My name is Emmanuel Oreyeni AKA Oreyeni Arts, and I would like to tell you about my story of how I became the artist I am today, through the community.
At the end of year 11, I was introduced to Jamie through the drawings I gave to my teachers, before the last day of secondary school. We then met each other and he told me about TWCP, asking if I would be able to do something for the Growth Summit and we agreed on a small drawing series called the ‘Local Heroes’. This was inspired by how it reminded me of the Avengers; as individuals they have their flaws but in a group they are the earth’s mightiest heroes!
Since then, TWCP has given me the edge to do more with my art and turned it into a career! They have taught me not to wait for things to come to me but to make them happen by seeking out opportunities. So I did! From working with them I expanded my network by working with the Council on numerous projects; including the virtual Christmas festival, and ‘One Borough, One Love’ festival. I also became the youngest steering group member to receive funding at the age of 17, and designed a programme of drawing sessions in early lockdown. Now, I’m painting murals for large companies like Be First and the McLaren Construction Group and most recently for BRL – a mural for their Wilds Ecology Centre in Barking Riverside. I am so proud of what I have achieved from the very beginning of my career until now and I’m excited for university; to study art and see where art will take me next!
In the future, I hope to become well known not just because of my work but because of how young I started and what I was able to do. I now have confidence in my work through the Community Comics and numerous other art based projects and connecting with TWCP opened the door to these opportunities. Even with social media, I remember having only a few followers but now I see it growing. It’s not a rapid increase but one that progresses as my artwork progresses and that is what I love, the progression! After university I plan to do more work professionally and to gain experience in other related fields such as film, costume design, fashion, it could be anything!
Local artist and TWCP steering group member