Oboh Moses / How Illustration Changed My Life
Born in Nigeria to a family with modest beginnings, I have wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember. Right from when I was 7, I just loved to draw, but it seemed as though no one truly valued the craft.
Back then, artists weren’t given the recognition they deserved. Many people, including my parents, would tell me that becoming an artist wouldn’t get me far in life. My parents didn’t believe that art was a practical career; they valued academic success. Though I was quite good in school, I always felt that missing link. I wanted more for myself – something I could only find in art.
When COVID struck in 2019, I knew it was now or never. I decided to take my art seriously and to pursue my passion. There was no time to waste and no excuses to make! I needed to educate myself, which renewed my interest in learning. I needed to invest in the right tools and resources. I had to convince my parents that these investments were worthwhile. They got me my first laptop and a graphics tablet.
In 2020, I received a message from Anna Goodson asking whether I was interested in being represented by the agency. That moment jump-started my professional career. The sudden realization that my dreams were starting to become a reality was among the happiest moments of my life so far. My parents were shocked until I got my first pay-check! It was George Patisteas, Design Editor of The Boston Globe Book Review, one of the most reputable newspapers and Design Editors in the USA, who hired me first and gave me my first break. Here’s one of the most recent commission’s I did for The Boston Globe.
It has now been three years since I started painting digitally and I can tell you that becoming an illustrator has completely changed my entire perspective on art. It has also made me inherently more curious, optimistic, and appreciative of everything around me. As a shy person, I am able to express myself through my art. Not to mention that I am financially able to meet my own needs while also supporting my parents in these challenging times.
I still remember when I had to go from one friend’s house to another because I didn’t have power, so that I could keep creating art. It was tough, but I was proud to eventually afford a generator.
With the guidance and kindness of Anna Goodson, I have had the opportunity to work with renowned brands like The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Benchmark Education Company, etc.
I believe there is still a lot to be done with my art. I am always looking for new techniques to try and ways to push my artistic skills to new heights. I want to keep getting better and better, and I will never stop learning.
People are increasingly beginning to understand how powerful art can be in uniting us in this ever-changing world. I am forever grateful for this opportunity. Thank you, Anna and Sylvie, for your relentless efforts in making things work out for the best for me and for our ‘Gang’ as a whole.