In recent months on social media, a fine fashion talent has continued to wow us with his amazing fashion illustrations. And totally impressed by her latest work of illustrations of Ejiro Amos Tafiri’s latest collection, we just had to meet the lady behind the art, Omonigho Emmanuella Aito-Imonah. Here she tells us about her favourite designers, her dreams for the future and her desire to make her own imprint “on the sands of time.”
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Omonigho Emmanuella Aito-Imonah. I am in my thirties, a female, married and a mum. Although I have a degree in computer science, I am largely a self-taught illustrator and have been illustrating professionally for nearly ten years. I’ve illustrated for the likes of industry greats like Lisa Folawiyo of Jewel by Lisa, of Iconic Invanity, and Bisola Edun of Tae. I teach fashion illustration and am the author of a text on the subject titled “Fashion drawing and Design for the Naija Fashionista”.
How did you decide to go into fashion illustration?
I have always sketched as child and started out drawing girls as early as 8 years, and then began focussing on their clothes in my teens. My foray into fashion illustration was relatively organic – I left Abuja for Lagos after my youth service to study pattern-making and garment production, where the proprietress of the school noticed my flair and gave me books on the subject. I generally discovered more literature on the subject and subsequently bettered myself.
Fashion illustration is still quite new in Nigeria. How do you see it developing in the coming years?
There really is incredible potential. We are a very talented people, and with exposure to the right kind of training, the sky is the starting point.
Whose work – both local and international – are you inspired by?
Well, in Africa, I would say the work of a young Ghanaian named Papa Opong and internationally, the illustrations of Hayden Williams, though I recently I discovered the illustrations of a cartoonist name Latif Trice, whose works are absolutely amazing.
If you could pick one designer to work with, who would it be?
That’s a no-brainer! KARL LAGERFIELD!! He’s eccentric, a genius and a talented illustrator himself.
How do you improve your work and keep up to date with new developments in fashion illustration?
Well thank God for the internet, particularly platforms like Instagram, tumblr and Pinterest, where fellow illustrators showcase their work and share ideas and techniques. Thus I am constantly discovering new things and thus consequently improving myself.
What advice would you give those who may be interested in fashion illustration?
Come to my trainings and workshops? (laughs) Seriously, make sure you get good training. Never stop improving yourself. Network! Network! Network! You will gain so much by associating with like-minded individuals. If you can’t find them in your immediate environment, go online!
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Owning my school of illustration and studio with my team of illustrators, creating beautiful fashion art for designers both at home and abroad.
How open are you to designing your own fashion line?
It really is a plan in my immediate future as I have ideas of my own too. However, because illustration is so little known at the moment, I would like make my own imprint on the sands of time as the one who spread the gospel according to fashion illustration in Nigeria.
See more of Omonigho’s work on her Instagram.