Written by young Director, Photographer and Latimer Talent – Nwaka Okparaeke
I’m an artist. 21, female, born and raised in South East London, and of mixed heritage.
So as a Londoner, my art ought to be dark and gritty. I should be exploring the capitals grime scene, and be inspired by its subcultures, right?
And as a person of colour, my art should be an expression of the black struggle, shouldn’t it?
Or at least, that’s what’s been expected of me. But, that’s not who I am.
Energies inspire me. The free, intense energies of my Nigerian heritage inspire me as much as the calm, collected energies of my British heritage do. I love bright, dreamy visuals. I love sequins and glitter. I love African print and furs and silk and – it all makes me different. A lot of people don’t get this, but thankfully, the team at Latimer do.
And so when they were building a community of the UK’s top 100 young creatives to help launch VOXI, Vodafone’s new youth mobile network, the Latimer team saw the value in an artist like me, and I was selected.
The ask? Create social content based on my own interpretation of ‘Endless Possibilities’, in line with the brands offering of endless social data for 16-25 year olds.
It was a great opportunity to show off my own creativity, but in addition to that, I really wanted to represent other people I knew – the friends and creatives who inspire me. I loved that the knock on effect of this opportunity presented to me, was that it led to a network of young creatives being given the opportunity to express ourselves.
Here’s the final product:
I think my biggest takeaway from collaborating with Latimer and VOXI was an appreciation of the strength of community. Being a part of a 100 strong young creative collective meant that we were all really able to influence the output of this campaign, and considering that it’s targeted at people like us, it’s refreshing for a brand to include us in the creative process, instead of just assuming they know what we’ll like (and usually getting it wrong).
Oh, and there’s also the fact that the success of my VOXI work has now led to working on another project with Latimer and one of the country’s best known publishers. That’s all I can say about that at the moment, but follow me on Instagram to find out more soon!
Thanks for reading 🙂