( ENSPIRE Feature ) Get to Know Roderick, the Visual Artist and Creative
ENSPIRE Contributor: Ballen Yew
Known for his collaborations with artists such as TEMS and Wizkid, Roderick Ejuetami is a self-made photographer and creative director. He grew up with a passion for photography but it was only after a gig for a friend’s nightclub, that he realized he could make a living off his interests. He moved to Lagos to pursue his dream of working in the fashion and photography industry.
In the beginning, it was difficult for Roderick. He often worked for free to gain more experience and learned from his mistakes. Through hard work and dedication, he could make a name for himself. With a better understanding of the work he does, he can create his own techniques to express himself in his work. He created his own brand, DEEDS, which he plans on growing into a movement that inspires and empowers African talent and creativity.
Roderick believes the key to his success is the ability to adapt to the situation accordingly. He ensures that his work evolves with the times and often learns new ways to create. It is important to stay open-minded to change. The dynamics of a relationship are also changing, depending on who he is working with. With experience, Roderick has developed a better understanding of his relationships.
ENSPIRE spoke with Roderick about his past, current and future projects.
Could you explain how you first got involved with the photography industry?
I fell in love with photography at a young age. Taking in the culture of Hollywood movies and hip hop. I was inspired by photographers such as; Jonathan Manion and Chimodu! I first started as a photographer in a friend’s nightclub in Benin City. After which I had an understanding that I could make a living off this passion! I decided to learn more about the craft and improve myself in all the different ways I could and move to Lagos to pursue my dream working in the fashion and music industry.
Was it difficult when you were first starting out as an individual who was self taught and how have you made a name for yourself?
It was difficult, I did countless free jobs and made plenty of mistakes but each mistake, I could learn from and grow. By working hard, being consistent and understanding the dynamics of relationships I made a name for myself. I make sure to always evolve with the times and learn new ways to create, being open-minded and alert to the changes in the culture.
Could you describe your creative process before your rise in popularity and how it has changed since then?
Before now, I was trying to learn by the books the creative process that was being used at the time on how to shoot, lighting and dealing with clients. But, as I grew in my industry, I started creating my own process without rules and no boundaries and allowed myself to fully express my art.
Is there a piece where your supporters had a notable influence on the final product?
No, I always tend to allow myself to be myself. If you support me, you support my originality!
What do you hope to achieve with your brand, DEEDS?
I hope to grow it into a movement that can populate the world with free thinking african creatives and empower them with the necessary tools to succeed in this industry.