Art healed, helped and heralds my story

Olutosin
Posted September 23, 2020 from Nigeria

Life has a way of bringing people down to its lowest ebb but creativity and determination have ways of lifting people from the pit of life to the pulpit of power.

Few years ago, life entangled me in a web of untold hardship and poverty.  Moving forward was more difficult than going backwards.  I was held by a string of rope by hope but I was determined to fulfil my purpose. 

 

 

My certificates failed me woefully.  They could not put two square meals on my table.  Nobody eats three square meals where I come from, so thats a forgotten issue, but just feeding myself day and night was a living nightmare. 

 

 

When i discovered that life was gradually slipping out of my hands, I decided to bury my certificates and resurrect my God given creativity.  Formal certificates can become a  beast of burden in a nation that places no value on education. 

 

So, I looked inward, search for available  strength, learned as many skills as required and honed my residual skills. 

 

The cheapest materials were the unneeded ones and useless. The rubbish waste, the used and discarded ...these resonate deeply with me. It was the story of my life. Used. Abused. Discarded but discovered. 

 

Wow. My story is being replayed by me.

 

Beautiful to visualise but hard to 'practicalise'.  I could see where I was going, when I want to go, why I want to go, what I want to do to get to where I want to go to,  but how to get there became a bone stucked in my throat.

 

Initially, starting was hard.

But, I started anyway.  No going back. 

 

I began to create, recreate and co-create.

Each new creation was ugly.  I made is milder by laughing at myself, more than anyone else could.  If I could laugh at my ugly creations, other people's jest and mockery was nothing to me.

 

This life, If one is down, there should be no fear of falling anymore.  Mocking or making jest of my amateurish creation couldn't hold me back. I kept on climbing the ladder and I daily honed my amateurish skills in Art.

You won't believe that as I keep on repeating and recreating, the creations were becoming clearer and less ugly to my eyes.

My determination was strong.

 

It was a ride or die.

 

I was working round the clock and the number one change that I noted was that I began to heal of every internal emotional wounds.

 

My future was more important than all my past mistakes, wounds and pains. I didn't just want to escape, I want to escape with as many women as possible more, more women perched on my shoulders as I fly away to a safer and peaceful distance. 

 

Creativity became my healing balm. My products became my voice. They could natrate my story in my absence. Each artwork needs just a pair of eyes or a gentle touch to feel it, in order to assimilate the message. 

 

And each piece of my work is an  Artwork also a message in disguise. 

 

I was making bags with any left over fabrics sewn together and the bags were telling my stories before I could open my mouth to speak!

 

The left-over from my left over fabrics were giving me concerns, thousands of tiny pieces of fabrics.  The concerns kept me awake. The sleepless nights made me to look out for solutions to the left-over of my left-over fabrics.  

 

This brought about the creation of artworks from tiny left over fabrics. 

 

Creating artworks with fabrics was a very hard work for  me; without any prior formal training or certificates, but the artworks was opening greater doors of opportunities globally. 

 

It connected me with great minds and I was able to do what I never imagined that I Icould ever create. 

 

Lastly, the Artwork screams. The message is louder and clearer without any microphone.  

 

Worldpulse gave me the first platform to create Art. My sisters cheer me on. The community was my Gallery and exhibition grounds.  My sisters were my spectators and buyers. My sisters determined my prices and most times triples the price of my artworks. 

 

The highest patronage came from my sisters and brothers online. You will find it hard to believe that, nobody offline, residing in Nigeria bought any of my artworks in the first three years of my Artwork existence  in Africa!

 

The first ever Art commission from a Nigerian was recently in May 25th, 2020. A sister online from Eastern Nigeria who is my Facebook friend.  She commissioned her Logo. Its a beautiful logo about Women Power. 

This really shows that it was only my online family that supported and believed in my creativity from day one!

 

I have sold more than 300 Treasures altogether, yet no gallery accepted my products in Nigeria. 

 

Easy to conclude that my sisters and brothers are my galleries and clients. 

 

Every sale of my artwork came from my global sister or brother.  Its amazing to experience the power of connection. 

 

My first artwork was bought by Jensine Larsen, the CEO and Founder of Worldpulse, It is the face of Africa.  After which all my sisters on Worldpulse that I have met have bought a  thing or two or three from my Treasure virtual shop. 

