On Naddya Oluoch-Olunya’s Tumblr, she is Nyar Goro: drawing is her home. From as early as she can recall, Naddya has always been drawing. However, she only began live sketching in her second year at Canadian uni, Sheridan College. There, Naddya studied animation and comic illustration. “I sketched at festivals and country fairs, because it gave me contact with animated and energetic audiences,” she says.
Naddya’s sketches are mostly caricature and to produce them she has to inhabit her subjects. For the Aloe Blacc Show at Blankets and Wine, Naddya produced 15 live sketches in one-on-one sessions with attendees, and also capture audiences throughout the day.
“Animators are trained for speed and energy,” says Naddya, who currently works for ZanaAfrica as an illustrator and character designer for the Nia Teen health comics.
Live sketches require Naddya to make quick judgements about the rhythms of characters from momentary observations and for the brief duration of drawing sessions. Ultimately, she hopes to achieve a vision that satisfies her.
Her creative process involves setting goals, constantly practicing and delivering. For inspiration, Naddya always seeks “that pure kernel of joy and sense of wonder” that spurred her interest in art. Her favourite sketching materials are newsprint paper, conté sticks and acrylics.
The overarching theme of her work is positive forms of femininity and women are central figures in her drawings. “Through them I encounter myself and allow audiences to do the same,” she says.
Get a live sketch by Naddya at the July edition of Blankets & Wine.