Okiins Howara is a Photographer and Visual Artist residing in the Ivory Coast who creates his stunning imagery through the sole use of a smart phone to accentuate and bring the creative, fashion forward and vibrant depictions of his subjects to life.
LS: To start, could you give the readers a brief introduction to yourself?
OH: I am Okiins Howara an Ivorian photographer and artist, Ive been in Photography for almost 2 years now and I specialise in smartphone photography.
Location : Côte d'Ivoire
LS: Talk to us a little bit about how you initially got started in Photography and was your creativity something you possessed from a young age or rather developed as time passed?
OH: Creativity, I think I've always had it but its something that has developed through different artistic forms, first dance then music, drawing, writing and now with photography.
Photography is something that I started on a whim without really thinking about any effect it may have, but I am proud of my short journey so far.
"What I want to show above all is the beauty of Africa, and all the beautiful things we have to offer"
LS: What would you say inspires the style of which you shoot your photography and where do you feel your creativity comes from?
OS: What inspires my style is everything that I can conceive in my head, things that I can't express, I take all that and I send it back into my photos. My creativity comes from all I see and all that I hear.
LS: What does your creative process look like for you from the inception of the idea to the final image you create?
OH: For the work process, when I have the idea I make the effort to memorise it, I call on a friend, we find the accessories and the appropriate locations and we work. Whenever I write down the ideas that come to my mind I don't remember them so I decide not to write them down at all.
LS: How essential is the use of colour in your imagery?
OH: Colours are for me an essential element for the beauty and the originality of the photo, I use the colours to bring life to the photos I take.
LS: You create these beautiful shots through the use of a smartphone, what was the reason behind wanting to shoot through a smartphone as opposed to a standard camera?
OH: Concerning the use of a smartphone, its just that I could not afford a device (camera) and since I already had my smartphone I just started to try it for myself and my relatives appreciated the work. I was then selected for a competition and it is really from there that the confidence was installed in me and I said to myself why not continue taking photos with the smartphone?
Location : Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
LS: When someone views a piece of your work what are the messages you like for people to take away?
OH: What I want to show is above all the beauty of Africa, and all the beautiful things we have to offer.
Location : Côte d'Ivoire
LS: What is the creative scene like in the Ivory Coast? What are some of the benefits and difficulties you come across as a creative?
Africa... she is doing well, in Ivory Coast she's making small progress. Ivorians are starting to adopt art. The difficulties I would say is the lack of promotion of young creators and not enough creative space, but over time everything will be fine. The advantages I would say is that we do have full power to create whatever we want.
LS: Finally, what are your plans/ goals for the future?
OH: I have different collaborations of which I am currently working on, and also my website is in preparation. For my goals I would say to make my work known to the whole world and especially to collaborate with car manufacturers, sports or fashion brands and even in the cinema.
You can find Okiin's work over on his instagram linked below