 

 

With each purchase, my life did not only change but also the lives of those of my sisters that I work for in Nigeria.  Ironucally, and most importantly, it  gave me the opportunity to live with my global sisters and brothers in their various houses.

 

Every Treasure bought and hanged in my sisters and brothers living rooms means my presence.

 

My art became a two edged sword! The buyers are not just my clients, they are my lifters. Each purchase reposited me, lifting me from the mire and repositioning me in my dream land.

 

As these game- changers intentionally made their purchases to help me, I was helping more and more women and building the centre to support my fellow women in Nigeria.

 

Art has healed me,

Art has helped me to fulfil some purposes.

Art has connected me.

Art has opened  doors for me.

Arts help me to build my dreams 

Art has planted my feet on a higher ground..

Arts has helped me to tell the untold stories ...

Arts has helped me to appreciate my sisters best...

Art has helped me to appreciate Arts better. 

This story was submitted in response to Art for Change.

Comments 24

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Hello, our Amazon sister Olutosin,

I was just reflecting on your life earlier today, of how use what resources available to you ("trash" for that matter) and created a new kind of artwork, and how it transformed your life and the life of women and girls in your community. That is an inspiration to me.

It was your story that made me revisit my ability to crochet (https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/karen-quinones-axalan/posts/9...), and I am still going deep inside me on how to make my artwork unique like yours.

Thank you for your bravery and your commitment to help women. While I was still a new member, you were among those who faithfully comment on my posts, cheer me on, tell me to "just start". Part of me is embarrassed because I haven't really started, but I am happy to say I have grown to be a better woman since then.

This is such a powerful post, of how art help you heal. I like how you said, "So I looked inward".
And these, too,
"Starting was hard.
But, I started anyway. No going back.
I began to create, recreate and co-create."

I am set to start writing a book come November this year. Now I contemplate that I should find the time to start creating my own product line as well.

I just want you to know, dear sister Olutosin, that I am so grateful for your life. Every time I see your artworks, my inner spirit prompts me to do the same. So help me, God.

Thank you for inspiring us. It is always an encouragement when you visit World Pulse.

Olutosin
Sep 23
Sep 23

Amen to your prayers my Lovely sister.
Thank you for your beautiful comment. I
I will always be here to Encourage all our new and upcoming sisters.

Please write as from November. I cant wait to hold tour book in my hands. All the very best.

valem
Sep 23
Sep 23

Dear sister Olutosin
Thanks so much for this message that every world pulse sister will learn

there are times when difficult decisions are required as you did you did not want to hold your certificates of negligence you set aside you have started a new journey with the challenges you faced you moved forward congratulations.

Olutosin
Sep 23
Sep 23

My dear sister, yes o. We must learn. If we must do something useful about our lives in Africa. I am.not connected to political leaders, I am from a poor background and I cant beg any man, better to ise my hands if my Pen is not helping matters.
It works.

Thats why there are so many social entrepreneurs and one woman businesses all over the place.
Thanks for reading and commenting.

Samia Al sayed
Sep 23
Sep 23

Wonderful story .What inspiring words! You gave me hope that I could show and sell the women's products in my ٍof my Sinnaraty group. Many thanks and more progress and success

Olutosin
Sep 23
Sep 23

You are welcome.
You can sell and make enough profit to prosper in your chosen cause.
All the best.

Nini Mappo
Sep 24
Sep 24

Hello Olutosin,
I have seen your name here and there as I walk from story to story, but it is so uplifting to 'meet' you here in this journey. A journey you have crafted as it crafts you, and adds others in for depth and special effects!
I love your story, Olutosin. It spells the pain and beauty of multi-layered redemption so vividly. I love the poetry and imagery you create with the words. I love the sense of belonging that you give everything and everyone...The scraps belong in art galleries and hallways. The scraps connect you to your lifters., they are your representatives in various places.The scraps ha so much value, they just need someone to recognise that!
It makes me think of all the women feeling like those scraps, joining in your journey to redemption. Because you have healed, you coach them on how to heal.
This story is so so beautiful, thank you for giving us such a connecting summary of your healing.
May God bless you, and increase your peace.

Olutosin
Sep 24
Sep 24

My Lovely sister, thank you very much for taking your time to read my life story and interpreting it beautiful.
It is well put by you and I will continue to support as many women and girls just as I have promised.

