Unyime Edet has always loved the human anatomy. The 25-year-old Akwa Ibom State-born figurative painter and illustrator is, through his works, celebrating the hidden beauty of daily life and to showcase the beauty in human anatomy.
Right from when he was just seven years old, he had developed a great interest in drawing things he saw around him. This was even when he thought he was just having fun at the time. Yet, much to his surprise, his activities earned him the admiration of the people around him. Some even called him an artist. “I did not know what being an artist was all about,” he said. “I just liked drawing, though people called me an artist then.”
According to him, he did not realise that he had a calling for art until he turned 13. “I was just so passion-driven that I could hardly avoid drawing. But, I later realised that I was not just drawing for fun. It dawned on me that I had a talent and that this talent could be useful to my life. This, I realised at the age of 13.”
He inspiration, he added, are drawn from the daily life activities of those around him, the beauty of life, children and the unconscious activities of humans. For him, all these give him the drive to express these wonders in art and to solve the problems of society, which in his opinion begin from the mind. “I get my inspiration from the daily life activities of those around me, the beauty I see around me, the ladies, children, the unconscious activities of humans and all these things mean a lot to an artist and it can interpret a lot of things in the society and help solve the problems of the human mind.”
Not unlike the case of most artists, his parents are not very supportive of his career which he believes is because they don’t understand his craft. But he greatly enjoys the support of his eldest brother Barrister Inibehe Edet who he thanks for being his backbone and helper.
Though he enjoys the full support of his eldest brother, there are still some other challenges he faces like limited resources, which in his case are majorly financial and the challenge of working in the right environment that propels creativity.
Unyime counts as his greatest achievement earning his bachelor’s degree in painting from the University of Uyo, where he is currently doing a master’s degree programme. In addition to his academic achievements, he has been fortunate enough to be a part of such group exhibitions as Artforms 2018, Echoes of Wonders 2018 and Dreamhome Gallery 2019.
He, therefore, advised upcoming artists to be consistent and always equip themselves with more knowledge. “If you know you have a fire in you for art, make sure you keep it burning.”