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Where did you grow up?

I was born in Nigeria but moved to England, where I spent the early part of my childhood in Portsmouth. From school age I've lived in London. 


What is your artistic background?

I always had a big interest in fashion, which came from my mother, who had a tailoring business for a while when I was young. I choose art subjects in school and spent a lot of my free time taking part in extra courses and taking workshops. In university I finally took the plunge and ruined my parents hopes of me becoming a lawyer or doctor and went to LCF to do my foundation year and then onto CSM to study Textile Design. Since then I’ve been blessed enough to be able to actually work as a Textile designer.


How does your own identity influence your designs?

It wasn’t always obvious to me how my identity influenced my designs and I think that’s  because there are a lot of influences and they are subtle. When I tell people i’m a textile designer they assume I must design wax fabric and seem pretty disappointed when I say I don’t. My Nigerian influence in my designs is probably how I use colour, mark-making and mix patterns. My Western influence is probably in how I curate the collections and finishing processes.


Which other mediums or techniques do you incorporate in your work? 

Although my work looks very graphic, they all start from drawings, paintings, mark-marking or collages. I rarely ever start a design directly on the computer. Maybe in the  future I will make my mediums more obvious. I would like to create some of my prints as woven fabric, that would be pretty cool.

What advice would you give to emerging designers out there?

Even when working for other people, keep creating art for yourself, art that you enjoy doing. It helps. 

"Even when working for other people, keep creating art for yourself, art that you enjoy doing.

It helps." 

OlaOla_Geo Print
OlaOla_Cami Print
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