Ithaca College alumnus Aniebietabasi Ekong was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post. The artist, photographer, clothing designer and model discussed his unique artwork, worldview and future plans.
Ekong, who uses the name baddieani when he shares pieces of digital art, graduated from Ithaca College in 2016 with a degree in architectural studies, and will continue his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, home to one of the nation’s top architecture programs. He told the Huffington Post that his experiences growing up in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the U.S. helped to shape his eye for design.
“Moving around the world looking at buildings, it was obvious to me that people built things differently, I noticed that every different style had its own element of beauty in it,” said Ekong. “This made me an independent thinker, and I unknowingly started thinking about how I could make things look good, not how things could make me look good.”
Ekong also discussed the digital art that he posts online. Most of the images feature Ekong himself, wearing clothes that he designed or altered, with a minimalist background.
“My poses are me using my body language to non-verbally communicate my story,” said Ekong. “I have so much to say about how I feel during a shoot, and you can see I show it in my poses. When editing, I use colors that mirror my poses and outfits, of course, while remaining aesthetically pleasing.”
When asked what role social commentary plays in his work, Ekong expressed hope that his art would comfort those who face criticism for following their own path.
“I want my work to give confidence to people who are struggling with being looked down on for having their own unique styles and not being able to keep up with trends,” said Ekong. “I want people to appreciate different types of styles; everything is dope.”