other.

I’m told (and I also noticed) that I hadn’t even gone to the other levels yet.

I’m sure you are already itching to know what happened…hold it!

You see, it’s one thing to walk in somewhere and all you get is that ‘nose-in-the-air’, ‘the-animals-with-horns-were-called-for-a-meeting-and-the-snail-went-also‘ attitude. After being weighed, scaled and found wanting on their faulty scale, no one gives you the attention that should be given to a guest. But not so here. It was all warmth and colours and dress-change. You will understand in a moment as I let the pictures speak.

By the way, I went to Nike’s Art Gallery and meet MAMA! So cool abi? We had a little chat, and she shared great joys in simple things. You could see her love for Arts shine through. She talked about how you could easily create art, whilst showing us Artwork from Bicyle tyres, disposable cups and paper etc. I left there deciding not to throw broken wares away but create beauty and more inspired than when I got there.

I met a Prof or Dr. but sadly I can’t remember his name. He stays in Colombia (I think), Oh my goodness, why didn’t I just write this down. I guess I was too overwhelmed with all the beauty. I met an elderly man, I think it’s Mama’s hubby but I didn’t ask him. We had an interesting conversation and I told him I was married to an artist too. He wanted to know if it was the ‘dada-kind’, told him the ‘afro-pops-kind’ and by the time I showed him King’s picture with his afro and suit looking dapper, he exclaimed “Now that’s a proper artist, I’d like to meet him”. So King got an appointment without seeking one! LOL. Yet to go there though.

Did I mention? She signed my book which I bought there (at a discount) and offered us drinks! Who does that?! I’ll be visiting her shortly for a proper interview and to see the other levels of beauty I had missed out on. I think you should go see things for yourself.

© 2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.