The Arts

August 31, 2020

I am inspired by the business of art — Mary Edoyugbo, Artist

I am inspired by the business of art — Mary Edoyugbo, Artist

Mary Edoyugbo, Artist


Mary Edoyugbo, Artist

By Osa Amadi

Well-bred, well-educated Mary Edoyugbo is an Edo-State born visual Artist of distinction. Her style is pointillism. Mary lives in Port-Harcourt where she runs her own art studio. Passionate about greenery and a healthy environment, she is also a voracious reader taught by Mark Manson to “give attention to a few vital things in life”. Mary says business inspires her. She had this virtual interview with VANGUARD from her base in Port-Harcourt:

What’s your regular beat? Or do you do art full time?

Yes, I’m a full-time artist

Given that art is a precarious way of earning a living, you must be doing well commercially to be doing it full-time.

Economics makes us know that man’s needs are insatiable and so pretty much every career path is precarious. But I’m doing well

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What’s your family background like?

I’m the last born from a family of 5 girls. My mum works with the health sector and my dad is a Civil Servant. I’m from Edo State.

You sounded like an economist. Did you study Economics in school? As an adult and especially as an artist, I read wide.

What’s your academic background?

I studied Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Benin, Benin City.

You’re in your original habitat then. When did you leave school?


How did you become interested in art?

It was by nature. It’s a talent and so I nurtured it by going after it professionally

Can you recall the earliest time in your life when you created an artwork?

Yes, I can. I was age 14, and it was a greeting card.

At 14 you were already in your teens. Did your talent not manifest in your childhood years?

Sure, it did, but the greeting card was what I recall most.

Do you have an artist in your family line?

None that I’m aware of.

So, we can rightly say you’re the progenitor of creativity in your family. Since you left school in 2012, what else have you done besides creating artworks?

I was an Art Teacher for 2years, but apart from that, I’ve been a full-time studio artist.

Do you have your own Art studio now in Port-Harcourt?

Yes, I do.

Would you like to tell us where your studio is located?

It’s off Stadium Road, Rumuomasi, Port Harcourt.

What informed your choice of medium, or style – pointillism – over painting and others?

I like to stretch myself, so Pointillism was my go-to approach.

Has it always been pointillism all the way in your art career; As an artist, don’t you do other forms of arts?

No, it hasn’t. I also paint. But Pointillism is my preferred method.

I’ve heard you say that when you draw, you’re drawing two things – the object and yourself (something like that). What exactly do you mean?

Whenever I create an artwork, I develop and create a newer version of me as well as the completed art piece.

That’s great! Is that to say you’re your self’s creator?

Yes, I am.

I thought God (or nature, depending on your belief) created us …and makes us new every day.

The Bible says that “Unto us a child is born and unto us a son is given.” The Mary you’re interviewing now is the “son” that’s given and not the child that was born.

That’s very deep. So far, what work of yours would you consider as your masterpiece?

The portrait titled ICHIE B.

We’d like to view it and probably use it when we publish your interview. Now, how, or what inspires you to start drawing…what they call your sources of inspiration?

I will get back to you on the permission to use the image (ICHIE B).

Have you sold it? Oh! OK, “Ichie B” must be someone’s portrait, right?

Yes, I have. It was a commissioned art piece. At this stage of my career, business inspires me.

You’re not serious

No, I’m absolutely serious. It is my career.

What would you say are the constraints in your type of art – pointillism?

The lack of good photographs from the clients.

Does having to draw people’s faces not constraining, in the sense that you may not have the opportunity of expressing your idea of what is beautiful?

No, it isn’t constraining because I have the creative license to make adjustments to the illustration of the portrait; besides, human faces are beautiful, they’re the creations of God.

Yea, but hardly do you find human faces (especially in pointillism) amongst the costliest artworks in the world.

Firstly, Pointillism isn’t a mainstream medium of achieving portraits, so there are few big names in the sector. Secondly, the value of art is mostly dependent on the artist, platform or agent behind the work.

You’re still young. What are your greatest aspirations in life as well as in your career as an artist?

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My career is pretty much my life and so my greatest aspiration is to have my artworks represented at Christie’s or Sotheby’s.

If you hadn’t been an artist, what other profession would you have pursued in life?

If I had found myself doing something else, I would have certainly gone back to enroll in the Arts. So, it has always been Art for me.

You said you’re a wide reader; what kind of things do you read?

Novels, business and motivational books.

Any book or article that made the greatest impression to you?

Oh yes! “The subtle art of not giving a f*ck” by Mark Manson.

That’s a curious title. Did the book shape or influence your world view, and if yes, what world view is that?

It solidified my world view – that I should give attention to a few vital things in life.

In other words, to be focused.


There is a landscape you made I saw

It’s equally Pointillism

It’s lovely.

Thank you.

It must have taken you a lot of time to finish. I never knew a landscape like that could be achieved with pointillism.

The technique generally takes a lot of time. ICHIE B took me 300hours to complete, while “The view from my window” took me 180hours.

How come? But the view is more complex.

I had less than 2weeks to complete the landscape as it was needed for an online exhibition. What else do you feel that people should know about you and your work that we’ve not captured in this chat? I’m passionate about greenery and a healthy environment. I love that. It makes the two of us. Thanks a lot for your time. Thanks to you too.

Mary Edoyugbo's artwork