The ARTbility of Dawn Okoro


Wonderfully talented with a brilliantly eclectic style,Dawn Okoro is
artist born to a Nigeria father and an African- American mother.  By age 18, Dawn Okoro’s art was displayed in the Texas State Capitol building. Several celebrities such as  Erykah Badu; Victoria’s Secret model, Nichole Robinson; and Shaun Robinson of Access Hollywood have commissioned her to paint for them.

AG: Who is Dawn?
DAWN: I am a sister, daughter and an artist.

AG: You were born in Lubbock, Texas. What was it like growing up there?
DAWN: I was actually born in Houston, Texas, but I did grow up in Lubbock. Lubbock is a conservative small city of about 200,000 people. I would describe it as a typical suburban city in the US.  I feel that remaining in Lubbock, a person does not have then opportunity to be exposed to a variety of cultures.  I turned out just fine, but after I graduated from high school I moved away.

AG: How did you initially become interested in art?
DAWN: I have enjoyed drawing for almost as long as I can remember. That naturally led me to become interested in art.

AG: How does your African heritage shape the lens with which you view the
DAWN: I was not raised by my African relatives and did not get a chance to adopt that culture or way of viewing the world. I do have relatives in Nigeria and hope to spend some time there soon.  However, my work is informed by my experiencesas a black woman in America.It's rare to find women who look like me portrayed in a positive manner in mainstream American media. I have create artwork to challange that.

AG: Did you always have the intention to become a professional artist?
DAWN: Yes, I knew from an early age that I was going to be an artist.

AG: Why law and not a degree in art?
DAWN: Before going to law school, I had reached a fork in the road. I had the choice to either pursue art 100% or go more conventional route. I didn't want to end up being a poor artist, so I went to law school.
After I graduated from law school, I knew that law was not for me and now here I am pursuing art 100%.

AG: How were you able to balance you life as an artist and studies when in school?
DAWN: It was difficult to balance the two worlds. Although, my art helped me survive financially and mentally, my growth as an artist almost came to a halt those three years in law school.

AG: Do you have plans to ever practice law?
DAWN: I am open to it. I have an interest in intellectual property and contract law. However, I plan to spend the next few years dedicated to my art practice.

AG:  How would you describe your work?
DAWN: My work is usually oil or acrylic on canvas.  I usually paint women in strong powerful poses in saturated colors.

AG: Do you have some works you would like to share it us?

AG: What did it feel like when you sold your first piece and also had your first solo exhibition?
DAWN: When I sold my first art piece, I was honored that someone wanted to purchase my work and display it in their home.  When I had my first solo show I was excited and nervous. It was a great turn out and I had an opportunity to get feedback from patrons and hear what kind of conversation my work could

AG: What art era do you draw your inspiration from?
DAWN: I draw inspiration from today-- the era we live in now.  I my art concepts are about issues that I face or issues that other people face.

AG: You started off drawing and now painting, which do you prefer and why?
DAWN: I don't really have a preference when it comes to drawing or painting.  I use which ever medium that
visually expresses my idea.  More often, painting has been the most appropriate for me because I can get more vivid, but I do enjoy other mediums such as drawing and photography.

AG: A fellow artist who inspires you is?
DAWN: David LaChapelle.

AG: I’ve learned a lot from…
DAWN: I learn a lot from trial and error.

AG: Three facts we never knew about you?
DAWN: -I enjoy walking around the hardware store, and thinking about how I could incorporate some of the
hardware to create my artwork.
-I am learning how to skateboard.
-I have two pet cats.

AG: Is it important for artists to be on the web, any downsides?
DAWN: It is not essential to have one's art on the web, but it doesn't hurt.  I can't really think of any downsides.

AG:  What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
DAWN: One of the best bits of advice I received was to not get stuck on one idea and to experiment using the resources that I do have.  That advice was from artist Lauren Kelley

AG: Thank you

Follow Dawn Okoro on:
Twitter: @dawnokoro

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