This week we have a Love and Comics exclusive interview with artist Obi Arisukwu aka @obiaris. An up and coming artist hailing from the Houston area, Arisukwu takes a strong influence from the Saturday morning cartoon line-ups that everyone grew up with. Be sure to check out his interview below to learn more about this future force for cartooning.
L&C: First off, thank you for doing this interview! We’ve been following your Instagram @Obiaris since 2015 and are just enamored with your art style. It seems like you take a lot of influence from Cartoon Network cartoons and classic 90’s animation. What has been your inspiration or muse for your art? Why 90’s era animation?
Obi Arisukwu: I really appreciate the support, and for following me so long. It’s hard to say whats my inspiration because I have so many. You can see a kind of Warner Bros. cartoons style in faces I draw. The bodies are more Bruce Timm inspired. I follow a LOT of Instagram artists like Jake Parker and Derek Laufman who motivate me.
Even though I watch cartoons from all eras, I grew up on 90s cartoons. They bring me into a “happy place” so I guess my drawing style just morphed into the animated shows I loved to eat a bowl of cereal in front of.
L&C: In terms of 90’s cartoons, what are some of your favorite shows from that era? What are some of your favorite animated shows in general?
Obi Arisukwu: Man, I have so many from the 90s. These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head: Batman the Animated Series, Superman, Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, Rugrats, Doug, Ren & Stimpy, Hey Arnold!, Rocko, Recess, The Simpsons, and most importantly—the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! The Ninja Turtles is my favorite cartoon of all time. When I turned 30, I had a Ninja Turtles themed birthday party lol Right now though, I’m obsessed with Gravity Falls, Young Justice, and Teen Titans Go!
L&C: For readers who have yet to hear about your weekly podcast, “The Anti-Heroes”, how would you describe your show to new/interested listeners?
Obi Arisukwu: Unfortunately, I no longer do the podcast. My friend and cohost Greg Noire has become a force in the photography world, and he was no longer able to do the show due to his schedule. It didn’t feel right without him, so we ended it. I decided to do a daily video blog instead that captures the first 100 days of me leaving corporate America to be self-employed. I created this vlog, in which I call “Obi’s 100 Days,” to give insight to those out there who were like me afraid to take that next leap in life. It’s motivation, informative, and entertaining. You can catch it on my IG or YouTube page “Obi Aris.”
L&C: I’m sorry to hear that but your new project sounds amazing! Going back to your time with “The Anti-Heroes” podcasts, what was your inspiration behind the series originally and could you tell us how you came up with the idea?
Obi Arisukwu: Greg and I were always talking about superheroes and geek stuff, so we just wanted create a platform as two guys who talked about this geek universe in an untraditional, more urban way.
L&C: What are some of your favorite comic books that you have read or are currently reading? Any recommendations?
Obi Arisukwu: I’m reading the Invincible Iron Man series now. I’m going to jump on the Super Sons soon too.
L&C: This site is dedicated to romance in comic books. Who have been some of your favorite animated couples or even fictional couples in comic books/cartoons?
Obi Arisukwu: Doug and Patty Mayonnaise off top. Even though they didn’t date, everyone knew they were meant to be.
L&C: Coming back to your art, what are some dream projects or goals that you are trying to reach in 2017?
Obi Arisukwu: I want to drop a few children’s books and begin working on a cartoon series for sure.
L&C: What are you currently working on right now that you would like your fans to be aware of?
Obi Arisukwu: I’m working on issue #2 of a comic book series called “Towel Boy.” I’ve also just started working on my first children’s book that I wrote. That should be completed soon.
L&C: For new artist trying to get into the animation/comic book/self-publishing industry, what would be your best piece of advice?
Obi Arisukwu: Own your style, and by that I mean, don’t try to be like anyone else. Your style is what makes you unique. Secondly, never give up. Keep pushing no matter what.
L&C: Lastly, any last words for your fans or new followers? Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to hearing from you again!
Obi Arisukwu: I appreciate everyone who is supporting me, old and new. I receive nothing but positivity, and it keeps me motivated, so I can’t thank you enough. I’ll be sure to make you proud.
Obi Arisukwu is an artist out of Houston, TX who works on children’s books, comic books, and just illustrations in general. When he’s not drawing or pretending to save the world, he’s out eating tacos by a guy named Pedro (and yes, there is literally a guy named Pedro who sells Obi tacos. Be sure to check out Obi’s work over @Obiaris
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