Continuing with our exclusive content, in dialogue with the artists of our community. This time we talked with David Oreoluwa and Faith Olasehinde, from Aroba Animation Studio.
Aroba Animation Studio, is an innovative animation studio, established in Nigeria, Africa, and its main objectives are to make the cultural heritage of Africa known to the world, through its animated films.
In this interview, David and Faith reveal their inspirations, their goals, their dreams, as well as tell us about their main projects.
Without further ado, we leave you with our guests from Aroba Animation Studio, David and Faith.
Phani: Guys, how was Aroba Animation Studio born and developed.
Aroba Animation Studio: David Oreoluwa and Faith Olasehinde’s path crossed at the Federal University of Abeokuta.
David Oreoluwa was passionate about music and art in all its forms, while Faith Olasehinde was vast in the animation space. The two great minds met, and Aroba Animation Studio was cofounded in the year, 2021, to produce irresistible ‘edu-taining’ (coined from the words educating and entertaining) animation superhero movies and content that preserve our rich African cultural heritages, making it a movie produced for the family. Aroba simply means folklore or storytelling.
PH: Could you tell me about the conceptual foundations, mission, vision, as well as the main projects of Aroba Animation Studio?
AAS: Faith and Oreoluwa did a comprehensive survey of the animation film industry in Nigeria, and Africa and discovered that the sector is at the infant stage, using Disney Worlds and Pixar Lab as a standard. Hence, we combined our talents to build an animation company that focuses on the fascinating and rich culture and traditions of Africa, since filming is the greatest archive as far as history and entertainment is a concern.
Our mission statement is digitally preserving African Culture and art, building a talent hub that is passionate about restoring African’s Culture, Art amongst others, also creating a solution that simplifies 3d Animation movie production globally.
We started out by making over 10 scripts available after in-depth exploration into the African history and culture; starting from Nigeria. We started with Green Leaf: the Rise of a Hero, but paused the production of the long-featured movie for a shorter movie due to the high production cost of animation movies generally.
The short film, Moremi: the Epic Battle, was based on the story of a female legend and goddess called Moremi Ajasoro of Ile-Ife, in Nigeria that exhibited rare bravery and love, by sacrificing her only son for the safety of her people trough inspiration of Esimirin river.
The Movie was produced in the space of 4 months, making it the first shot film to be produced at such speed in Nigeria (a record still held in the continent of Africa) even with the challenges faced in terms of resources.
The Movie was premiered on the 26th of April 2022, in the Cinema, at the Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Nigeria. The feedbacks from their fans were mind-blowing, and they were nominated and officially selected in major film festivals, in and out of the country.
Our other project is Kirikou: the Story of the NOK Culture.
PH: What are your main sources of inspiration?
AAS: As a lover of Art and African Cultural Heritage, the Co-founder and I surveyed and discovered that we are faced with “the danger of a single story” The love for art, history and cultural heritage coupled with the heartfelt need to preserve Africa’s cultural heritage is why Aroba Animation Studio stands firm.
We maintain and find inspiration by continual research of our stories and acting a step at a time.
PH: I would like to know about your main influences, and how are they present in the aesthetic of your work?
AAS: Our main influences, either on our projects or as people, is a goal driven orientation. We personally love to see results, and the drive to give a task all it requires is evident. The Aroba Animation team approach every project with excellence in view. It takes more to do more. We are engineered like that. And our results speak the volumes of the work we put in.
PH: What do you believe in? What do you love? What are you afraid of?
AAS: We believe the core of who we are which is fostered by personal experiences and upbringing are Hard work, Prayers, Kindness, Optimism, Integrity and simplicity.
We love a humble spirit, a mind that is ignited and is not afraid to travel far, hands that are not afraid to fail, a mindset of excellence and an atmosphere where love flows.
Afraid of? Nothing. We fear to God only.
PH: Until this date, what has been the most challenging project you have accomplished with Aroba Animation studio, and why?
AAS: That has to be making a long animation movie.
Aroba Animation studio hadn’t gotten a firm foot in the ground when Morèmi came into our books. We had to push and pull in all directions for sponsors, resources. We knew well what Morèmi would be. We weren’t going to go any soft on the projects. We finished the short film in a record-breaking four months. The team was really stretched.
