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Winning the Absa L’Atelier competition has profoundly impacted Raji’s career, providing him with increased exposure, credibility, and recognition in the art world.

Raji Bamidele. Courtesy of Absa.

Raji Bamidele is a self-taught artist born in Nigeria, whose passion for art had to remain a secret during his early education. However, he later pursued a diploma in Computer Science and studied Surveying and Geoinformatics at the University of Lagos. As the eldest of six siblings, he faced the responsibility of being the man of the house after losing his father, which greatly influenced his artistic inspiration. Raji’s art is influenced by natural laws, mathematical principles, philosophical beliefs, and scientific theories, which he combines with hyperrealism, figurative and conceptual creations, and striking gold-leafing techniques. His multidisciplinary approach has earned him accolades, including the Absa L’Atelier Ambassadorship in 2019 and the French Embassy Young Talents Award in 2017. Winning the Absa L’Atelier competition has profoundly impacted Raji’s career, providing him with increased exposure, credibility, and recognition in the art world. It has opened up opportunities for artistic development, mentorship, exhibitions, and grants while boosting his confidence and validating his creative vision. The experience as an Absa L’Atelier Ambassador has been transformative, leading to personal growth, networking, and further artistic exploration.

How did being a winner in the Absa L’Atelier competition impact your career as an artist?

Winning the Absa L’Atelier competition has been a turning point in my career as an artist. The recognition and opportunities that have followed have been genuinely life-changing. Being recognised as a winner of this prestigious competition has given me a higher level of exposure and credibility in the art world, which has helped me to attract more collectors, galleries, and potential clients. This has enabled me to share my artwork with a broader audience and expand my reach, creating new and exciting opportunities to showcase my work.

In addition to increased exposure and recognition, winning the Absa L’Atelier competition has opened up many opportunities for further artistic development and exposure. I have participated in exhibitions and attended masterclasses, allowing me to learn from and interact with other artists and industry professionals. This has been incredibly valuable to me, allowing me to hone my craft further, learn new techniques, and explore new avenues for creative expression. The mentorship and grants I have received have also been invaluable, providing me with the support and resources I need to continue growing as an artist.

Perhaps most importantly, winning the Absa L’Atelier competition has given me a renewed sense of confidence in my artistic abilities. It has validated my creative vision and inspired me to pursue my artistic goals more strongly. This has been instrumental in helping me to stay motivated and focused, even in the face of challenges or setbacks. Overall, winning this competition has been a game-changer, opening up new and exciting possibilities for my artistic career. 

What advice would you give to new artists considering entering the Absa L’Atelier competition?

If you’re a new artist considering entering the Absa L’Atelier competition, it’s essential to approach the competition with a strategic mindset. Researching the competition thoroughly is crucial to your success. Take the time to review past winners and finalists to get a sense of the competition’s style and aesthetic. This will help you understand what kind of work the judges are looking for and whether your work fits the competition.

Before submitting your work, ensure you fully understand the competition’s rules and requirements. Pay attention to the submission deadlines, the number of entries allowed, and the specific format and size requirements for submissions. This will ensure that your submission meets all the necessary criteria and that your work is presented in the best possible way.

Staying true to your artistic vision and voice is essential when creating your submission. Don’t try to create work that you think the judges will like or feel will give you a better chance of winning. Authenticity and originality are highly valued in art, and judges often look for something that stands out from the crowd. Create work that speaks to your unique perspective and showcases your style and talent.

Remember that only some competitions will result in a win. If you’re not selected as a winner, it’s important not to get discouraged. Use it as an opportunity to learn and grow as an artist and keep pushing forward. With hard work and dedication, your artistic career will continue to flourish, and you’ll be able to take advantage of other opportunities that come your way.

Finally, maintaining a positive attitude is crucial. Entering competitions can be a great way to gain exposure and build your reputation as an artist, but staying focused on your goals and not getting discouraged by setbacks is important. Keep working hard, stay true to your artistic vision, and be persistent in pursuing your dreams. You can achieve great things as an artist with the right mindset and approach. 

How did the prizes and opportunities the competition offered help you grow and develop as an artist?

Winning the Absa L’Atelier art competition prize and the associated opportunities have played a significant role in my development and growth as an artist:

  1. It boosted my confidence in my artistic abilities, motivating me to pursue my creative goals and explore new artistic avenues. In addition, winning the prize has resulted in increased exposure and recognition in the art world, attracting more potential clients, galleries, and collectors. This has created more opportunities for further artistic development.
  2. Winning the prize has provided vital financial support for my artistic practice, allowing me to purchase new materials and equipment and support personal projects.
  3. Winning the prize has helped establish me as a serious and professional artist in the art world, broadening my network and creating more opportunities for artistic growth and development.  

What was your experience as an Absa L’Atelier Ambassador?

As a recipient of the Absa L’Atelier art award, the experience has been truly transformative for my career and personal growth as an artist. The award provided me with a much-needed validation of my artistic abilities. It significantly boosted my confidence, encouraging me to push my creative boundaries further and explore new artistic directions.

Moreover, the Absa L’Atelier art award has helped to increase my exposure and recognition within the art world, attracting more collectors, galleries, and potential clients, which has opened doors to other opportunities for further artistic development and exposure through exhibitions, masterclasses, mentorship programs, and grants. The invaluable experience gained from these opportunities has helped refine my skills and techniques and allowed me to network with other artists and industry professionals.

Winning the Absa L’Atelier art award has also provided me with vital financial support, enabling me to invest in my artistic practice, purchase new painting materials and art equipment, and support personal projects that would have otherwise been difficult to fund. This has allowed me to experiment with new mediums and techniques, which has broadened my artistic range and helped me to grow as an artist.

Lastly, winning the Absa L’Atelier art award has helped me to establish myself as a serious and professional artist within the art world, leading to invitations to participate in other exhibitions and collaborative projects. This has broadened my network and presented more artistic growth and development opportunities.

For more information, please visit the Absa L’Atelier and the Absa Art Hot Spot.

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