Bolis Musa is a Lansing-based artist who was born in Sudan. He draws unique landscapes inspired by Lansing scenery for his print company, MakeYourMarkk. He is also the designer of his own clothing brand, EYWA. He uploads his work to MakeYourMarkk.com. Musa’s favorite thing is an especially challenging drawing he made of the Michigan Capitol.
My favorite thing is the five-point perspective drawing I did of the Capitol last year. It’s my favorite thing because I’ve loved art ever since I came to America when I was in the first grade. I’ve lived in Lansing for 20 years, but when I first came to America I didn’t know any English. I used to always draw, because I didn’t know how to communicate with other students. Eventually, I got really good at drawing and it has been my passion ever since.
The five-point perspective drawing of the Capitol is my favorite because it really pushed me as an artist. I had to leave my comfort zone and I had to challenge myself, because I’ve never done a five-point perspective drawing. The most I had ever done was three-point perspective, which was back in high school. The five-point perspective drawing took me an entire week to create, because there is so much angling and erasing — you’ve got to get it very precise.
I always knew I wanted to do the Capitol. The drawing itself is inside a spherical shape; I had to put the whole building into what looks like a snow globe. It had to be angled perfectly. I drove to the Capitol and took pictures to find the perfect angle. I spent an hour to get the right picture before I went home. I tried to draw one building per day. The shading was hard too, because I couldn’t rely on the picture. I had to make my own lighting in my head.
I was scared to push myself to do it, because originally I didn’t think I could. But I know a part of me kept saying, “Just do it, do it, do it.” When I finally finished, it became one of my prized drawings, and now I love it so much. A lot of people asked if they could have the drawing, but I knew I couldn’t give it away because I love it so much. I got so many suggestions that I started making prints of it. I went to OfficeMax, got it scanned and started selling prints of it online and on Facebook. It is one of my best-selling art pieces.
I am from Sudan, I came here with my parents because they wanted their children to go to college and become doctors. But I decided to become an artist. At first, they didn’t understand it, or agree with it. I decided to follow my passion, and now I have their support.
Interview edited and condensed by Skyler Ashley. If you have a suggestion for Favorite Things, please email Skyler@LansingCityPulse.com