Today we introduce you to the multi-talented Lennox Ogada, a lover of fine art, dancer and tattoo artist. Coming from a family of creatives, Lennox developed his passion for art since he was 6 years old.
“My dad has been my biggest mentor and inspiration since childhood. Seeing him draw was fascinating and gave me the desire to follow after his footsteps. When he later on discovered my passion for art, he supported me by supplying all the tools I needed”, he says.
In school, Lennox drew comics which he sold to fellow students for some little cash. He entered and won in several school art symposiums.
I got to interview Lennox recently and what I noticed about him is that he is a humble young man who is passionate about his craft. He is energetic, fun to work with and enjoys life as it is.
Was art something you knew you would pursue as a career from the start?
Absolutely! I always knew this is what I wanted to pursue from an early age. When I completed high school at Malindi Progressive, I had already made a name for myself in this field, and I decided to fully dive in.
What type of art do you deal with?
Abstract, fine art/representational art and non-objective. I do animation, calligraphy, ceramics, computer, Christian or religious, conceptual, artistic design, drawing, folk, graffiti, graphic, illustration, painting, photography, sculpture and video.
How much did you sell your first piece of art?
I sold my first piece of art to Armando Tanzini at Kshs. 1,000 when I was 8 years old. It was a landscape of a famous city that I drew using water colors.
Have you ever attended any art exhibition?
Yes. I attended Malindi Art & Business Exhibition last year and got several business leads.
From which artists do you draw inspiration from?
Marco Grassi, Ferhat Edizkan, Stanley Arinze, Maloart and Clavers Odhiambo
How long does it take you to draw one piece of art?
3 days for simple art/ abstract, 1 week for complex portrait and 1 month for illustration
On average, how much do you make per month from art?
It varies with the demand. But currently I make like 45-50k per month.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your work?
Irregular flow of clients. Sometimes I draw and work stays for some time before making a sale.
Is Malindi a good place for this kind of work?
Yes. Especially being a tourist place. My dad moved from Homabay to Malindi in 1994 and has been doing art here ever since. My uncle came here in the 80s and thrived as an artist too.
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What’s your dream for the next 5 years?
Owning a nice gallery, travelling the world, showcasing my work and become famous.
I realize you are a dancer too, how did that happen?
I found out I was very interested in music and dance movies when I was very young. I started dancing when I was 8 years. My parents were originally dancers when they were young and so that inspired me to become a dancer. I officially became a part of a crew with my sister when I was 12 and she was 11. Being able to burst some moves and do incredible styles which amazed people, that’s when I knew I was a dancer.
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How has dance affected your life?
Fame. I’m known. I’ve become very popular through dancing. It also pays and that helps me clear some bills. Being famous is really a great thing. People respect me and appreciate me. Some I don’t even know but they still want to associate with me. It’s a good thing.
Do you dance as a hobby or as a career – to make money?
I dance as a hobby. Though I’m getting paid for it. 😁
You just woke up, what is your typical day like?
I go to shower and clean my room. Then I go prepare my cereals, eat then do some basic exercise like press ups and sit ups, browse through my phone; Look into what’s trending in the internet. Surf through dancers and artists. Then practice mentally from what I see on the internet. Being that I run a tattoo business and a movie shop, I make sure to follow up on that before painting. Later I go to my workshop and start painting. When I start painting it’s 11am and I can’t stop until 3pm and that’s when I take my lunch then go for a swim for about 1 hour (break) and go back to painting until evening at 6pm. When I stop painting I browse again and watch a movie or two before taking my supper with my girlfriend. At 11pm I sleep.
What other talents do you posses or wish to pursue?
I rap. I always hope to be a musician someday. It’s in me. I tend to be very observant in the music industry and this makes me able to do anything I want. I have a record I made about 4 years ago. I went to the studio and rapped. I made a song called “Prayers” and it really trended. I’m glad it did. I also have other few records I made but it was for fun. The only serious record was “Prayers” which I sang about life and God.