A bold exploration of texture and detail is found in the unique works of Nigerian artist Tolu Ayoka. Based in Manchester, the self-taught digital and traditional artist depicts otherworldly beings and channels their emotions through vividly dark designs and artworks. The artist draws from their community and personal identity - using many layers of intricate strokes and heavy pigments underneath exaggerated lines to evoke Afrocentric individuals in otherwise alternative spaces. Through the esoteric essence of their mesmerising rendering, their high-contrast pieces and bewitching detail draws one behind the eyes - and some look further and see themselves.
- SATURATEDsaturated /ˈsatʃəreɪtɪd/ (of colour) very bright, full, and free from an admixture of white. Black women, and other individuals perceived as such deal with the overwhelming pressure to fit in a box and are constantly policed - from their hair, voices, style, makeup - to their bodies. These pieces are an attempt to show the beauty of non-conforming black women and non-binary individuals through the highly saturated range of hairstyles. Navigating their place in alt spaces in which they're usuall
- LMN-ADE X TOLU AYOKACollaborated with sustainable black-owned brand, Lemonade by Lauren Williams. Designed bespoke artwork for the brand's summer/autumn zodiac line - which included tank tops, crop tops and oversized tees. I created twelve individual pieces of artwork using ink on paper, each representing one of the zodiacs. Combining my art style with astrological elements and mythology, each piece strongly evoked the nature, character and appeal of its assigned zodiac sign. The artwork was printed on clothing,
- HELLZ ANGELZWorked on three bespoke pieces for talented Ghanaian Artist, Amaarae. The collective trio was titled 'Hellz Angelz' after the 8th track of her first full length solo album The Angel You Don't Know. This commission was a brilliant challenge and a great opportunity to show my range when it comes to illustrating digitally. Their eyes remain obscured to nudge at the idea of anonymity found in the album title. All three pieces have intricate brushstrokes and vibrant colour that imitate and amplify
Designer and IllustratorLMN-ADE by Lauren Williams
- Manchester, United KingdomFreelance
Created and illustrated unique designs for the sustainable fashion brand's summer/autumn line: LMN-ADE x TOLU AYOKA Zodiac Collection.
Social Media Coordinator/ Content CreatorNative Ark
- Manchester, United KingdomPart Time
During my time with sustainable black-owned brand, Native Ark, I managed and organised social media interaction, timing & strategies to favour brand insights. Created appealing graphics and content to boost reach. I liaised with existing and potential customers to maintain engagement and relayed customer concerns to the brand. Tailored my entire skillset to complement the brand's aesthetic and sustainability ethos.
- Digital Illustration
- Fashion Design
- Fashion Drawing
- Social Media Management