Today we’d like to introduce you to Abi Salami.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My story is still unfolding, but to put it succinctly, it is about a crazy girl from Nigeria who walked away from corporate America where she was making six-figures to chase after her dreams of becoming a full-time artist. We all had that one job that we wanted when we were kids and for as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist.
As a child, I loved to draw, color and create. Dolls were cool and Lego was fun but give me a brand-new box of markers and I was on cloud nine! However, growing up in a Nigerian household, I had to eventually abandon my art dreams and focus on more pragmatic aspirations like accounting and finance. But I never stopped loving to create art. As an adult, I settled with art being a hobby and my career being a means of supporting my passion on the side. However, in February of this year, I got laid off from my job and I decided to take the leap and pursue art as a career full-time. The decision to leap was scary and intimidating because there isn’t a manual on how to make a living as a full-time artist or how to navigate the art world, but I’m figuring it out one day at a time and I wake up every day excited about finding my own way and making a name for myself as a real artist.
Please tell us about your art.
As most artists, I have played around with various mediums, but my go-to is acrylic paint. I fell in love with acrylic paint over ten years ago and we’ve been inseparable ever since. For most of my paintings, I let my subconscious mind go free to come up with wild and crazy ideas and then I let my conscious mind figure out how to convey my vision on canvas. I try not to take myself too seriously or overthinking anything when I am painting. Some of my paintings are deep and have meaning and some are just fun to look at. My hope is that my art makes the world a more beautiful place. I have suffered from depression for years and art has been very instrumental in keeping my level-headed and happy. As a result, I try to paint, uplifting, positive and vibrant paintings in hopes that I can help someone else who is struggling. I get my inspiration from my Nigerian culture and heritage, current events going on around me and from my whimsical mind.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think the biggest challenge that emerging artists face today is getting the right eyes looking at your work. You would think that inventions like the Internet and social media would make such a task easier, but there is a lot of competition out there for people’s attention and it can be really hard trying to figure out how to get the right people to look at you. I have found that investing in better understanding how to get noticed online and also taking the time to network yourself in person are what artists can do daily to help overcome this challenge.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My latest series From the Whimsical Mind is available for viewing by appointment at Kanju Interiors in Dallas. I also have a several pieces on display at the Desoto Art League and the Texas Visual Arts Association Gallery. Art lovers can always check out my website www.abisalami.com and my Instagram page @abi.m.salami for my latest works and upcoming events.