Thursday, August 03, 2017

Adebanji Alade - an Addictive Sketcher

I've written before about the need to put in the hours if you want to get good at anything - see
The first comment on my 10,000 hours post is from a friend who put in the hours and became (in chronological order) a very successful pipe band player, then an artist and now a very successful author of amongst other things a #1 New York Times Bestselling series optioned for television!

She made the very important point that it's also essential to know how to learn and when putting in the time to make efficient use of it. It includes the following sentence
The long time is acquiring proficiency -- everything after that, if you're still learning, is acquiring brilliance. 

So here's my theory: talented people are those who know how to learn. They know how to practice, to find patterns, and most importantly, to not reinvent the wheel. They shave years off their 10,000 hours by being able to look at other people in their field who have succeeded and define and incorporate why they are successful.
I've known Adebanji Alade for a long time - and all the time I've known him he's been sketching - and moving his career as an artist onward and upward.

Mostly he sketches people. Mostly he does it while travelling on public transport - meaning that he never loses a moment to sketch. Mostly he does it because he always has his sketchbook with him.

What prompted this blog post is his video of his sketchbook used during 2016-2017 - from beginning to end - and it takes 9 minutes to get through it!

He's now started a new sketchbook

As a result of his constant looking and sketching of people and places from observation it has helped him hone his artistic practice.

Some of the things he has achieved as a result of what he has learned about making art and becoming a successful artist are:
Afro XXI by Adebanji Alade
(in the section on Charcoal
in my book Sketching 365)
which contains lots of great advice

He's been making videos for a long time - having spotted the opportunity they give to raise your profile amongst lots of people doing the same thing as you.

This is The Life of the Artist made in 2012 - which was the year he got my Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy. This is an artist who packs a lot into every second of every day!

This is Adebanji back in 2010 when I photographed him with his work in the ROI Exhibition 2010.

Adebanji Alade - with his painting "Summer Crowds, Pavilion Theatre, Cromer" £1,650


adebanji said...

Thanks ever so much for this lovely article, Katherine.

maryellen said...

What an inspiration . . thank you for posting this Katherine . .makes me want to dive in. He's so right about the practise side of it . . we want everything NOW. We must put in the blood, sweat and tears to move forward !

Caroline Greene said...

Adebanji's enthusiasm is catching and inspiring. The energy of the man is a wonder to behold! I asked him some time ago on Instagram if he'd ever consider publishing a book of his sketchbook pages, and he answered that he'd been thinking for a long time about doing exactly that - also that as a thank you for the nudge he'd send me a copy when it comes out! Got to go, need to get sketching: thank you for your posts, Katherine, but especially this one

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