Meet Inua Ellams; a multi talented individual who lives to create. In our Q&A with Inua we spoke to him about both his poetry and graphic design work, as well as how he gets in the play writing mood.
How long have you been an all round creative individual who produces poems, plays and graphic design work?
I started working as an artist in 2003. In 2007 I began writing long poem/dramatic monologues, and plays began earnestly in 2011. I began working as a graphic designer in 2002, but mostly for friends and family.
Being a multi-talented individual, how do you balance your workload?
I don’t. I am abysmal and terrible at this. The balance simply does not exist. I am a workaholic and an easily excitable one at that. When I get bored of one art form, I switch to another and back… this way I keep creating. My work is my hobby; my hobby is my work.
What are the reasons in producing different types of work?
The primary one is a dissatisfaction with the first product. That is to say, most plays start off as ideas for poems for me. When I find the poem unsatisfactory to my creative tastes, but the idea or the impulse still worth of exploration, it becomes a play. These days, graphic design for illustrative work tends to support my literary endeavours, but, like a many-headed, but single-bodied beast, they feed each other and feed me.
What’s the thing you enjoy the most about creating different types of work?
The space for surprise, the invitation of collaboration, the different audiences, the continuity of artistic identity, the common denominators of my reoccurring themes, and always, always, the strive for truth and beauty.
And finally, how do you measure success?
I don’t know how to measure this. I have never been able to. This terrifies me. As much as I need to find some method, I hope I never do because… What kind of ruler measures a soul? Would you want such a thing to exist? Yes… but also, no.