If there is anything good about the Lawyartist it is that he both knows himself and is himself. When that expression and others like it are used, they generally describe people so odd that the ordinary man or woman cannot tell where it is that they come from or where it is that they’re going. It is my greatest pleasure to say that the Lawyartist, Tunji is nothing like them - the people so fantastically creative that any idiot can tell that their day is not the ordinary nine to five.
In person he’s rather unassuming. I would not have known it was he if I had not spotted what looked like an interesting watch from across the bar. I walked up to him immediately and bent till my eyes lay level with his wrist, completely ignorant of the fact that he could possibly require a degree of a thing the anti-social call personal space.
The watch’s face was a gavel dueling with a pencil. It was him. I knew it without a doubt. In Lagos, the people you’re most likely to find wearing the merchandise of local creatives are the creatives themselves.
I looked straight at him and said, “You’re the Lawyartist aren’t you?”
He looked right back at me and said, “You must be Afam. I imagined that your madness was a front you kept up for the purposes of the blog. I was wrong. You carry it with you always.”
I find that I'm almost entirely incapable of being ashamed of being called mad. So I said,
“It is only the truly insane that bother to hide their madness. As I am only merely talented beyond compare, I wear my brand of it like it's my first skin.”
It was not the first time we'd spoken.
I'd seen a rather good drawing of one cartoon character or the other, and I was desperate to say something about it. I wanted to say brilliant, but my fingers protested fiercely and they were right to. It has always been my policy to be as stringent with my praise as possible. Men and women who do so are generally more trustworthy. If you speak highly of everything it gives the impression that you have no standards. A human being without standards is a truly terrifying character. I myself pretend that they do not exist. If my eyes were to linger on them my immune system would collapse and I'd be on the verge of destruction within the week. With all this in mind, I said a single accusatory "perv."
The accusation caught his attention and he asked a question. "Me or the person who likes this?"
I had the best retort. "The creator is the biggest perv. Everyone else is a student."
And thus our relationship was born. Every time he drew something and I saw it, I would point out something that could come across as sexual if framed the right way. It is a habit that endures to this day.
In the beginning he was good, but not exceptional. It has been my greatest pleasure to watch his art improve. Now, he has an exhibition in Ikoyi club, Lagos' greatest collection of its top ten per cent. He has done very well and I am pleased. I went to see it on Tuesday and I thought,
"Here's Tunde. Once he was my favourite pervert on Instagram and now he's everyone's favourite illustrator."
Like I said when this began his greatest credit is that he both knows himself and is himself. In the years that I've known him, he hasn't strayed from his calling. Something led him to draw some of his favourite characters in geeky pop culture. I dare say that you'll find no blogger, writer or journalist happier than I at his success. The Ikoyi club exhibition is only a stepping stone to the greater things he'll do in the future.
Follow him on instagram:@TheLawyartist
The original picture I took was the worst thing I'd ever seen so I had to repackage it.
The Lawyartist and I: The Exhibition you need to see if you're in these parts.
The Lawyartist and I: The Exhibition you need to see if you're in these parts. Reviewed by Afam on 17:05:00 Rating: 5