Sandra Okpara®

Candid Conversations with Uchennayaa


Candid Conversations with Uchennayaa

Welcome to an exclusive interview with Uchennayaa, a talented artist whose captivating works have been capturing hearts and minds, I know this because she captured my heart! When I saw her Instagram page, I was so impressed. I admired the paintings on her page and I liked the aesthetic of it all. In this conversation, Uchennayaa an Igbo Nigerian in love with art shares insights into her artistic process, personal experience, and advice for aspiring artists.


When did you first discover your passion for painting?

 I was in my ss1 or 2 I think, I came home really hurt from school. That day at home I started doing my painting and decoration assignment and boom it clicked, 'I like this.' When I really tried to paint on canvas was in 2019, during my 400 level internship.

Can you describe your creative process?

The thought process is the most dormant physically, a lot of mental work. I’m currently not an impulsive painter so I always start with a clean sketch, sometimes I do a rough sketch with graphite on paper and then a digital sketch or directly on my canvas. Just really depends. I go from the thought process to sketching and finally using my acrylic colors.


How do you know when a piece is finished?

I don't know. I just tell myself 'Yeah, enough of this season'. Oh, I always make use of references; pictures of my environment, people around me, and moments.

How has your technique developed over time?

The process has gotten easier and no stress at all now, at least none that I don't enjoy. And it all comes from easily understanding or identifying who you are soulfully.

What’s your favorite piece of artwork?

Each new one, then after a while becomes the old ones. 

Did you experience any struggles with your parents about your art?

Yeah, I did. They didn’t understand what I was trying to do. I had to leave home for a while and refused to turn back until I get myself. They still tell me to get a job but they’re settling in more now and accepting it.

What inspired your style of painting?

I just really love art, like so so much, it takes me into different states of consciousness. But I can't say that's all it is. I wanted a thing of my own and I wanted it how I wanted it and God gave it to me. It's a purpose for me now and I just want to share what art does for me in the different ways that I can, which I've realized is unending. it's not just about what I think but what I know.


How has your art influenced your life?

Lol come see for yourself.

What other form of art do you think you would have done if you were not on your current path? 

I'd be a model or some sensual healing dancer. They’ll surface for sure.

What are some challenges you face as an artist in Nigeria?

Normal stuff. The whole process of trying to get your work out there. And people not appreciating art for what it is. It’s normal and I don’t think it should be termed a struggle but a phase. So far that’s what it is for me.

How has social media helped your art?

It's helped me connect with other artists, see their work, and connect with people who love my work. I love bumping into works I easily connect to.

How do you handle criticism of your art? 

 It's a free world, people say can say whatever they like, and you can't stop them.

I saw that you were recently present at an art exhibition in Lagos, what was the experience like?

It was refreshing, it was my first exhibition and it gave me a beautiful experience, and more understanding not just as a creative but as a human being.


Pictures of Uchennayaa from a recent art exhibition in Lagos, Nigeria.



A bit of advice for aspiring artists

Just be yourself. No one else but you. No one is perfect so don’t hate any part of you. Love the good and bad sides. But work towards being a better human not just a better artist(skill). It’s a powerful sync. Focus on the natural game.

Uchennayaa's devotion to the creative process shows her devotion to her craft. Every stage of the process, from the early sketches to the final acrylic paint strokes, is meticulously carried out with a strong knowledge of her artistic vision. She gives herself over to the mental effort, allowing concepts to take shape and materialize as tangible works of art. 

I'm eager to speak with more amazing people who have interesting stories and viewpoints to share as this interview series progresses. I'm dedicated to giving you insightful conversations with people from all areas of life, whether they are musicians, writers, artists, or other types of creatives.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview, in which we explore the fascinating world of a different guest whose passion and talent will undoubtedly capture your hearts and minds. Together, let's investigate the aesthetics of artistic expression and recognize the many talents that enrich our world.

( 16 )


Subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated on new blogposts and events, I don't spam!