“Art expands your mind to new possibilities, new people, cultures, and concepts.”
Daniel Oduntan and I were connected by my brother this summer. They found each other via Twitter due to mutual interests in photography and hip-hop. After meeting in-person, my brother immediately told me Oduntan would be a great person to interview for Soul Story Sessions, so I reached out. When we spoke, it didn’t take long before Oduntan mentioned that he’s dyslexic, and went into great detail about how this impacts his life and art. While it causes him difficulty in many areas, it has ultimately been a blessing in disguise because he picks up jewels that others miss.
Click here to read my 99U interview with the self-taught photographer as he discusses how he designs through dyslexia, and the benefits of taking the longer route.
And, here are Oduntan’s takeaways for Creatives:
What advice do you have for artists?
Don’t be afraid of hard work, and don’t be afraid to look odd/unpretty when you’re out getting materials. People will laugh at you in your struggle, and name drop you in your success.
What is the key to developing strong collaborations with artists?
If you find an artist you’d like to approach, make sure your art is at a level that you are bringing your own flour and sugar to the table, so you can bake something together. Also, just be yourself and vibrate a healthy energy. Like attracts like.
What inspired you to create art house collective, Soul Labels?
I was tired of people who try to curate your culture on their time, and tell you whether you can come or not. Soul Labels is a mix between a record label and a museum, with underground artists at the helm. We curate and produce content across various media platforms, from film, fashion, and exhibitions to workshops and experimental A/V projects. Soul Labels is bigger than one person, and it’s a proclamation that we can play our own music and create art.
Anything in its full honesty is soulful, and I seek to create a space for artists to re-invent the way we engage with art.
What are you tips for winning collaborations? Please share in the comments below.
About Daniel Oduntan:
Oduntan is a London-based creative, nominated for Best Emerging British Artist by the Mica Gallery in 2012. Cinema is a large influence on Oduntan’s approach to photography, and its aesthetics is something he draws on for editorials. In his documentary work, he looks for the subtle nuances, while at the same time explores creative ways to bring the soul of a narrative to the forefront. This is part of our Soul Story Sessions with artists and entrepreneurs.