Bello, who’d rather refer to himself as the colour thug, is a wildly talented, fast-rising graffiti artist taking fashion, Instagram, and quite frankly, the world by a storm.
Walking in the path of his global Nigerian counterpart, Laolu Senbanjo -who has worked with titans such a Serena Williams, Beyoncé, Nike, and many others, Bello paints basically everything – shoes, clothes, guitars, AirPods, skateboards, people, even tissue paper. Yes, tissue paper!
He however, seems to be more interested in fashion items such as jackets, pants, and shoes, having released a Graffiti Merch 2020 Collection.
He has already had artists such as Lyta and Joeboy, wear some of his painted designs.
We caught up with the graffiti artist and asked a few questions about being the colour thug.
Temphas: How did you discover your talent?
Bello: I was born with a gift. However, I developed it gradually as I grew and got better at it.
Temphas: At what point did you decide this is what you’d do full time?
Bello: When I was about 15 years old it became apparent and it dawned on me that I’d be doing this full time. I was just done with high school actually. I had no intentions to go outside the art field cos I was pretty good at it.
Temphas: How did your family react to that decision?
Bello: My parent partially agreed but deep down wanted me to be a lawyer /doctor
Temphas: Would you take the same decision over and over again?
Bello: Absolutely! Art is life for me.
Temphas: Growing up, did you see yourself doing this full time?
Bello: Yes I did. From the onset.
Temphas: Who’s your role model?
Bello: I don’t have a role model. However, I do have creative artists that are my major inspirations, but I might not necessarily call them role models.
Temphas: How would you describe yourself?
Bello: Simply put, I’m a creative graffiti artist.
Temphas: Where would you say art meets fashion?
Bello: Well art and fashion are like 5&6. You can hardly express fashion without art.
Temphas: What inspires you?
Bello: Life mostly. I also get inspired by a lot of works I come across, most especially graffiti artworks and artists such as Madsteez, Odeith, Mr. Cenzone, and Osaseven.
Temphas: How have you used social media to your advantage?
Bello: Social media is a major tool towards growth it has helped in several ways. Like exposure, business orientation e.t.c.
Temphas: What’s your favourite work so far?
Bello: I don’t think I have a favorite work yet. Still working towards it.
Temphas: What would you say to someone just starting out?
Bello: Be Dedicated, be hard-working, and be patient.
Temphas: What’s a typical day at work like for you?
Bello: Well a typical day for me is quite complex – never straightforward. What’s important is that it’s still fun and I enjoy what I do.
Temphas: What do you have to say about the appreciation of art in Nigeria?
Bello: Well, art in Nigeria is becoming more global and well known to art lovers around the world, and artists in Nigeria are also putting in work by creating amazing works every day. Which is not easy but most definitely worth it.
Temphas: What do you look to achieve in the long run with your art?
Bello: My art, as people would say, is “dope” and “different” cos of the play and introduction of colors. The art is a movement and I intend to inspire and motivate art lovers all over the world to paint/create whatever they want to.
Temphas: What’s next for you?
Bello: What’s next? Big question. Wait for it!
Well we’re certainly here for it, as we love to see young talents soaring.
More images from the amazing Bello…