Also, financing the project was also an impediment that made our brows sweat.
PH: Where do you see Aroba Animation studio,10 years from now?
AAS: Aroba Animation would be maximizing her potential by competing with the top best animation studio in Africa and the world. We are fast raising and ready to bring more Afro-futurist movies to your screens. Aroba Animation studio is bigger than Disney or Pixar Lab.
PH: Guys, how was your experience in the world of crypto art?
AAS: Prior to NFTs, we were ‘holders’ of some cryptocurrencies. Then we collaborated with The Artist collective.
PH: Do you think that NFT and crypto art are important for the art of the 21st century? In any case, why?
AAS: Web3 animation is attention-grabbing and unique and can feature collections and points of ownership that can be transferred from one collector to another, making it an interactive experience as well, which will drive a lot of demand, competition, and interactivity throughout the entire project’s lifespan.
Animation is a perfect branding medium for businesses in Web3, and people in the future are much more likely to consume content in different ways than they do today, with V.R. and A.R., through the utilization of headsets such as the Oculus Rift developed by Meta (formerly
Facebook) for example. Being at the forefront of this Web3 evolution can play a key role in gaining access to a whole new market early.
PH: How do you define a successful artist?
AAS: A successful artist has to be that person who is courageous enough to have maintained balance and sanity through the difficulties in various areas. And is as well, creative enough to have his works accepted across all audiences.
PH: What is the concept of art for Aroba Animation Studio?
AAS: Aroba Animation Studio is the African Pixar that will produce irresistible ‘edu-taining’ (coined from the words educating and entertaining) animation superhero movies and content that preserve our rich African cultural heritages for the younger generation to relish. We inscribe, instill the culture of Africa as a whole into animation movies to produce a fusion that will interest the young while preserving the rich, ancient history of our continent.
PH: Guys, tell me about the legacy you want to leave to the world and humanity, through Aroba Animation Studio.
AAS: Aroba Animation Studio would love to have a legacy characterized by creative innovation, timeless storytelling, and a profound impact on audiences across generations.
We aspire to be known as pioneers in the animation industry, constantly pushing the boundaries of technology and artistic expression.
This studio’s legacy would be defined by a diverse range of iconic characters and memorable worlds that have become embedded in the collective consciousness. Our creations would evoke strong emotional connections with viewers, leaving a lasting impression that transcends cultural and age barriers.
Additionally, the studio would be celebrated for nurturing and empowering talented artists,
animators, writers, and visionaries, fostering an environment that promotes collaboration and encourages imagination. This legacy would inspire countless aspiring animators to pursue their dreams and embrace the art of animation as a powerful storytelling medium.
PH: How do you see the world of Art, 20 years from now?
- Technological Integration: With rapid advancements in technology, art is likely to become even more intertwined with digital media and virtual reality.
- AI-Generated Art: Artificial Intelligence could play a more significant role in the creative process, collaborating with artists or even producing standalone artworks. AI-generated art has already gained traction, and it may continue to evolve, raising questions about the role of human artists and the definition of creativity.
- Sustainability and Environmental Art: As concerns about climate change and the environment intensify, art may take on a more prominent role in addressing these issues.
- Diversity and Inclusion: The art world is likely to become more inclusive, representing a broader range of voices and perspectives.
- Fusion of Traditional and Modern Techniques: Artists might blend traditional art forms with cutting edge technology to create hybrid artworks that push the boundaries of creativity. This fusion could result in unique and captivating pieces that appeal to both traditional art enthusiasts and tech-savvy audiences.
- Art as Social Commentary: As society continues to grapple with social and political issues, artists may increasingly use their work as a platform for social commentary and activism. Art can be a powerful medium for sparking conversations and challenging the status quo.
- Personalized Art Experiences: Advancements in data analytics and AI could lead to personalized art experiences tailored to individual preferences and emotions. Art installations or exhibitions may dynamically adjust based on the viewer’s reactions and interactions.
At The Artist Collective, we are very grateful to our friends of Aroba Animation Studio, David and Faith, who opened up their creative world to us, and from their own words, made their wonderful work of incredible animation projects known.
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