Matthew Eguavoen graduated with a 2:1 in Civil Engineering from the University of Port Harcourt, and is building an admirable career as a portrait artist while searching for an engineering job.
CN: When did you first discover your talent?
I was 13 years at the time, my elder sister had just registered to train as an artist so she was practicing. I was watching her one day and then I tried to draw something too. I used a picture of Obasanjo and sketched it but that was the first and last time until 2013 when the interest came back again, only this time I was in my final year in University.
CN: Do you have any formal training in art?
No, I have never had any kind of formal training in art. Everything I know is from continuous practice, surfing Google and Youtube for drawing videos.
CN: Why did you decide to focus on portraits?
I took interest in making portraits because I felt I needed to major in one area if I wanted to be any better.
CN: What do you enjoy most about your work?
Being able to put smiles on people’s faces. When they see themselves in a pencil sketch, the reaction most times is priceless.
CN: What do you like least about it?
When a client gives me a not so clear picture and insists that it is the picture they would love to use for the portrait.
CN: Which artists inspire you the most?
Kelvin Okafor, a Nigerian artist in London.
CN: What steps would you advise that a young person (or a parent) take upon discovering artistic talent?
I had always wanted to go into a lot of things, among which are fashion and computer programming but my dad didn’t encourage any of it at the time because I was yet to gain admission into the university. I am glad I got serious with art while I was in the university because if I had started earlier maybe it would’ve been discouraged too. I implore parents to support their kids and direct them in whatever career path they have a passion for.
CN: If there was any other career that you would choose, what would it be?
I still have a passion for computer programming.