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ARTIST PROFILE

The Art of the Journey By Dan Guttenplan

Cover Artist Oladejo-Lawal’s Passion for Painting Started in Nigeria

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s a child growing up in Nigeria in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Said Oladejo-Lawal developed a passion for painting. From an artistic talent perspective, he began to separate himself from his peers in elementary school, although a career as an artist was not viewed as practical by Nigerian citizens at that time. “I took fine arts with distinction, but there was peer pressure in Nigeria from my friends who wanted to be accountants, lawyers, and business administrators.” While Oladejo-Lawal’s high school teachers encouraged him to take a more traditional path as he considered his options for college, his father pushed him to follow his heart. “My dad bought me foam (sheets) for art, and I bought myself a foam (sheet) for accounting.” Luckily for the readers of the Sarasota Polo Club Magazine, Oladejo-Lawal followed his father’s advice and pursued a college education and career in fine arts. He was selected among a pool of applicants to design the cover of this publication. “When I was young, I said childishly, ‘I want to be an artist,’” Oladejo-Lawal said. “Right now, I’m painting as I talk.” Oladejo-Lawal’s lifetime pursuit of creating art may have never come to fruition had he not been denied his first choice of majors at Yaba Higher College in Lagos, Nigeria. He weighed the advice of his father and friends and decided to choose the more traditional path of applying to the school of accounting. When the list of accepted applicants was posted, he was disappointed to find that his was not included. However, his cousin applied to

the art school and, while he was not admitted, he found Oladejo-Lawal’s name on the list. “It’s one of the best tech schools in Nigeria, so that set me on the path to do what I’m doing now.” Oladejo-Lawal would follow in the footsteps of his father, who was an industrial painter and also did some interior design work on the side. In 2009, he moved his family to the United States to pursue his passion. “We came with the idea that I [would] paint professionally.” He created a studio in the back of his Columbus, Ohio home which he shares with his wife, 17-year-old son, and 15-year-old daughter. Oladejo-Lawal’s work is available on his website at lawalsaid.com. “My art is a window into my heart and soul – the instrument that gives a journey into my insight and feeling about all that is around me…It’s a way to make my opinion known about important things in life all around me.”

sar asota polo

2019

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Royal Polo, Said Oladejo-Lawal Acrylic on Canvas

Cover Artist Said Oladejo-Lawal

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Sarasota Polo 2019  

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