In a still-developing economy like Nigeria, those with lofty aspirations need to be willing to make careful, and practical life choices. Most people find themselves working within a selection of specific industries, from agriculture, to oil development, transport, and services. In fact, agriculture currently counts for two thirds of the available employment opportunities in the area. As attractive as the creative industry might be to many innovative individuals, a career in this industry isn’t common.
One man began his journey on the practical path, before finding a solution that allowed him to take to the skies and soar into his ideal career. Augustus Amadi discovered that ReFUEL4 could give him the resources to pursue his passion in an authentic, and real way.
We caught up with Augustus to learn more about his amazing journey, and discover what gave him the inspiration, and strength to seek out his ideal career in a world where the odds were initially stacked against him.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself – What is it that makes you tick?
Amadi: I’ve always been drawn towards the world of music and art. I loved the way that beauty – in its various and highly versatile forms, could inspire a range of emotions, and connect with people in a way that no other medium can quite accomplish. Of course, despite my love of the art and design scene, I never really thought of it as a career that I could realistically pursue. In Nigeria, creative careers simply weren’t seen as a practical choice in the world of work. That doesn’t necessarily mean that people don’t want those careers. In fact, a designer job title is commonly sought-after but it is not a practical choice for the lower income.
2. What Made You Become a Designer?
Amadi: I didn’t actually start off as a designer – at first, I did the conventional thing and started studying something practical, but the truth was that my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing, and I definitely wasn’t happy.
I think that in some way, Art and Music have been a silent member of my family my entire life. Growing up, I saw photos of my young father in music studios, and spent time with my aunt – an incredible sketch artist. Despite the soul of creativity that obviously thrived in my family – no-one had really taken a career in creativity seriously. That’s why I began by studying geology, while inside I had the deep need to express myself on a more creative level, and explore the potential I felt I had.
In the pursuit of a job, everything simply changed for me – and I spent more time experimenting and learning more about the world of design. Once I found my way onto that path, there was no turning back – I was hooked.
3. What Inspires You to Do What You Do? And What Fulfils you as A Designer?
Amadi: On some level I suppose you could say that it’s my drive, and passion that inspires me – the creativity that I’ve always had inside. However, I think that the ability to work with other creative minds on a wider scope, enjoy the true beauty of nature, and discover what can be accomplished through pure inspiration has kept me fulfilled, and motivated during my career.
4. What Where You Looking for When You Came Across RF4? And what Compelled you to Start Working with Us?
Amadi: When I first began searching for ways to become a graphic designer, there were plenty of different options out there, but I had no idea how to classify myself on a professional level. I was searching constantly for opportunities in the form of trainee positions, both locally and internationally.
During that time, I was still a budding designer attempting to teach myself – and I couldn’t really think of my passion as a real career yet, because I still felt that I needed to reach a certain level to see myself that way. In fact, I still don’t know if I’d class myself as a true expert, as I’m constantly finding new things to learn, new skills to improve, and new techniques to master. That’s part of the beauty of design – it’s always evolving.
I found a freelance job for a graphic designer on LinkedIn, and to be honest – I was skeptical at first. I didn’t believe I’d hear anything but the same old response: “Your background and experience doesn’t match our needs”. But that wasn’t the case. With RF4, I had finally discovered a learn as you earn option for my ideal career that was willing to accept me into the ranks.
5. What Has Been Your Experience, in Working with RF4?
Amadi: It’s hard to fully describe that RF4 has actually done for me during the course of my career, and my exploration into the world of graphic design. At a basic level, they’ve given by the perfect platform on which to test and rate my skillset in collaboration with other designers across the globe. RF4 offered incredible client feedback, P4P solutions, and platform creative analysis too – meaning that I could learn the techniques I needed to become more efficient in my practice – faster.
However, the opportunity means so much more than that to me – I suppose you could say that RF4 have given me the keys to my dream career – opening up a door that I had always thought to be permanently locked.
6. What Can We Do to Make Your Experience with RF4 More Fulfilling? How do you Think We Can Grow together?
Amadi: Up until now, I’ve been incredibly happy with my experience with RF4. However, I would say that I’d like to see more feedback from clients, to help ensure that the submitted creative I develop is exactly what they’re looking for. It’s always disappointing when the creative you produce doesn’t get selected, and I feel like having comprehensive and clear feedback can be a great way to help me to improve my design skills, and enhance my chances of being chosen at a later date – the next time a client provides a similar brief.
With the launch of the Designers Ideation Lab and Revisions Request feature whereby clients now communicate directly with the designers on the platform, the feedback gap is closing and I look forward to getting more feedback on submitted creatives.