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 “My goal is to celebrate our similarities instead of our differences.” – Aniekan Udofia


You might not know him by name, but you definitely recognize his work. Aniekan Udofia is a prominent DC street artist with many of his work visible in northwest D.C. The most iconic of these murals is Udofia’s Marvin Gaye portrait pictured below:

FamousDC caught up with Aniekan to discuss his art and his inspirations. Check it out…


What is the underlying message behind your artwork?

“My goal is to celebrate our similarities instead of our differences. I work in series, where I get to develop a specific theme over a course of several paintings. Each one of these represents my own journey in life, my growth, and the progress of my career. For example, the Reloaded series features a pencil as the weapon of choice for the different characters I paint. It speaks of the creative power that’s inherent in us and how we all share the potential of unlocking it. The pencil is also featured in my other series, Return of the Shaolin Pencil, as well as some of my public works. Since these works are usually commissioned, my focus is on capturing the essence of DC, its unique energetic tone, and rich cultural history.”



Where do you turn to for inspiration for your artwork?

“I frequently visit art shows, museums, bookstores and the like to check out other artists. I then draw and sketch the ideas that come to me and when inspiration hits, I already have a concept I can build on.”


Did you ever get caught coloring on the walls as a kid?

“I’ve done more coloring on walls now than when I was a child. Once my parents noticed my interest in scribbling on paper, they introduced me to coloring books, which took my mind off even considering the walls.”


How long does it take you from start to finish to complete your street art murals?

“The time varies, and it all depends on weather, the space, schedule, and concept development. Rendering the painting takes less time, and it’s the concept development that is most time-consuming. For example, it may take 3 weeks to a month to develop a concept, but only 3 days to a week to paint it on the wall.”



If you were to draw a mural dedicated solely to DC, what images and colors would you be sure to include in it?

“I love incorporating the stars and bars in my public works, so that usually plays a role in the piece. Also, I love using vibrant colors. The more vibrant the piece, the better! To me, this vibrancy portrays the heart of DC’s diversity.”