If Olasubomi’s family was asked how long he had been an artist they would say since he could hold a pencil.
“I have always been artistic, my mother tells me when I was a kid in Nigeria she had to put removable wallpaper on the walls as far as I could [reach], because I would just draw all over everything,” Olasubomi said.
Olasubomi sold his first piece of art when he was six years old.
“It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I realized the nature of creating and how much I needed it.” Olasubomi said.
Olasubomi Nurudeen Olaoluakiiten Aka Bashorun is a college graduate from Oklahoma Baptist University with two degrees in art and family psychology.
He is from Lagos, Nigeria, and he is a successful artist in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I moved to the U.S. as a kid, went to [kindergarten through] fifth grade – [then attended] college in the Oklahoma City Area. After college, I flipped a coin between Boulder, Colorado, and Nashville, Tennessee, [and] obviously Nashville won,” Olasubomi said.
Olasubomi owns his own gallery in Nashville called Drafts by Olasubomi Gallery (DBO).
He has painted several murals in Clarksville, Tennessee.
One of his murals is called “A Starry Night in Clarksville.” Ola painted the Clarksville skyline in the Vincent Van Gogh style of “A Starry Night.”
“The Starry Night in Clarksville mural was completed in the blistering cold. I started Dec. 27, 2017, and finished on Feb. 15, 2018; however, I actually only spent 11 days on it from start to clean up.” Olasubomi said.
Olasubomi had been doing art for an extensive period of time.
When he was in art classes in high school at the age of fifteen, his teacher, Mrs. Kathleen Blake, pushed him to his limits and changed the way he created art altogether.
“Mrs. Kathleen Blake allowed other kids to choose subjects [for an art project] such as basketball or cars etc. [However], when it came to me she denied everything I submitted until I chose a topic that was emotional and very personal,” Olasubomi said.
“She taught me [and challenged me] to be creative and express my feelings through the art. [In reality], I was in a lot of pain, but I never spoke, I hid behind a smile. She read right through it and showed me the freeing nature of self-expression through art. I’ve been doing that ever since,” Olasubomi said.
Olasubomi works with many mediums such as acrylic, graphite, oils and more.
His favorite medium to work with right now is metal.
He mentioned Yada Yada Deli on Strawberry Alley in Clarksville has a piece of art that he did that was made with metals of the New York skyline and Lady Liberty.
Olasumbomi is really proud of the work he has accomplished, and he enjoys how freeing it has been for him.
Olasumbomi creates art for himself, but also his career.
He said he could not pick a favorite piece of art he has done because then it would attach sentiment and he would not be able to sell his art that way.
His favorite moment is seeing people react in his gallery after putting so much emotion into his art.
He has a goal to open his gallery for art classes for those in need of healing.
“I’ve really only ever made one goal as an artist, and it’s been to open an art facility that opens its doors to all ages and backgrounds to have a space to express themselves artistically, [in the form of art therapy],” Olasubomi said.
And that’s in the works, my Nashville gallery opens its doors to organizations like the Healing Arts Project of middle Tennessee to have art classes for people that have gone through traumatic experiences,” Olasubomi said.
Olasumbomi encourages young, aspiring artists to take business and marketing courses to make them both aware and profitable in the art field.
Olasumbomi is not only an artist but a four-time collegiate national champion and eight-time All-American winner in track and field.
“The form of art very few people know that I’ve done is ballroom dance, which I competed in it and taught it for years,” Olasumbomi said.
Olasumbomi is not currently working on a project though he does have several exhibits happening at his gallery.
If anyone is interested in Olasubomi’s art, you can visit his website to see what is happening at DBO Gallery or visit his Instagram accounts at @draftsbyolasubomi and @dbogallery.