"Adopt a “do what I have to do” attitude. Don’t be afraid to look stupid or make mistakes. Above all, don’t be roped into doing one thing."-Nsilo
Nsilo is a Brooklyn native and a senior at American University balancing his career goals in International Relations with a passion for music and painting. He is an avid social advocate pursuing change though participating in the Black Lives Matter movement and environmental causes; exploring the connection between climate issues and human rights. He says, "I am forever in debt to my family who sacrificed to get me where I am today.” He feels almost “paranoid” about unseen forces trying to get in his way so he cannot achieve all he is set out to---such as systematic racism.
“I was the kid in class always doodling or drumming his pencil on the desks.”
Nsilo doesn’t have a set process. Every piece is different. He chooses not to plan or sketch out anything. He stands in front of his canvas, listens to music, and then creates a piece based on the vibes he gets from the music. The artist is very inspired by music when it comes to how he creates his art. He is inspired by all genres of music but is most moved by alternative r&b acts such as Erykah Badu and SIR. He says that when he listens to SIR, and music from other artists the music conjures colors and ideas in his head which he uses in his piece.
While the artists derives most of his inspiration from his own life, a lot of his pieces can be viewed as social commentary. He wants his viewers to see a different world, a scene that they could be falling into. He wants it to be akin to an out-of-body experience. He wants viewers to be “entranced”.
Nsilo isn’t attracted to just one medium and switches between narratives depending on which will better suit the piece. He uses acrylic and glass on canvas for one piece and then black gel pen for other pieces.
“Art is supposed to be about expression and anti-establishment, but art has become systematic.” He dislikes the hypocritical nature of the art community and references the pricing systems of art. "Why is 2018 the first year in which a black artist makes over $21.1 million dollars for their pieces, which is the highest record for a black artist ever. (P. Diddy was the buyer).
The artist believes in the potential and powerof art. He says, “What is culture without art and music?” Art is extremely important in today’s global climate because, as Nsilo says, he believes that people nowadays can talk all day about an issue but can become very numb to each other's words which is why being visually stimulated is important.