Interview with Storyteller and Expressionist Painter Anthonia Nneji

The art scene is thriving and more platforms have considered it of major importance to celebrate the creative industry through constant novelty and unique articulation of emotion in the form of photography, mixed media and digital to name a few. Nneji Anthonia talks through the inspiration and drive behind her work.

Who is Tonia Nneji?

My name is Anthonia Nneji, I am a visual Artist (painter), i was born in Lagos state, Nigeria. Graduated from the University of Lagos with a B.A (Hons) in visual arts.

Tell us about your journey so far

My journey so far….has been challenging, educating and most of all, amazing. Because I get to learn new things everyday, make research about them, learn how to interpret them with my paint and brushes so that they can pass a positive message to my audience. Art is what I was born to do and what I enjoy doing.

What is art to you?

Art to me is an expression of my imaginative skill and ideas, a way of creating visual interpretations of my ideas.

Describe your style

My style….I am an impressionist moving towards expressionism. I have learnt to speak about struggles, thereby not doing art for art sake only, but also for life sake. I address issues in the society, that has little or no form of awareness being done about them, mostly health issues affecting the youths.


What is the most challenging thing about being a Visual artist?

The most challenging thing about being a visual artist is the availability of materials. People not supporting me or not taking me and my art serious does not come as a challenge to me, it is actually their loss. I don’t see people or their opinion as a challenge, I see them as a form of distraction. The surge in the price of Art materials is the only challenge!

Do you have a favourite piece of work? Can you describe its creation, also your thoughts and what it means to you?

All the paintings and drawings I have ever made are special, they all have a piece of me in them. All of them are my favourite.

How is living and working in Lagos influencing your work?

Lagos is the centre of art and its activities, an avenue to learn new things and meet people who share similar ideas. Lagos is also very populated giving me the opportunity to know about issues affecting the youths in the society, most times when I visit clinics, enter public buses and visit rural areas. Lagos has a larger audience, in terms of visit to schools, and youth centres.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or projects?

I have a group exhibition I am participating in, OCTOBER RAIN. Organised by the Society of Nigerian Artists  (Lagos Chapter) on the 28th of October, 2017, at the National museum of art, Onikan, Lagos.

Would you consider being a mentor?

Hmmm….i really don’t know. If people see me as a mentor, that’s cool then.

If you could choose anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Kenya, Seychelles or Canada


Anthonia can be reached on Facebook: Anthonia Nneji and Instagram: @tonia_nneji

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