triBBBal Artist Spotlight: The Fiery Artistry of Kelvin Ijiko; A Journey Through Kelvin’s Craftsmanship

Embark on a journey through the mesmerizing world of pyrography with a spotlight on the renowned artist Kelvin Ijiko. Delve into the intricate details of his captivating creations, where wood becomes a canvas for his artistic expression. Prepare to be enthralled as we uncover the stories behind the burns, and discover the intricate tapestry of emotions that Kelvin masterfully conveys through the flicker of flame and the stroke of his pen.


In the world of art, where expression knows no bounds, there exists a realm where lines are etched not with ink or paint, but with fire itself. Meet Kelvin Ijiko, an artist whose work transcends mere aesthetic appeal to communicate profound messages and emotions. With his deft hand and a burning passion for storytelling, Kelvin harnesses the power of pyrography drawing to weave narratives that speak volumes, captivating audiences worldwide.

While the art form of pyrography, the act of using controlled fire to create intricate designs on various surfaces, has been practiced for centuries, Kelvin Ijiko breathes new life into this age-old craft. For him, pyrography isn't just about creating visually stunning pieces; it's a medium through which he communicates his deepest thoughts, reflections, and observations about the world around him.

Artist Bio:

Kelvin Ijiko hails from Benue State and was born on October 11th, 1996. As a self-taught fine artist, he specializes in pyrography, utilizing it as a medium to encapsulate African history, styles, and cultures. His primary aim is to modernize pyrography, a traditional African art form, into a contemporary context.

In 2018, Kelvin earned his bachelor's degree in Religious Philosophy and Cultural Studies from Benue State University. Currently, he practices his artistry in Lagos. Kelvin's artwork serves as a conduit for conveying profound messages, encouraging viewers to transcend conventional perceptions of the world. He prompts them to delve into the metaphysical realm, urging them to introspect and morally justify their perspectives while appreciating the aesthetic essence of their views. For Kelvin, art extends beyond mere aesthetics; it encompasses philosophical contemplation and reflection.


Interview Segment with Kelvin Ijiko:

Q1. How did you first become interested in art?

Art has always been my God-given talent, bestowed upon me by a higher power. Since childhood, I have found myself drawn to drawing. Whenever I encounter a piece of artwork, I feel compelled to emulate it. There's a persistent belief within me that I can recreate it, and what fuels this passion is my ability to spend countless hours engrossed in drawing without feeling fatigued. Often, I'm so deeply immersed that I lose track of time and even neglect the need to eat.

Q2. What is your main source of inspiration? 

My main source of inspiration frequently arises from the combination of my past experiences and current encounters. Having been raised within the confines of a deeply rooted, traditional African community before transitioning to urban environments, both realms have significantly influenced my artistic journey. Particularly, my upbringing in the former setting has left an indelible mark on my artistic expression. Through my art, I endeavor to articulate the essence of these experiences, drawing upon the vivid memories they have bestowed upon me, thereby fuelling my imaginative faculties.

Furthermore, my academic pursuits in philosophy, religion, and cultural studies have served as another pivotal source of inspiration. My engagement with these disciplines during my university education has profoundly shaped my worldview and perception of reality. Consequently, I often integrate the insights gleaned from these studies into my artistic endeavors. Thus, I endeavor to create art that transcends mere aesthetic appeal, instead imbuing it with elements that provoke profound contemplation and philosophical inquiry.

Q3. What artistic style and techniques do you use in creating your works?

As a multi-dimensional creative individual, I have chosen pyrography - the intricate art of using fire and razor blades on wood - as my primary medium for crafting unique works of art. My creations span across various styles, including contemporary, traditional, and surreal, with themes deeply rooted in philosophical branches such as ethics, epistemology, aesthetics, metaphysics, and logic.


                                                                                                              Title: Idemili

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Q4. Is there any specific theme or subject you tend to gravitate towards?

Certainly, particularly focusing on the five branches of philosophy outlined previously. My artistic endeavors aim to produce aesthetically pleasing creations, as I hold the conviction that art should inspire beauty. Additionally, I strive to address ethical and moral issues through my work, recognizing the gravity of morality within society. I endeavor to craft pieces that invite both myself and my audience into logical contemplation, exploring profound interpretations. Moreover, my creative pursuits delve into metaphysical inquiries, delving beyond the physical realm to ponder fundamental questions. Lastly, I engage in the creation of artworks that delve into the realm of knowledge, exploring themes of epistemology.

Q5. How do you infuse your personal experience and emotions into your art?

As an artist, I infuse my personal experiences and emotions into my art by drawing from the rich tapestry of my traditional and cultural background, as well as my interactions with contemporary society. From attire to architecture, social behaviors to trends, I weave these elements into my creations, allowing them to tell stories rooted in my own lived experiences. Through this process, my art becomes a reflection of my moods, emotions, feelings, and conscious state of mind during the creative process.


                                                                                                         Title: Dear Diary

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Q6. Can you share any milestones in your artistic career that have had a significant impact on your growth as an artist?

As an artist, a significant milestone in my career that has significantly impacted my growth and development was emerging as the overall winner of the ‘Life in My City’ Art Competition in 2023 participated by young artists from all states in Nigeria. It was such an unforgettable experience

Participating in my first exhibition also marked a significant milestone in my artistic journey. It allowed me to showcase my work to a wider audience and receive feedback from other artists and art enthusiasts.

Receiving commissions for my artwork not only provided financial support but also challenged me to create pieces that meet the specific preferences and requirements of clients. It helped me develop my skills and versatility as an artist.

Overall, these milestones have played a crucial role in shaping my artistic career and contributing to my growth as an artist. They have provided valuable opportunities for learning, exposure, and advancement, helping me evolve both personally and professionally.

Q7. Are there any particular artists that have influenced your artistic journey?

Recounting my journey as an artist, my initial talent and passion for art was impeded by parental disapproval of formal art education. Despite this setback and pursuing other academic interests at the university, an encounter with a successful artist friend reignited my passion for art. With support and materials from this friend, I rekindled my artistic journey in 2018, marking the start of a new chapter in my career.

Also, several artists have profoundly impacted my artistic journey, spanning from historical figures to present contemporary creators. Among them are luminaries such as William-Adulphe Bouguereau, Sebastian Krueger, Roberto Ferri, Peter Uka, Justin Waddington, and many others.

Q8. Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals as an artist?  Are there any exciting projects or exhibitions you would like to share with us?

I aspire to elevate pyrography to a recognized art form globally, alongside drawing, painting, and sculpture. I aim to become one of Nigeria's foremost artists, showcasing my work in international exhibitions, galleries, and museums. Additionally, I'm committed to mentoring young artists and collaborating with esteemed curators to enhance the storytelling in my recent works.

I eagerly anticipate collaborating with esteemed curators and mentors, particularly regarding the recent bodies of work I've been creating. Their invaluable contributions significantly enhance the narrative and presentation of my art.

I am also looking forward to holding my first solo exhibition on the series I’m currently working on titled ‘The Way of the Water’.


                                                                                                      Title: Sweet Venom

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In this captivating journey of Kelvin Ijiko that we explored, we've delved into the depths of inspiration that drive the artistic endeavors of our featured artist. We've contemplated the sources of influence shaping their distinctive creations.

As we wrap up our exploration of this visionary artist's creativity, we extend an invitation to ponder the profound impact of experience, emotions, mood, and the artist's connection to the world around him. Let this art spark introspection, urging you to perceive the world anew and uncover the concealed narratives beneath the surface.

To learn more about Kelvin Ijiko, please visit his profile:


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