Museache Presents: Kojo Owusu

TruthDonDie.Citizins

Kojo, a painter and graphic designer of the DMV, constantly throws his talent onto canvases, t-shirts, and more! Tainted by his African origin, his work speaks for itself. This artist’s choice of colors, the stories his work depict, and many other aspects reveal his flexibility. Be sure to check out more of Kojo’s work below, and learn a little more about the artist!


First off, tell me a little about yourself.
Name: Kojo Owusu
Origin: Born in Ghana. Grew up in London and Virginia

When/how did you start painting and doing graphic designing? Which do you prefer? I started painting as far back as 10 years old. But I was introduced to graphic design 10th grade. I don’t really have a preference, it really depends on the project. I started doing design work more because I was focused on my CITIZINS T-Shirt line and I was making a lot of vector work that was fun. But nearly 2 years ago I got bored and missed the paint brush and just started painting everyday. So I guess low-key I love painting more.

What or who inspires you?
Females, music, world history and politics really inspire me. I love listening to obscure hip-hop and reggae lovers rock mostly. But growing up in London has me occasionally listening to a lot of Grime; it reminds me of how rap used to be in the 90’s. If not that, I will throw on a podcast about history, world, music, political history …it’s all good to me. As for women, I think every guy, as well as some women, know how the internet can get you side tracked when your trying to get some work done. I’ll just leave it at that (laughs).

Under what conditions do you work? Do you get random urges to paint/design?
I need music, a movie or a podcast in the background and nobody around. I normally paint in my room, since I have roommates. I get urges to paint when I’m not home, but I design or paint everyday.When I’m designing, it’s more of logo, flyer work, etc. and the client can be by my side giving me their input. So when it comes to painting I need to be alone, but when I’m designing something else, I don’t really care. All in all, I prefer to have my space.

Do you freestyle often? Or do you like to structure your work & plan?
It’s kind of a half and half thing. I sketch out the main part of a painting, then I freestyle the rest. I’m always doing like 5-6 pieces at once, so I’m always doing once section of a piece then I stop and go to another piece. So basically, I can end up with a totally different painting then I originally planned, just because my mind changed or my vibe is different. When I’m designing I have more of a structure because I’m working on samples that a client has to choose from, so I can’t get crazy creative and confuse the client.

How do you feel when painting/designing? And how do you portray that emotion in your work?
I don’t throw my emotions into my paintings. If I did, I would probably always end up painting the same thing. My emotion is more controlled by what I listen to, especially when it comes to music. I design to get away from my emotions. It’s like I escape life… everything goes out the window.

What audiences are you targeting?
I don’t purposely target anyone and I really do what I like, which kind of works out since I like a lot of things. But I can draw a very detailed picture of a female and mix it with West African cloth print (Ankara), then one day paint a picture of Doom playing the piano singing a Biz Markie song.Then I can wake up one day and paint a picture of a Wale song, detailing lyrics from a verse, while I  finish off painting a purse or handbag. I take a lot of requests from people so that takes a lot of my time. But sales wise, I seem to attract people from the age group of 18-40.

Where do you want to get with your artwork/graphic designing?
I just want to be able to pay my bills and live comfortably with my art! That’s all I want. I plan to get into carpentry and sculpture work soon. So I just want to be able to feature my work in galleries and shows. I love doing live art. It’s funny because I hate people watching me, unless it’s during a live painting set. I also want to work with children, I want to go back to Ghana and work with children because there’s a lot of young artists that are forced to study pharmacy and nursing. I want to save them!

Where can your work be seen/purchased and where can your services be requested?
My work can be seen:
Instagram: @truthdondie

www.citizins.com

www.citizins.bigcartel.com

citizins.tumblr.com

My work can be requested by email:
citizins@gmail.com