I appreciate you.
Amen to your prayers.

JoOak
Sep 24
Sep 24

Sister Olutosin ,
I am so inspired by your story
I am beginning to view life in another perspective .
Now I am encouraged, inspired, positive and hopeful.

Olutosin
Sep 24
Sep 24

Thank you for your beautiful and encouraging comment my sister.

Sabiha Hasan
Sep 25
Sep 25

Oh dear, thanks for sharing your story. I m going through same phase where my degrees are becoming useless and i m moving towards the ceeation of art.

Olutosin
Sep 26
Sep 26

My lovely sister, our God given talents are more precious than any certificate.

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 25
Sep 25

My dear Sister,
You remind me of the beautiful Goddesses of India who have at least 12 arms, all creating /helping/loving in different ways. To discover one's own abilities to create art is to discover one's own ability to contribute greatly to the wold. That you turn 'trash to treasure' and have taught so many women, has made you an inspiring leader who has inspired us beyond what you know. But you do not stop to look back and count. This is one of the many things I love you for dearly. You show us all how to keep moving forward. You inspire me continuously.
Much love,
Tam

Olutosin
Sep 26
Sep 26

My lovely sister Tom we are goddesses.
Thank you for always encouraging all of us. You are blessed.

Urmila Chanam
Sep 26
Sep 26

My dearest and precious artist,

What a moving account of the role of art in giving another dimension to your life, becoming the backbone of your organisational and personal economy and having such a scope to build bridges. You are not just an artist but a great educator seeing and believing the significance of sharing life accounts with others to teach them the vital lessons of your life.

I am one of the fortunate people who has seen, touched and felt your wall art in my Nigeria visit in 2019 and its a unique art form that deserves to be the most affluent galleries in the world. Your story is a living story sister and many more wonderful things are about to happen to you.

Much love and prayers
Your sister
Urmila Chanam

Olutosin
Sep 26
Sep 26

My Darling sister,
Thank you very much for always encouraging me. I am very grateful to you for taking your time to comment after eading.
Your comment is very beautiful.

Thanks again.
I Love You.

J Brenda Lanyero
Sep 26
Sep 26

Hello Olutosin.
Wow! I am so glad your found your voice, strength, which have helped you to live again. The art pieces are really beautiful. May God bless all the sisters and brothers who bought your art work when no one near you would. Thank you to Jensine.

Keep shinning girl for your Sun has come.

Olutosin
Sep 29
Sep 29

My lovely sister God bless you more. Thank you so much for your beautiful words.

JoOak
Sep 29
Sep 29

My dear sister Olutosin ,
Í Bless the day I found on you Facebook .
You had posted an art work ; a map of Africa shaped to form a woman 'shead tying . gele' ( i think) using pure african prints
Boom i got glued to your page .
I just fell in love with the totality of you .
Sometimes I wonder ," so much strength and vigour, how on earth is she able to do this " then i started following you .
I have been greatly inspired by you , you would not understand how much inspiration I draw from you daily.

You are very right about art ma'am.
Art is many things wrappedped in one piece

And to know that God has packaged us with this gift is absolutely amazing .

Yes! Certificates do fail , it failed me too.
But I didn't stop chasing clout quickly . To think I was desperately trying to go back to school to earn my PGD or masters after making me think I can't amount to anything without these academic titles . Now I just laugh at my foolishness.

God has given us what we need to journey through life yet we think we can create one by ourselves
I love your resilience my sister .
And I love you more for this statement you made " I just don't want to escape , I want to escape with as many women possible, more and more women perched on my shoulders as I fly away I a safer and peaceful distance .

You are courageous,
You are so honestl and open minded
You are deep
You are light .
Love you plenty plenty

Olutosin
Sep 29
Sep 29

Thank Youuuuuuuuu for your insights sister mi.
I'm very grateful for your encouragement.
Adupe Maaaaaaa.

Leonida Odongo
Oct 02
Oct 02

Dear Olotusin,

This is a very powerful message.Keep on shining and touching lives positively.

Best

Leonida

Olutosin
Oct 02
Oct 02

Thank you very much.

Berlotte I Antoine
Oct 13
Oct 13

That is a beautiful story. Art can help in so many ways.
It also takes a lot of courage for people to say that they are not going back.
Powerful message!

Olutosin
Oct 13
Oct 13

Thank you very much.