It’s with great joy that I introduce to you my next guest, the talented and beautiful Azeeza Sanni; an eminent visual artist and founder of Murado Imani.
Azeeza’s work has been showcased in numerous art exhibitions in Nigeria and her work is an embodiment of the strong, rich and versatile phenomena of an African Woman. Her abstract pieces are very well praised by viewers and often times ranges between the use of acrylic and oil paints.
If you are an art enthusiast or a curator then you should definitely drop by at one of Azeeza’s pop up sales and art exhibitions. I hope you guys enjoy meeting this great mind and get to learn a few things from her as I did.
What’s a typical day like in Azeeza’s life?
A typical day for me would be to wake up and pray, a little music session while I get to start the day. The music helps set the tone with good energy, then I go to the gym then I either go to class or stay in and watch documentaries or doodle. I’m pretty restless so would end up finding something to do lol.
Azeeza is a beautiful name, what does it mean?
Thank you so much! its Arabic and means esteemed and cherish.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Hmm, I can’t live without my glasses, I can’t see anything in reality, paint brushes (I travel with them even lol), and I would say coconut oil.
I don’t know if anyone has told you this before but you are someone that whenever I see, I think of art…not because you’re an artist but because there’s some form of art in the way you dress and express yourself. That said, in what way were you exposed to art growing up?
I appreciate that, and I have been told this quite a bit. When I was younger there were always school plays with african dances and costumes. I never took part being a wallflower and all but I loved watching my friends partake. Also, in church every first sunday everyone comes decked out in traditional clothes.
Your work is something that makes me really proud to be an african woman, where do you draw the inspiration to paint the things you do?
Inspiration is just a product from everyday life, things i’ve absorbed into my subconscious, things I see, hear, hope to be and come to pass. Some past experiences too.
What is it about art you love the most and is there anything you don’t like about art or its industry?
What I love the most about art is the freedom that it is. When a creative produces something people ask why but the real question is why not? Why not make this distorted. Why not be a colour so striking? Only negative thing about art would be politics perceived in trying to make it. At some point in time it becomes more about the artists name than the art itself…which isn’t too shabby.
Are there any particular struggles you face as a female artist?
I’ve been told that to be a successful female artist, I might not be able to have it all, the family life, because all my focus would be on my art, I still need to be on my grind 24/7. I haven’t reached that stage but it is something I think about because I plan on having it all.
On an average how long does it take you to complete an artwork and do you have any specific rituals?
No ritual just music and my canvas. I don’t have a set playlist, it’s more of my mood at the time and what tone I want my piece to have.
You’ve got a great interest for the fashion and beauty industry and modelled for different hair and clothing brands such as Oridehair, Zonedistrict and so much more. Is modelling something you’d like to commit to full time if given the opportunity or it’s just something you enjoy doing on the side?
Haha oh no, I really can’t see myself modelling full time! I do it for my friends, to help them out but I also enjoy it from time to time.
Speaking of the beauty industry you are a major inspiration to others including myself when it comes to looking after 4c natural hair. Can you talk to us about your natural hair journey and some of your favourite natural hair products?
I generally got bored of my relaxed hair and cut it into a little afro back in 2012 and i’ve “trimmed” my hair repeatedly since then. This is the first time I have let it grow out. I still get bored, which is why i started to dye it! it’s been fun, it’s your hair but some days are stressful. My favourite products would be creme of nature (Argan oil line), African Pride hair masks, and Shea Moisture’s leave in conditioner and shea butter I just whip myself.
I must say that the people of today are living in what I’d like to call a narcissistic world. Millions of people are just not happy or satisfied with the way they look, and go out of their way to change certain things about themselves; in order to meet the false standard of beauty that has been set by the society. As a woman comfortable in her own skin, what do you think can be done to address the issue of cosmetic surgery, bleaching, butt implants, waist sculpting surgery e.t.c and the impact it’s leaving on the younger generation?
Social media is where life is. Social media IS life. Everyone looks to it for their daily bread, which is so sad because the younger generation are so impressionable. They don’t know that even the people online don’t truly look like that, and they feel they have to reach that height. Even we young adults still feel some type of way with what we see, much less the younger ones. Body enhancements, I feel if you really want it, there is probably a fitness routine for it. As a dark skinned girl, which is only becoming a “trend” now (at least people are beginning to accept who they are), bleaching is never the way to go. God made you that complexion, I’m pretty sure He knew what He was doing. Why change anything when He thinks you’re perfect?
You’ve got a very peculiar style. You are someone I know that wears waist beads, puts on white henna, occasionally wears cowries in her hair and basically loves to switch up her looks and can wear sneakers one morning, gladiator sandals in the afternoon and platform heels at night. Where do you shop and thrift some of the rare items in your wardrobe?
My wardrobe is really just a bunch of random things. Half of the things I wear, I sew them because when I buy them they don’t seem to fit or be exactly how I want, so I basically create as I want it. Other things I buy are basics from Asos and Forever 21.
Do people stereotype you as anything?
Stereotype would be i’m a bitch, and that’s because i’m naturally quiet so i’m more of the observer than partaker till i’m comfortable in that space, and apparently I look unapproachable so it’s quite the mix.
Your celebrity look alike is Justine Skye and if I remember clearly, you’ve always loved her right since your high school days. Apart from the looks and both your loves for the colour purple, is there anything else you both share in common?
What attracted me to Justine Skye was the colour purple! She is a break out singer, trying to make her mark too, I respect her for working towards her dream with that much drive and it’s something I would like to take after in my art journey.
What advice would you give to young boys and girls who would rather follow their passion than go to school to study an actual profession?
I would say make sure you are focused that this is what you truly want. Hone your craft, know the history of what you love, find your niche and keep grinding.
Would you rather never have Internet access again or never be able to travel out of your country?
Haha that’s a hard one. I would rather not have internet access, can always use someone else’s lol.
What animal best represents you and why?
What animal… nothing too fancy, probably a bear. I’m protective of my family and friends. Fierce when provoked enough and entirely cute lol!
Can you tell us something not many people know about you?
Not many people know that i’m shy. I guess that’s why they stereotype me that way also.
If the whole world had your attention right now, what would you tell them?
I would tell them I do art, just to put it out there lol, and I would ask why is no one original anymore?
Last but not least, do you have any good book, movie, documentary or place you’d recommend to your readers?
I LOVE Basquiat’s Radiant child documentary. It’s so fascinating even if someone isn’t interested in art I think they would enjoy this.
To stay updated with Azeeza’s work be sure to follow her on any of her social media platforms below:
Thank you for stopping by today but before you go, do show Azeeza some love by dropping a comment or any question you may have for her below, and be sure to watch out for my next incredible guest!!