I came across Stephanie’s Illustrations on Instagram and she caught my attention. I almost felt like a proud sister, and immediately reposted her creative art. I became interested to get to know her more and to hear her story. She is a computer scientist turned painter and Illustrator. Let’s meet her.
Q & A
- Please introduce yourself and your background.
Hello my name is Stephanie Unaeze and I’m a Painter, Illustrator and Visual Artist and computer scientist from Nigeria.
- Please tell us about your work. How did Tiennette1907 start?
My work and my art are mainly based on my imagination and my experiences. Tiennette 1907 is a variation of my name Stephanie and my birthday. For now it’s umbrella under which I am exploring my ccreativity.
- What’s been the path to get you where you are today?
Getting to where I am today has been through hardwork and dedication. I justkept painting, illustrating and putting my art out there. I started the instagram page Tiennette 1907 as my own visual diary and mini art gallery.
- Where do you find the inspiration for your designs?
Everything inspires my work really. My life experiences, the places I’ve been, people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen,the books I’ve read and the music I listen to (especially the music I listen to).
- When and why did you start Illustrating?
I started illustrating and drawing as far back as I can remember really, it’s always been apart of me. It’s something I’ve grown with and grown into.
- Can you remember your first illustration? What makes it memorable?
My first memorable illustration was basically about a little girl who used books as a means of escape from her reality. It was black biro on A4 paper and color pencils.
- What are the challenges you face in business?
I think I face the challenges most young creative’s face , creative blocks, self daught, gaining recognition staying true to your style and aesthetic . and I’m sure as I continue to expand my brand I will have more challenges to face. But it’s all worth it.
- What is your most popular art (kindly include image)?
I think that would be my 3 queens. I did re-imagined portraits of Nerfertiti, Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba.
- To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?
My culture and heritage greatly influence me. They are part of who I am and they make up the guidelines for who I am becoming. I like to show a different angle of black/African women, my images are little quirkier and whimsical than most. And my work is heavily influenced by African beauty trends, hair styles and jewelry.
- What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?
My hobbies include, listening to music, reading, travelling and yoga.
- What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
My goal for the future is to be happy, to create, to give love and receive love.
- What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m introverted, goofy and that I didn’t study art in school and I love to dance.
- For someone who wishes to take up this kind of career, what kind of advice would you give them?
My only advice to anyone who wants to be an artist in general is to never stop working. Just keep at it, even on those days when you feel you are not good enough don’t give up. And stay true to you.
Check out some of Stephanie’s artworks below;
Thanks alot Stephanie for participating in the Exclusive interview on Bellafricana digest. We are so proud of you and excited about your future. Thanks for sharing your craft with the world and inspiring other young people.
Keep up the amazing works.
To reach Stephanie, follow her on Instagram: @tiennette1907, Twitter: @Tiennette1907