Friday, February 11, 2011

One Nigerian Boy Speaks to a Fresh Breed of Emerging Talents in the Nigerian Creative Arts Sector, Studio How Now.

The creative arts sector in Nigeria has not received a lot of interest and exposure in the mainstream creative sector. Fashion is the big deal now, but I can feel a collaboration between fashion and creative arts happening real soon and becoming a trend. This is simply the reason for bringing to your attention this cool bunch of people who are into 2D & 3D animation as well as illustration. They are called Studio How Now a.k.a SHW. 

Growing up at some point we were all glued to cartoon network or Cadbury’s Saturday show on local tv for paco’s lols and its not expected to see those sort of things done by Nigerians in Nigeria. But Studio How Now has been successful at it and they operate from Nigeria. Last year, they merged with CDSL to expand their portfolio and workforce.

In combination with CDSL they currently have the toon boom  franchise for Nigeria and are putting things in place to take animation to the next level.

They launched ‘Chicken Core’ preview on YouTube (no longer available due to software upgrade) which is based in a fantasy world where like in any other world, the chicken race is considered inferior. “NATURE”, as quoted by a wise old lizard, rewrote “HER” laws in favor of the weaklings. “SHE” had seen the manner in which larger members of the hierarchy had oppressed their smaller equals and hence decided to shuffle the wheel of power. “SHE” foretold of a future leader by the name “KIKI”, a chicken that would spawn from this feeble race and rule the Animal Kingdom. The Chosen One, handpicked by “NATURE”, would come without a sign to depict him. With a power known to no other animal, he would fly over the moon.
What are all the full names of the members of SHW?
The creative team consists of Shina Ajulo, Ape Ekene, Papi Lastic, Harry Osborne, Collyde Prime, Seyi Osunlaja, Ola Akerele, Fony Obott, Seyi Bilewomo and Oku James.


How did you guys connect to form SHW?
SHW members were connected by their love for gaming, comics, music and animation. Art is an expression of illustrations from within. Each member of the team has a unique art form tuned to their liking and together we make magic.

What are some of the major challenges of doing 2D and 3D animation in Nigeria?
We would say recognition. Not recognition of the art (which speaks for itself) but for a clear understanding that this industry is different as relates to quality control. There are standards below which products put out cannot fall and attaining such standards requires time and money. Often we’ve had people ask for 2 and 3D animation works running for 30mins plus to deliver in a few weeks. When we say “no can do” a common response is “isn’t it just a cartoon?”. Yes it is but the finer details which give the “WOW factor” embedded in quality often go unnoticed.

Would you guys consider yourselves the pioneers in this field here in Nigeria?
LOL!!! No we won’t. There are lots of talented groups and individuals in the country who have pushed out fantastic products i.e. Frame Factory, Lineguage, Artletic Works, Canary 7even. But for continuity, the industry requires a supporting structure and sufficient skilled manpower to develop their ideas to the extent of their vision. 
What was the inspiration behind Chicken Core?
Chicken Core (CC) popped out of Ape Ekene’s head after drawing frames for a 2D animation advert back in 2006. He woke up one morning and said “Shina, I’ve seen the light….chickens wracking alligators. Like Einstein we all thought his marbles were not in place but right after he designed the 1st character, Kiki, we started picking names and deciding on a plot. The project gathered dust soon after and was thrown in the archives. In 2009, one of the newer SHW members stumbled upon “the lost scrolls of CC” (concept design), immediately saw the potential and the team began redesigning the concept. The plot is complete and the script for season one done. Combining comedy and action packed scenes, the story remains deep and captivating targeting PG 13 viewers and animation lovers of different ages.

What other projects you guys got lined up/ plans for the future?
Our 2011 calendar has no room for vacations. We are currently working on building “The Angries”, 3D commercials and 2D animation projects for clients. At the same time we are producing an alternate preview for Chicken Core as the plot thickens.




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