illustration | Deardesigner

Illustration in the Time of a Pandemic.

By David Ofiare, Multidisciplinary Designer.

On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organisation characterised COVID-19 to the general public, as a full-blown “pandemic.” The entire world was officially confirmed as being in another world health emergency. Economies were guaranteed to be shut down, most businesses forced to close down and to be put at the potential risk of ceasing to be businesses. This is not the first time the world has been put in such a situation, but who this article aims to address are Creative Designers and Graphic Illustrators stuck in this general problem.

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Kanso Ogbolu- DearDesigner

In Kanso’s World, The Designer is a Mini-god

Meet Kanso Ogbolu, Creative Director at O.B.K Studios

Kanso Ogbolu- DearDesigner

Kanso Ogbolu is a powerhouse. As a digital executive in the advertising industry, he contributed to the growth and success of various brands in the digital space. He presently runs O.B.K Studios where he serves as the creative director.

As a child, Kanso was surrounded by design and creativity. His mother worked in advertising and his father exposed him to educational books, paintings, statues, toys and a vast collection of music albums. He then went on to obtain a degree in Architecture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He believes, notwithstanding, that formal education is necessary only up to secondary school certification level, and that young people should thereafter choose their own paths along informal settings.

A designer of about eleven years, Kanso started out as an intern and junior architect with two architectural firms before proceeding to Noah’s Ark Communications as a Digital Executive and rose through the ranks to become the deputy group head before creating O.B.K Studios.

Each day’s work plunges Kanso into a chain of recurring processes: identifying characters, creating environments, building dialogues, designing sound, stalking his favorite animators in search of similar things they have done. He then drafts his storyboard, illustrates his characters and environments, rigs the characters, animates them, reworks the sound design and initiates a final clean up.

Some of Kanso’s hilarious and somber animations have gone on to convey deep and clear messages that live-action sequences may not have so achieved. EFInA is a case in point.

With a specialty in motion design, film animation and motion graphics, Kanso’s works have earned him numerous recognitions, such as: appearing in the prestigious Luerzer’s Archive Magazine, winning the grand prize in the Multichoice at 20 logo design competition in 2013, and winning two Gold Awards at the 2017 Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival.

Kanso's Awards  - Design in Nigeria - DearDesigner
Kanso’s Awards

He views the designer as a mini-god who must create solutions to problems until the problems fade away. But this mini-god faces various challenges. In Kanso’s case, the challenges include regular power outage, lack of manpower, late payments from clients and, especially, clients’ lack of understanding of the kind of work that goes into animations.

Kanso has worked with creative minds like Tolu Itegboje, Bolaji Iwayemi, Elozonam, Wande Thomas, Geezy, and Nengi Adoki. He has been a part of several other projects with Gokada, Jara, Mr. Eazi, Falz, and Big Brother Naija. He is currently working on animations for an FMCG and season 4 of the reputable Freak The Fxxk Out – an anthology of short creepy animation stories with which he aimed to draw attention to the horror genre.

Kanso has been greatly inspired by motion designers such as Motion Markus, Giantsagram, Cub Studio, Emanuele Colombo and Linetest Collective. And today, he’s an inspiration to upcoming motion designers whom he advises to stalk their favourite designers and for whom he often recommends tutorials on YouTube, Vimeo, and VideoCopilot.

33-year-old Kanso, who was once a rap artiste, now looks into the future of design and sees an array of endless possibilities.