Our parrots’ nest is very wide and filled with the most colorful of parrots. Today, we pull our “Blaze Parrot”, away from his usual duty of lighting up the nest, for a little chat on the fuel behind his fire.
David Ifeanyichukwu Okaludo is Talku Talku’s graphics designer, and one of the original parrots in the nest. His graphics expertise has proven valuable to helping Talku Talku, as a brand, grow and gain the visibility it has until now.
Also known as Davablaze and, in Talku Talku, the Blaze Parrot, he is a third-year engineering student at Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria. When he is not studying to become an engineer or creating amazing graphics for Talku Talku, he is lighting up dance floors, streets and stages as Davablaze the dancer.
He had a quiet childhood (school-church-home, like many young Nigerian millennials and Gen Z’ers) thanks to strict parenting. “If I’m where I am not supposed to be, the fear is already there. Even if I’m in school and not where I should be at a certain time,” David says.
David grew up fascinated by visual art. He loved watching people draw and make sketches and even tried to imitate them. He failed many times. That didn’t stop him, however.
David decided, since he could not draw on paper, he’d learn graphics design to be able to fulfil his dream of being a visual artist. “When I’m in front of my screen, I’m a beast,” he remarks. “What I cannot do on paper or on a canvas, I can do even more when I’m sitting in front of my screen. Whatever I imagine, I can create,” he adds.
He learnt everything about graphic design using YouTube and other online learning channels, and continues to hone his skills this way. But David attributes his growth to two mentors who have trained him and continue to offer him guidance.
“I have a boss: Eromosele Ogbeifun Jefferson (of Gido_design). He put me through the rubrics of graphic design and still continues to be a mentor to me. I always run to him whenever I’m stuck, and he guides me through the problem while making sure I do the task myself.
“I also learnt fundamentals from Michael Yusuf (Michael Yusuf Brand). These two have impacted my graphic design career and will always do.”
David sees mentors and role models in everyone who is into visual arts, whether digital or not. His respect for everyone who does art stems from the huge task of bringing imagination to life – which these artists have taken upon themselves.
“People always want to undervalue us artists,” He painfully reflects. “You give a client a quotation and they start making weird statements. There is a lot of work that goes into it. From ideation to taking notes, and the execution which can take a lot of time.”
What is most impressive is how David juggles all of his endeavors effectively. “It has not been easy [juggling studies, work as a graphic designer and my dancing] at all o,” he adds the “o” for emphasis. “Especially studying Engineering,” he carries on.
“But as a young man who must survive independently, I have to make sure that I find the right balance. So far, none is suffering but many times, I’ve had to prioritize school because it is the most sensible thing to do in my situation. In all, I thank God for the grace,” he adds.
He lives by the mantra: “bringing imagination into reality and bringing dreams to life” and wants to continue doing so while getting better at it. He believes he doesn’t have a limit and will continue to burn bright, true to his Blaze Parrot moniker.
You can check out his design portfolio on Instagram, @davablaze_design, and follow his personal journey, @dava_blaze. If you are on Twitter, you can find him there with handle, @dava_blaze, and on Facebook as Okaludo David. You can also watch his dance videos on his new YouTube channel here, and follow Talku Talku on all our social media platforms to see more of David’s amazing designs.
On Sunday, he’ll be sitting down with Phateemah to give us more insight into his creative journey.