How an artist ventured into visual and tattoo art


OREISON BANA, also known as BlueFacial, has found his niche in visual art and tattoo making and is motivated to raise his art to a world class level.

The 21-year-old artist realised he had a talent for drawing in 2009 when he was in primary 2, following a moment when his teacher put him in charge of sketching some drawings on board to help fellow pupils redraw them.

 He has also learned from his father who used to sketch different diagram for the purpose of educating his students and hang them in his class. Bana revealed that he was beside him observing everything which later compelled him to start drawing cartoons, simple comics as well as fabricating houses and cars in papers.

In 2017 when he was in Senior 4, Bana started drawing for money, earning from simple drawings he would make and sell them. In 2020, he met an artist called Uwezo who taught him more about art – showing him how he could elevate his art to a better level.

“Since then,” Bana narrates, “I started to paint and draw using pencils where I was able to do penciled and painted portraits for sale and people have been giving me jobs to craft those kinds of artworks for them.”

Bana doesn’t only do portraits; he also makes tattoos, an art he has learned from a guy who does tattoos after asking him how it’s done and getting help.

“He came home to tattoo a person. I was there observing and I didn’t have to observe for the second time. What I did was buy my own machine and started the process to make tattoos. I knew that I had to be careful because this time, I wasn’t dealing with papers or boards; I was dealing with people’s skins,” he said.

“I had to first make research regarding how I could do the work in a safe way that wouldn’t cause harm to my clients. After researching, I was able and ready and so I started making tattoos.”

Bana shared that he has read art related books and is mostly inspired by Leonardo da Vinci whose works have made him love art more and lured him to portray his ideas through drawings and express his feelings and thoughts.

He loves art because when he is drawing, it makes him feel relaxed, adding that specifically, visual art makes a place look beautiful and decorated – not to forget that it has also helped him to make money to take care of his needs and has nurtured his critical thinking and open-mindedness.

One of his popular artwork “Brain Jail” demonstrates how people limit themselves by putting their minds in a jail.

Since the time he started making art, Bana has gained recognition among established artists, improved his craft and has had some of his artworks exposed in studios, galleries and homes.

He has faced a lot of challenges including affordability of tools which is still a problem, and the fact that he couldn’t afford an art school, declaring that schools that teach art are few in Rwanda and a few number of artists can afford them, adding that some students are being oriented in schools they don’t prefer and the careers they didn’t choose which he highlights as a challenge.

Nevertheless, he plans to boost his art to the highest level and have his own house of art which he revealed will include all kinds of arts.

Source: newtimes