One look at Kelvin Okafor’s drawings and all you can see is a man with great talents and a unique eye for details.
Born on November 1, 1985 in London to Nigerian parents from Ibusa, Delta State, Kelvin Okafor has been able to capture the world’s attention with his ‘miracle pencils, paper and charcoal’.
With the kind of miracles Okafor works, the likes of da Vinci, Caravaggio and Jan Vermeer would do more than doff their hats.
Kelvin, who has always been fascinated with creativity, grew up in a tough council estate. Having little money those days, he spent most of his time teaching himself to draw and pushing himself to get better. At about age 15, the reaction of parents and teachers made it clear to him that he was born to draw. After his A-Levels at St Ignatius College, he went for a one year course in Foundation Art & Design at City & Guilds Art School. He then proceeded to Middlesex University where he got a B.A. Honours in Fine Art.
This super-gifted photo-realistic artist can work in various artistic medium such as sculpture, glass, printmaking, painting and casting, but it’s his pencils that form his magic wand.
His form of art is called photo-realism and he charges from as much as N320,000 for a drawing. His early pieces included portraits of Amy Winehouse, Mother Teresa, Lauryn Hill, Nelson Mandela, Beyonce, Daniel Craig, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rihanna and Tinie Tempah.
He draws very lifelike portraits of ordinary people and celebrities using pencil and charcoal with his drawings often mistaken for photographs.
Kelvin’s drawings have scooped a number of awards as his unerringly accurate depictions of celebrities have seen him win prizes at the National Open Art Competition and get selected as a leading piece at the Cork Street Gallery Open Exhibition Winter Show.
You would be immensely stupefied with the tones, textures, illusion of colour and emotions Okafor is able to create with just one shade of lead.
Okafor says he sets “unreal” goals for himself but to him, the efforts made are more important than achieving the goal.