“Society has forced the female gender to remain silent after assault. I created Woman of 2020 for women fighting for their lives globally.”
- Samii Dre
Artist (Samii Dre): https://www.tiktok.com/@samii_dre
Samii on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samiidre_art/
Photographer (JUBRIL | JB): https://www.instagram.com/jbshotit/
Model (Rhiyha): https://www.instagram.com/rhiy.ha/
Samii Dre began drawing with a 2B pencil and ball point pen. He wanted to stay away from the scamming role so many Nigerians are forced into, so he started drawing. He wanted to make money properly from his hard work.
Samii nurtured his talent with no formal art education. He reached artists on social media to learn their tricks and tips. Then he realized he needed larger paper and a variety of pencils to achieve mastery. Unfortunately, these items were not available in Nigeria.
Soft pencils stretch the shading from light to dark in fine art. Tortillons blend and white gelly roll pens make highlights pop. Over time, he never gave up hope of obtaining these items, but they were out of reach. His job fixing windows wasn't enough to provide for him, let alone buy art supplies.
Even though people would request art and never pay, Samii kept drawing. It was discouraging, but he wanted to show the world that he was capable of succeeding in art.
One day he stopped drawing
He had made friends with and American artist (Amanda Parker) who noticed his skill and gave him light art instruction on the side of his regular drawings. After many months of working together she asked why. Amanda thought anyone with that talent should be working.
"I need supplies, Ma."
In America $40 would cover his needs for months. So, she sent him $40 and said, "get the items on this list."
He wasn't prepared for such kindness. He didn't even know his address to send supplies because he never received mail before. Amanda tried sending her old supplies to him twice, but they were stolen or lost in the mail.
After receiving the money he got on a bus, travelled 4 hours to the city, visited two art stores, walked several miles, and the supplies were not available. He was able to get a kneaded eraser, but no shading pencils and no large (A2) paper. He specifically needed Derwent and Strathmore, but they were not available to him.
In tears, exhausted and sun burnt, he contacted Amanda as there was no way to get the items. She tried twice to send the items in the mail and they were lost or stolen every time.
So, what could Samii do? He tried praying, but that wasn't enough. Everyone knew he needed supplies, but there was no way for anyone to help him obtain them. $40 was fine, but the lack of supplies available in Nigeria was a problem.
Then a miracle happened
Samii found a friend of a friend travelling from the USA to Nigeria.
The friend was able to carry large paper, Prismacolor Pencils, and Derwent Pencils to Samii. It had to be hand delivered because the supplies were not available in Nigeria and a corrupt mailing system. The person travelling between the countries was a stranger to both, but he built a bridge between the US and Nigeria that day.
After that Samii Dre soared artistically, and he even sent Amanda her very own drawing as a thank you for guidance. Samii Dre strives to make every artwork very special, but his true skill developed when he created "Woman of 2020." During his drawing process he started creating tiny marks on the face, a design that is truly unique and his own. The idea came to him while drawing one day and now he uses it as a style choices at times in his work.