Lagos based digital artist Zida Kalu (b. 1998) started her digital art journey at the age of 19. She uses her fingers to paint on her phone, forgoing the stylus for a more intimate tactile intimacy. Kalu started out making fashion sketches at a young age, with the hopes of becoming a fashion designer. A business administration graduate, Zida struggled to balance her practice with her educational commitments. Digital art started off as an experiment in March 2018, when she was inspired by internationally renowned digital artists. Her passion for art grew with the support from her mother, family, roommates and others who wanted to purchase her work.
Kalu's artwork is influenced by beautiful portraits of women, the spectral range of color, and American quilting artist Bisa Butler. Butler's dynamic fabric portraits of black people and culture inspired Kalu to try different techniques, from mosaic to scribbling to abstract art. Kalu embraces versatility, and strongly believes that artists should be able to experiment through any form of artistic practice.
Kalu has exhibited her art at VIVIR Art Exhibition (2018), Days Like This Art & Photography Exhibition (2019), and collaborative CurateYour Artshop (2019). Her art was featured in the first issue of MJC Magazine (2018).