Art has always been therapeutic, but only a few discover it, and it’s often unexpected, but when the discovery happens, it unleashes an artist from within. One such artist is Ismaila Rufai of Kingsville Visuals.
“Photography started for me as a joke. I didn’t know I’d be doing photography not until after it saved me from a sad place. It shined its light on me in 2018, but I discovered my niche in 2020.”
Ismaila Rufai who created Kingsvillevisuals gallery, is an Abuja-based photographer in Nigeria who enjoys taking pictures of the melanin skin; his work features the inclusivity of people with albinism.
Please introduce us to Kingsville Visuals. What's your real name, and where are you from?
My name is Ismaila Rufai from Kogi state, which is in middle north Nigeria Ebira by tribe but currently residing in the country capital Abuja.
What was the inspiration to venture into photography? When did your sense of artistic appreciation begin?
Well, photography started for me as a joke. I didn’t know I’d be doing photography not until after it saved me from a sad place it shined its light on me in 2018, but I discovered my niche in 2020
What's your favorite creative mood like?
I don’t have a favorite creative mood. I love every bit of my work equally because they all have deep meaning to me.
How does your environment influence your art or work?
My environment significantly impacts me and my work because of the culture and the people, and it changed my perspective, so I’m putting in the effort to make the best of it.
Your works bring about the inclusivity of people with albinism in your works; why's that? Any particular message you hope to pass to the audience?
Well, we are in a world where racism is a thing, and people perceive others differently, so I include Albinos in my work, just saying my space is welcome to everyone, and if we love ourselves, we will find peace.
"Beauty comes in all forms" from your perspective; what does this mean to you?
Beauty, in my perspective, is the energy put into things like the process, the execution, and results, even the way we live our lives; beauty is in everything, and I believe everyone is beautiful in their own way.
What's your favorite thing about photographing your melanin skin?
Melanin skin glows, so in every scenario, it still comes out great, so yeah, I love the diversity of it.
How do you market your art? Where can we find them? Also, what's the motivation to keep going in Photography?
JI market my art by selling my prints, and I’m also in the NFT space with the name Kingsville Visuals Gallery on the variable. Well, photography is life to me, so I can’t stop, and I’m always motivated each time I hold my camera.
What messages do you have for artists who want to monetize their crafts as you do?
I advise them to be genuine in their craft; with that, I believe the right audience will follow through, and marketing their art will be easier.