Flyest Illustrations Around

Flyest Illustrations Around

You are now entering a world of animation that was created in the mind of a Black man who's ready to bring people of color into the cartoon realm.

Obi Arisukwu finally got the courage to go all in with his illustrations.

Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith. (Art by Obi Arisukwu)

In June of 2017, Obi quit his fortune 500 job to work on illustrations something most are too scared to do. He decided in January of that year to quit, but he didn't let his job know until May because he didn't want anything to get in the way of his plans.

"If you really want to exceed in something, you can't do it working for someone else."

Obi built up a clientele over the years while working for someone else, so when he decided to go full-time graphic designer, he already had a platform ready to expand.

Being from Houston, TX, where everything's bigger, Obi knew he had to go big to reach his dreams.

He didn't have a set plan once quitting his job, but he wanted a way to show people he was serious, so he recorded the first 100 days of his journey. Going from a 9-5 to being self-employed is scary and Obi wanted to show people although it may be difficult, it's possible. 

Step one was putting all of his focus into his illustrations. Now, the next step is reaching the TV airways.

A character from one of Obi Arisukwu’s comics. (Art by Obi Arisukwu)

With his talent of telling jokes and interwinning that into storytelling, Obi stands out from the crowd.

"I want the world to be happy," said Obi, "and cartoons is what made smile as a kid."

Obi wants to take his love of making cartoons and incorporate that with the youth. He wants to mentor children, teach them the ways of a graphic designer and inspire them to go the route that may seem crazy to others.

Obi Arisukwu’s inner child comes out in his work. (Art by Obi Arisukwu)

"I want to get kids more involved and show them they're worth something," said Obi. "Kids are beaten down with negativity and as a kid I stopped myself from drawing," which is why he wants to inspire kids to pursue art. Obi doesn't know where he'd be if he would've believed in his talent years ago, but now that he knows, he's putting all of his focus into his childhood dream.

"I would run away from my talent," he said, "but now I'm to the point where I'm on the climb."

Since last June, Obi has been learning how to reorganize his life, which is something that's hard for him. He has to balance how to stafisty his customers while also satisfying himself. Using an agenda doesn't work for Obi, so instead he uses a small erase board and posted notes. He leaves notes everywhere: his pillow, his artwork and his computer. 

Some may see cartoons as a chidlish entertainment for children, but for Obi, it's a way to bring positvity back in the world.

This is the perfect time to go chasing your dream because "everything is possible right now," says Obi. With social media, UBER, apps and everything in between, finding the funds to support yourself and being self-employed is at a all time high. 

Obi Arisukwu uses his skill to bring more representation into the comic world. (Art by Obi Arisukwu)

But, Obi does admit he goes through downfalls even with all the possibilities around him, but he knows how to persevere. 

During elementary and middle school, he was bullied and that affected him well into highschool. He considered himself a "bad" student and that badness got him kicked out of school. Obi's dean saw his talent and put him into art programs.

He graduated cum Laude in 2008 with a bachelor's in Graphic Design, but he still wasn't sure if this life was for him. 

 For years he ran away from his talent, but now he can't see his life without art.

"You can get depressed from time to time, but that one rewards keeps you going," said Obi. "You're never going to be ready, so just to go for it."

Obi Arisukwu likes to use real life as inspiration. (Art by Obi Arisukwu)

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