This post is part of Edition #1 – Primer.
Our first feature at studio BLVCK is with Tosin, a multidisciplinary designer, born in Port Harcourt and currently living in Lagos.
Where did you grow up?
Hello, my name is Tosin, I’m a multidisciplinary designer. I like to tell people that I’m from Southern Nigeria (Port Harcourt) because that’s where I was born and lived most of my early life. I’m more familiar with the culture and lifestyle of the South than the West where my family is originally from.
How did you start doing this?
My first interaction with design came when I was quite young, that was through Architecture. I practically grew up in the Architecture department of one of the Universities in Port Harcourt so I got exposed pretty early on to some design thinking and software. The plan was originally to study Architecture but the Nigerian Education system happened and that became Urban Planning. I started moving into Graphic Design & Illustration just before I got into the University and expanded that fully after I got into school.
Best part about what you do now?
The absolutely most awesome part of my work/experience now is that I get to see the world through an entirely different lens. A lot of times it feels like seeing both Macro and Micro aspects of how people are unconsciously influenced by all the design around them both natural and man-made. It’s quite awesome. For me, practicing design has been an ongoing experience of re- learning how to see things. So for example, where someone looks at a sign and just sees information, I look at the same sign and see the intention behind each element and composition.
Where are you in your life now?
Right now I’m getting to a point where I believe I’ve learnt enough to share with others (while learning more). I’m a big believer in the axiom “You can’t give what you don’t have”. Even though I’ve been doing graphic design for a while, I like to tell people that I’m at the start of my career as a designer and that’s because I’ve only explored a tiny fraction of design disciplines that interest me.
What are you doing next?
I’m not very ready for next yet but I have this list of all the things I want to explore in the future. The next thing on that list is Industrial Design, with a particular focus on Sneaker Design. But before that, I’m still working on building the most outstanding base of knowledge, experience and portfolio possible in the fields I’m currently exploring. I’m also quite interested in the history and future of design, especially in these part of the world and I hope to build something on that while I develop my career.
What have you learned?
In one cliche phrase “STAY HUNGRY!”. I’ve learned quite the hard way that the moment you begin to believe to yourself that you’re an expert at one thing, you start to fall behind. Sure it’s important to present yourself as an expert to clients and colleagues but privately be your own worst critic and this is because I’ve learned that your genius idea is easily someone else’s regular thinking. If your aim is to be the best or one of, then you should never ever get to a point where you decide that you have nothing more to learn, if you do then you’re on a very long thing.