”Never allow yourself feel like you can’t do anything – Bola Banwo
Bolanle Banwo is a brand Identity designer from Lagos, Nigeria. She helps brands tell compelling stories via creative designs. Much of her work is centered around helping small and medium businesses create smart impressions and build strong identities via good communication designs. Bolanle is the Founder and Lead Creative at the Female Designer Movement, an initiative she launched with a mission to train and equip women with design skillset and thereby help increase the number of women in the Nigerian Technology ecosystem. She shares her story and the inspiration behind her initiative in this interview.
I have always loved Art and Art related subjects right from nursery school. I found myself always illustrating on paper and anything I could find. I drew so much all my school notes were filled with drawings from the back. For me drawing came naturally and it was a way to ease myself. I think all those experiences contributed in preparing me for today.
I’m Banwo Omobolanle , a Brand Identity, User Interface / User experience designer, Illustrator and Animator. I am the Founder and Lead Creative at The Female Designer Movement, an initiative borne out of my desire to see more women actively involved in the Nigerian Technology / Design ecosystem.
I’m also a lover of good food and I hope to travel to china soon to have a plate of their locally made noodles in spicy soup.
Being a Brand Identity designer
Basically, I help brands tell compelling visual stories through intelligent design, illustrations and animations. Every brand has a unique identity and message that they would like to convey to their audience. My job entails coming up with creative visual content.
People say Nigeria is beginning to embrace Art, But I think even if we are…It’s not fast enough. We need more initiatives in place to protect Art and everything related to it. My dream is to see people confidently take up Design as a profession without fear of not earning enough.
Inspiration behind Female Designer Movement
The Female Designer Movement is an initiative I launched to equip women with design skillset. I have nursed the idea in my heart for a while and decided to go ahead and launch it this year. Our first meetup held on the third of March while the other was held on March 10th. We had over 150 ladies who registered for the sessions. The response has been awesome and exciting, and we’ve only just started.
The ultimate goal is to increase the number of women in the Design and Tech industry. I desire to see more and more women get technical skillsets and take on important roles on tech companies and work on interesting projects in the industry. We intend to reach more females in secondary schools and keep training and creating opportunities for more and more of them across the country and then we’ll to other African countries eventually. It’s a huge project and I’m excited at the interesting journey that lies ahead of us. We plan to go even bigger, to reach out to more women around Nigeria. We can only achieve this by getting the support we need. So we are open to partnerships and support from individuals and organisations.
As regards TFDM, my greatest reward is the genuine joy and satisfaction displayed on the faces of the people we trained. Knowing that what I do or did helped add tangible value to their lives, which will go on to affect their careers…it’s a priceless feeling.
I think it’s about the same thing with my other works with brands that I create designs for. The satisfaction they show at the work I deliver, and knowing how important it is to them is actually very encouraging. I like to do work that matters and being able to achieve that is the greatest reward anyone can hope for.
Where I see my brand in 5 years
I see us becoming the most recognized training institute for women in Nigeria. I also see us making immeasurable impact in other African countries as well.
Definitely, there were times I felt like just leaving this profession to do something completely different. I held on because of the genuine love I have for design. I place fulfilment above everything other thing.
Who and what inspire me to be better
I have a couple of people who have inspired me over time. Paula Scher and Chris Do are some of these people. I am inspired by the work that they do and the impact that they make.
Being a Woman of Rubies
Over time, I have had to be strong, focused and relentless. I have seen myself grow into becoming the woman I am now. I have not allowed obstacles stop me from doing what I love.
Final word for young women all over the world
I would like to encourage every young woman not to give up on themselves and on their dreams, Don’t look down on yourself and never allow yourself feel like you can’t do anything. Learn, develop yourself, your skill and of course tell God your plans so he can show you the best way to achieve it. You can be anything. You can do anything.