Have you seen the lyric video to Kwesi Arthur’s “Turn on the Lights”? What about the album covers of Ground Up Chale’s “We Outside (Y3 W) Abonten)” and Jay Cliff’s EP “Twelve2Five”? There has been a hardworking individual behind these and he goes by the name, Christoph Baffoe-Bonnie. I (Ayeyi) had the honour of interviewing him and getting to him more.
Photo of Chris
Ayeyi: Hey Chris. How have you been spending your self distancing period?
Chris: I’ve been at home on my laptop almost 24/7, if not doing assignments and watching “The Fairly OddParents”, oh and SpongeBob.
Ayeyi: (laughs) I love SpongeBob too. So for those who don’t know you, how would you describe yourself?
Chris: I would say I am a weird kid who has an overactive imagination and an obsession with alchemy; which is a process of transforming matter but I interpret it as creation.
Ayeyi: Intriguing. One of the things that you do is design. How did you become involved in 2D and 3D design?
Chris: So i got started in 2D design when I was in high school. Back then, I used to make edits of shirt designs on my phone with the app “Phonto.” I then took an interest in album covers soon after and started practicing illustrations and I got better. For 3D design, I was influenced by Anime which I watch frequently. I got a few courses online and practiced a bit and fell in love with it.
Ayeyi: And when you are designing, what software or tech do you usually use?
Chris: For my 2D design work, I use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and After effects, and for 3D I use Blender and Cinema 4D.
Ayeyi: That’s quite a number. Apart from designing, you are also into photography. What motivated you to start taking photos?
Chris: Well, I was motivated by Rayscorruptedmind, a photographer in New York City. I just loved his style of shooting and wanted to try if I could find my own style. I still haven’t found it till now but I have a fair idea of the kind of content I’ll be shooting.
Ayeyi: Care to share the kind of content you’ll be shooting?
Chris: It’s mostly going to be street art and minimalism. I really love simple compositions.
Ayeyi: I will keep my eyes open for them. For photography, what software(s) do you usually use to edit?
Chris: I use Photoshop to edit my pictures and sometimes Lightroom, but I prefer Photoshop.
Photo shot by Chris
Model: Khalifina (Musical Artist)
Ayeyi: How would you describe your creative process?
Chris: So I don’t think I have a process. I just sort of think about the idea over and over in my head and start making things in my head from there. I always make sure I write my ideas down so I can review them and add on to them later. Most times, I can see my end result in my head before I start creating.
Ayeyi: Fascinating. So far, what would you identify as the most challenging project you have worked on and how did you handle it?
Chris: I wouldn’t rank any projects difficulty above another’s because they are unique. What challenges me the most sometimes are time constraints. I do a lot of work for musicians and artistes and they all have deadlines for certain projects to be released. So my challenge here would be to execute my projects while also meeting these time constraints. Apart from that, it’s just fun and games for me, It’s like playing with LEGO.
Ayeyi: That’s an interesting comparison. In your portfolio, which piece(s) are you most proud of and why?
Chris: I love all my creations equally and I cannot pick any as my favourite.
3D design by Chris
Ayeyi: Is there any time that you identify as most creative?
Chris: Well, yeah. I would say I’m the most creative at night. There’s just something about it that gets me stimulated.
Ayeyi: (laughs) I can relate. Nowadays, more people are becoming involved in graphic design and photography. What makes you stand out?
Chris: I personally think that everyone is unique including myself. What I mean by that is everyone has their own style and means of expression various ideas, so I would say my style.
Ayeyi: That’s a thoughtful answer. How does the future look like for you?
Chris: The future looks really bright. My end goal is to become a 3D animator and a film director, those are my biggest dreams. I want to work with Japanese animation studios as well as Western ones to bring my creations to life. I aim to change the way African animation is seen around the globe.
Ayeyi: I believe you will achieve all of this and even more. For all those reading this interview and would like to follow you, what social media handles should they look for?
Ayeyi: Chris, it has been good talking to you. I honestly can’t wait to see the things you would achieve as time goes on. Thank you.
Chris: Thanks for having me. It has been an honour.
Photo of Chris