Lanre Adefioye plunges deep into the connection between art and one’s soul as he describes art and design. You can clearly tell that he puts his passion and respect for art first, before any material gains that come with it, as he describes art as “therapeutic to the soul”, and a “medium of healing” that “ignites a peaceful energy in the atmosphere”. This all begins to make sense once you listen to his journey to becoming an artist, and take in his masterclass art. – Tatenda Mark 

Tatenda Mark (TM): Lanre. Great to have you on Alumni Valley. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, being an artist, and how you started Lanre Studio?

Lanre Adefioye (LA): Well it started off with a visit to a master artist as a teenager in Lagos, Nigeria that inspired my path as an artist. This also broadened my creative quest. It served to strengthen my view of life as a gift and art as a medium of healing. I knew I wanted to be a designer so I pursued my dream relentlessly. I have a degree in industrial design/graphic design.

I would say dedication, passion, enthusiasm and innovation are very important for anyone contemplating art/design business.

– Lanre Adefioye

My art is a blend of inspiration and philosophical symbolism. My past, present and future inspires me to create the fusion of art that I craft. My art is therapeutic to the soul and it opens the mind to new possibilities. It ignites a peaceful energy in the atmosphere. My style is a fusion of artistic techniques of pop art with compositional aspect of cubism.

Lanre Studio Art

Lanre Studio Art

…my artworks/product designs are found in private and corporate collections around the World. This is like a dream come true and I give thanks always.

– Lanre Adefioye

With twenty years experience of working in graphic design and print production, finally I decided to go full time with my passion in late 2014. Prior to that, I had been running my business side by side with my daily job in large format and promotional print production.

My first online selling experience was with novica.com in association with National Geographic back in 2001. Initially I started only with my original acrylic on canvas painting. My selling experience with Novica motivated me to learn how to list my items by myself because Novica used to collect crafts from sellers, take pictures, edit the artist write ups about the submitted crafts then put the items online for sale. During this period there were few online craft selling marketplaces.

TM: You really bring out a lot of meaning to your art. It seems to me each piece of art you produce manifests itself beyond a canvas or object. But back to your journey. I understand that at some point in your life you relocated from Nigeria to Canada? Tell us how things went after that. 

LA: Yes, when I relocated from Lagos, Nigeria to Toronto, Canada in 2005, I thought having a website would do the magic sales I used to make with Novica, but it turned out to be wrong.  I did not know what I was doing wrong, so later I started listing my craft with a couple of online craft vendors.  Some customers who had been noticing me from Novica site started searching for my name  and finally sales started coming in gradually with art exhibitions and craft shows.

Lanre Studio Art

Lanre Studio Art

I was really passionate about art licensing, because I thought licensing would expose me to turning my art into product designs.  Finally I signed a couple of art publishing/licensing deals in USA, but publishers only select images that are appealing to them and even ask artists to edit, just to suit them.

I would say to anyone contemplating art business, first and foremost, do not choose art as a career because of money and fame.

– Lanre Adefioye

TM: So how did you go about this obstacle of keeping your work original and still selling it?

LA: When I opened my Etsy store in December of 2011 with my original acrylic hand paintings, I always wanted to incorporate product design into my collections, because I knew buyers love to buy accessories with wall decor, but it was very difficult to do so. Because of time, manpower, space and resources.

When I discovered my manufacturer in late 2014, it was like a dream come true.  Now I have full control of my craft. I sell more than just original art or prints, this allows me to have my art/designs turned into products, thereby, I am able to reach out to more buyers worldwide who are lovers of my art that fit style and space.

TM: So what would you say is your product range?

LA: The products I now carry ranges from open edition Giclee prints, mugs, travel mugs, rugs, window curtains, wall clocks, tote bags, throw pillows, leggings, duvet covers, shower curtains, hoodies, biker tanks, t-shirts, all over print shirts, laptop and iPad skins, iPad cases, iPhone and iPod cases and stationery cards.

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TM: That’s an impressive catalogue of products. In parting, can you tell us a bit about how you handle challenges, and also give parting words of advice to aspiring artists out there.

LA: Just like any business endeavor, challenges are always good if we welcome them as opportunities in order to grow or move forward

I would say for me, being able to totally do my art as a full-time job was the major obstacle and I believe if you can dream it you can achieve it; my artworks/product designs are found in private and corporate collections around the World. This is like a dream come true and I give thanks always.

Lanre Studio - Lanre

Lanre Studio – Lanre

I would say to anyone contemplating art business, first and foremost, do not choose art as a career because of money and fame.

These would find you at the right time, but I would say dedication, passion, enthusiasm and innovation are very important for anyone contemplating art/design business.


Be sure to get in contact with Lanre to find out more about Landre Studio:


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