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Talking Senses with Ofilaye

Talking Senses with Ofilaye

Talking Senses is a series where I talk to different creatives about the role their senses play in their practice. I’m interested in where they might find inspiration, comfort or ritual as they create.

While Ofilaye and I play in different areas of the creative world - he, a photographer and filmmaker, and me, a jewellery maker - visuals play a huge role in what we do. And, the way in which we collaborate on projects has been built through a deep understanding of each other’s practices and the way in which we communicate ideas.  His eye for capturing storytelling and narrative in a rich way has always inspired me and I was interested to see how the senses influence and inspire his work, and how it may resonate with my own. (If you missed it, you can read the first instalment of Talking Senses here!)

When creating, it all starts with SIGHT. Ofilaye’s starting point is to dip into his “Inspiration Reservoir” on his desktop. “When I’m planning a photoshoot or film, I create moodboards first. I store all my favourite images, paintings and quotes etc in a folder on my desktop - my ‘Inspiration Reservoir’.” And because it’s on his desktop and not a particular app, it means Ofilaye can moodboard on the go - anywhere, anytime. And I know as well as anyone that you can find inspiration in the most unexpected places!

Clothing is another aspect of Ofilaye’s creative work and for this, it’s good old pen and paper then he uses to first visualise ideas, before seeking inspiration on the Internet. Being a visual artist, colour must be integral to Ofilaye’s work - but is there a particular one he finds himself drawn to often? “Blue,” he says. “It’s always been my favourite colour since I was a child”. I wanted to delve deeper though, and understand what is it about blue that captures him. “I think it’s the calming endlessness. The sky. The Ocean.”
What I have always noticed about Ofilaye is his connection to nature and his eye for beauty when we've been shooting outside or on a walk looking for flowers or a location for an upcoming project, he will always find something that I overlooked and i'll be in awe of how he's come it and taken the time to be present in the space. This is reflected through his page My Blou World where he scans objects he is drawn to and presents them almost like his own version of cyanotypes. 
From our discussions, it seems that SOUND is part of Ofilaye’s day to day in that he curates playlists for different moods. For example, “Lost in the World” is an instrumental hip-hop/jazz playlist, with the likes of J Dilla, Nujabes and Japanese producer Uyama Hiroto. “This one is for when I’m out on long walks,” he says. “...or alone in a beautiful place”. The soundtrack to his day when he’s not in the most positive headspace, his playlist “A Feeling” is just the ticket. “When I’m down or moody, this playlist is my go-to. It’s multi-genre with a moodier tone”. 

There’s one thing it seems that Ofilaye is rarely without: a steaming cup of green tea. Funnily enough, it’s the one thing that brings together TOUCH, SMELL and TASTE for him in relation to his creative work. 
It’s not just the clean and earthy taste that brings him comfort as he edits in front of a screen though. “Green tea saves lives!” he jokes. He loves the smell of that cup of green tea swirling around the room while he creates or edits. And during the rare times his hands aren’t gripping a camera or editing, when he’s mulling over a moodboard or thinking up his next concept, there’s something comforting about holding a hot cup of tea.

I loved this conversation with Ofilaye, delving into some of his rituals and techniques that form part of his amazing creative work. My new collection - Jāli - has been shot by him, and I can’t wait to share it all with you soon!
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