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Dum Doodles: Meet Chris Brown's 'Young G'

ARTISTIC TAKEOVER: Dum Doodles

THEY SAY that there is an art to everything we do and 23-year-old animator Dum Doodles has proved that theory to be true.

After all, it’s not everyday that US superstar Chris Brown spots your talent and proclaims you to be one of their artistic inspirations. And being able to credit UK rapper Bashy as the man who gave you your first “big break” is nothing less than a unique and humbling experience. It is also a very rare occurrence to be asked to animate an entire video for one of Britain’s most promising girl groups, StooShe. However, all of these remarkable things, and more, have happened to the “humbled” Londoner, who believes that music and art are “a match made in heaven.”

“You’ll find that a lot of musicians say things like ‘I was inspired by this picture’. As an artist, there is no way I can just sit there in silence and draw something amazing, I have to play music. It’s like there is this mutual respect and love between the art forms,” he says.

While he admits that in the early stages of his career, he struggled to find a way to turn his art into a business, Dum Doodles, real name Kwam Korsa-Acquah, reveals that his passion for drawing meant that he could rarely focus his attention on anything else.

“Art has always been my addiction, although at one point I wanted to be a sailor,” he laughs
“I could have gone down either route, but ever since I was at school, art kept creeping into everything. I used to get caught drawing on tables and in my textbooks all the tine. When teachers annoyed me, I’d make a caricature of them and pass it around. That’s how I got the nickname Dum Doodles. It was then I said to myself, ‘I have to turn this into a brand’.”

Back then, of course, he had no idea then that UK rapper Bashy would help him complete this mission.

“I approached Bashy on MySpace and I asked him to let me do some art for him. I ended up making the video for his remix of Amy Winehouse’s Rehab. In five days it had 55,000 view on YouTube.”

Following the success of this project and “word of mouth,” the animator, from Enfield, north London, went on to create his now infamous caricatures for stars including UK comedian, Gina Yashere. Hype surrounding Doodles eventually reached the ears of US singer (and art enthusiast) Chris Brown when American socialites and designers to the stars, CoCo and Breezy told the singer about the British talent.

“I’m not sure if everybody knows this, but Chris Brown set up an art blog called Mechanical Dummy. The girls told him about me and I guess he really liked my stuff. One day I got an email saying that he wanted to feature me on a project called Young G’z, which celebrates young talent. It was crazy to see how somebody just looking at your work can get inspired. I was humbled by the whole experience,” he explains.

“Interestingly enough, the art Chris chose for the website was a caricature of [his girlfriend and fellow singer] Rihanna,” he laughs.

Purely coincidence? After all, Brown and Rihanna only recently reconciled following their 2009 breakup.

Holding in his laugh, he says: “Probably. I couldn’t say for sure, but each to their own I guess!”
The diplomatic answers don’t stop there. When I begin to probe about his work with girl band StooShe he lets slip a few snippets about their future plans to work together.

“I can’t say too much, but what I will say is that we are working on something so keep your eyes on their Twitter page.”

Despite remaining tight-lipped about his union with the female four-piece, the illustrator does reveal plans to launch his own toy range.

“A lot of the toys will be sold in Nigeria and we want to create a mobile app featuring them as cartoons. We are also working on some children’s books, making modern versions of African fables.”

He adds: “Growing up there weren’t many black people in my school and my family are from Ghana so I grew up around that culture. Whenever I’d draw a character from the book they’d be black. People would be like ‘what’s that black scribble?’ And I’d be like, ‘hey, that’s my aunty!’”
As Doodles continues to make his mark on the art and animation world, he joins a group of modern black British artists, who have all shot to fame for their work over the last year.

He says: “I have definitely seen that there has been a lot more love shown to artists from the mainstream recently. This year is definitely the takeover, it’s the new artists renaissance. For an artist to get the same recognition as a musician is a new development and we are seeing that more and more, so who knows where we’ll all be next.”

For more information, visit www.dum-doodles.webs.com or follow @Dum_Doodles on Twitter

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