Soldier is a Lagos born UK based artist, as well as a founder of the skate brand Motherlan.
With an obsession for military themes and camouflage, Soldier takes direct inspiration from military equipment and uniforms for his paintings and most recently, his debut collectable sculptures known as the CADETS.
CADETS are characters crafted to create an army of collectable figurines to carry out every one of Soldier’s commands, and will come in different shapes, colours and sizes with each CADET following an ever-changing theme.
The CADETS will watch over and protect you as they help Soldier with his mission to paint the world in CAMOUFLAGE.
Following the successful launch of his first 10 CADETS (25 x 22 x 15cm retailing at £500), we caught up with Soldier to find out more.
Prior to you being known as Soldier you went by ‘Flower Boy’ – where did that name come from and why did it change?
My friends at the time in Lagos called me Flowers because I used to use a lot of soft colours and the words Flower Boy to sign my paintings then. I don’t know why, it was just a name and I went by it wayyy before that Tyler The Creator album, hahahah.
I go by Soldier now because my nickname changed over the years – most of the new things I do now has some influence from military camo-patterns and aesthetics, hence why the name sticks.
When did you realise you wanted to pursue art, and what inspired you to do so?
I’ve always been an artist. I love making shit, it keeps me happy even at my worst. I get obsessive over things as well, so art is my obsession.
I know Skepta had a little something to do with your journey as an artist…what exactly happened?
Honestly this story is too long, but I got good people in my life. Shouts out to Alex, Grace and Skept too.
Many recognise you as the Camo-Man due to your unique art style – how did this start and why did it continue?
I just got obsessed with the concepts of what camouflage does and how it looks, and I started exploring the different styles and how to make it into something more!
You are launching your own toy sculptures, CADETS. What is the story behind this?
I got into sculpture and 3D design just for this. I had the idea of making a staple toy figure for a few years now and I kinda put everything down to bring this idea to life. The CADETS are just an extension of myself and my ideas… some sort of collectible that holds value.
Is it true they are all produced by hand?
I ain’t doing no mass production thing right now. Just me and my friends.
Sculptures are a way of getting real art, in real time, out there. None of that 2D shit, something you can see from all angles.
I call them toys too but they are more sculptures if anything – just approached like toys.
What have you learnt through the process of creating CADETS?
That you can deffo bring all types of ideas to life – all it takes is to actually do it.
Which do you prefer – painting or sculpting?
I do both. Each has its own fucking satisfaction.
Can we expect to see a Camo CADET?
That’s the next step, launching more colours and styles and shapes in the coming months.
The next launch is soon – don’t want to reveal too much, but keep ya eyes peeled hahaha.
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See also: WE NOW PRONOUNCE YOU, GUCCI & ADIDAS