• Friday, June 14, 2024
businessday logo


How Anthony Azekwoh is revolutionising African arts

How Azekwoh is revolutionising African arts

In the bustling city of Lagos, Anthony Azekwoh, an artist and storyteller, has emerged as a pioneering force in the African art landscape.

His brainchild, Anthony Azekwoh Studios, has taken the industry by storm, combining art, literature, and technology to create a mesmerising platform for natural storytelling that captivates audiences around the globe.

Established in 2021, Anthony Azekwoh Studios was born out of his desire to share his extraordinary narratives with the world. The studio has experienced steady growth, defying the inherent difficulties faced by new ventures.

Fuelled by a passion for storytelling, he sought a home for his creative vision, unrestricted by traditional institutions.

In his response on how he raised his start-up capital, he said, “Funds from the business were from savings of all I had made being just an artist, and digital. Over $10,000 has been used in the past two years to do the things we have done.

Anthony’s deep understanding of the African art market with his unique artistic philosophy, led him to create his haven, where his work could thrive and be shared with a wider audience.

As an entrepreneur in the art industry, Anthony Azekwoh faced numerous challenges along his journey.

“Challenges are every day. Money for funding is a main one and I overcome that by being as inventive as possible to get what it is I want,” he says.

Navigating the Nigerian art industry comes with its unique challenges and opportunities.

Anthony recognizes the crucial need for differentiation and originality in a rapidly changing landscape. Additionally, the issue of distribution poses a significant hurdle, particularly in reaching a global audience.

Drawing from his personal experiences, Anthony has developed a proprietary distribution system set to be unveiled in the coming months, promising to revolutionize the process and provide a cost and time-effective solution.

Read also: Networking as a necessary tool for business growth

His studio combines art, literature, and technology into a cohesive business model. The studio’s current focus lies in strengthening its literature vertical, a captivating challenge that involves understanding the market and implementing effective strategies for growth.

By blending art and literature, Anthony has discovered a profound synergy that resonates with audiences on a deep, holistic level.

Striking a delicate balance between the creative and entrepreneurial aspects of his work, Anthony Azekwoh employs a segmented approach to maintain artistic integrity while driving business growth.

His days are structured, with mornings dedicated to administrative tasks and the remainder allocated to nurturing his creative endeavours.

This disciplined approach and meticulous time management enable Anthony to harmonize both worlds successfully.

“Time management is something very important to me so my calendar is also like this strict regimen I follow each day,” he says.

Speaking on the role of marketing and branding in promoting his artwork and attracting clients, Anthony said, “Marketing is one of the most, if not the most important things.

“We live in an attention economy now and you’re competing all the time-not particularly with other people in your field, but with the attention of the people on their devices who have a litany of things to scroll through every minute.”

In an attention-driven economy, he recognizes the need to be engaging, intriguing, and authentic to capture the ever-distracted audience.

Though he acknowledges his ongoing struggle in this arena, Anthony is committed to honing his skills and establishing a robust presence in the art market.

Collaboration stands as a fundamental pillar in Anthony’s entrepreneurial journey. Prioritizing genuine interest and passion over financial gain, he embarks on collaborations driven by the love of the project at hand.

These partnerships with companies, celebrities, and emerging artists not only expand his audience reach but also facilitate cross-marketing, fostering connections between diverse fan bases.

Anthony’s commitment to giving back to the artistic community is exemplified through the establishment of the Rosemary Fund. This initiative, fuelled by the proceeds from his work, supports emerging artists in Nigeria.

Inspired by his early struggles and the lack of institutional aid, Anthony seeks to create an ecosystem that nurtures and empowers the next generation of creatives.

“My goal is to leave things better than I found them in all aspects of my life. When I started drawing, there was hardly any aid, any help institutionally and that made things very hard. For me, the goal is always to somehow establish an ecosystem from this part of the world,” he said.

Employing a team of three dedicated individuals, alongside collaborating with four contractors for specific projects, Anthony Azekwoh Studios actively addresses the issue of unemployment in Nigeria, providing opportunities for talented creative professionals.

To remain innovative and adapt to evolving trends and technologies in the art world, Anthony says, “I am on social media a lot (it is my bad habit), but I am constantly going out, talking to people, keeping my finger on the pulse of the people and the industry and allowing that to guide my next moves.”

Looking toward the future, Anthony says, “The future is very long but bright. My goal is to usher in a whole new era of more authentic African storytelling through art, literature and someday, film.

“I think I understand fundamentally where the pressure points are and I am looking forward to making my contribution to the ecosystem, building out a better terrain for entertainment around the continent.”