When Sorrow Becomes Joy

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For this year’s most recent Pow Wow Hawai`i 2014, I had the pleasure of catching up with Ekundayo, also known as Dayo. Local Hawai`i resident artist that found his inspiration in his uncle’s black book when he was 13 years old, Dayo copied every single page. Every artist finds greatness after first copying the greats.

The first time I met Dayo was back in January of 2009. Since that time, I have been keeping up with his art and by doing so have had the enjoyment of seeing his techniques as an artist develop immensely over the years. Having an interest in graffiti and an education at the Art Center College of Art and Design in Pasadena, California has given him the resources and training he needed to become the artist he is today.

When I asked him what inspired his work, he told me that it is the beauty of struggle and pain. He once told me how hard it was for him growing up and that life at home was not exactly ideal, but eventually he found the love for art that would keep him from making bad choices and instead provoke him to chase after his dreams. Despite his scholarship at Art Center, he dropped out after taking foundational courses and find his path through his own hard work and determination.

Today, he is a resides in Kaimuki, Hawaii. He keeps up actively on his website and sells prints, t-shirts, and paintings to anyone who gets inspired by his work. When sorrow becomes joy, it is truly a beautiful thing.


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