One of the best parts of my new job as editor is interviewing people that are infinitely cooler than I am. Timi Ogunyemi is a guy who truly enjoys his city. As editor of Picture This Dublin, Timi's aim is to connect Dubliners to their city and showcase the creativity that exists on every street corner, lane, nook and cranny of Dublin. Timi documents all the unique, colourful, creative and sometimes hidden gems that Dublin has to offer. If you follow Picture This Dublin on social media you'll find yourself amazed at all the incredible snapshots of Dublin that will probably make you start to look at the city in a new light, and give you a new found respect for all the local artists. We decided it was high time we grilled Timi on his take of the city that he snaps.
Timi, we're fans of Picture This Dublin and follow your different social media channels. How did you get involved in your current work?
I guess you could say Picture This is more than a job, it's a passion; it's also less than a job being so much fun. I wrote a little piece on how it all began, cycling down alleys and finding new things then proceeding to share them with a city I wasn't sure was interested.
What is it about Dublin that you find so unique to shoot?
I suppose its uniqueness, its angles, its age and bohemian quality.
A lot of what you edit is of street art, how do you feel that scene has developed over the past few years?
I'd say street art makes up about 40% - 50% of what we do, from the website, to the exhibitions we curate. From my point of view, it has absolutely exploded. It's only been two years since I first got involved in the scene, but it's been a crazy two years. The street art scene in Dublin is so hot right now. We have some of the best artists in Europe right here.
We work next to the Bernard Shaw and love the graffiti that goes up there all the time. Where are your favourite spots for street art or does it change all the time?
The nature of street art is that it constantly changes and evolves, so what's here today is gone tomorrow. The Bernard Shaw is a great spot; so many established and amazing artists have worked out of that beautiful communal space. If I was to pick one favourite spot however, it would be the Tivoli Car Park. There are no words, just go check it out. Amazing. Special mention goes to Grand Canal Dock and Thomas Street with Evolve Urban Art.
Okay we're definitely checking those spots out this weekend! Not too long ago graffiti in Ireland was considered vandalism, now it's an appreciated form of art. Have you noticed people's attitudes towards street art change?
I think so, definitely. You can definitely see that in trends, Maser having an installation in Brown Thomas of all places and companies using street art as a form of advertising. For me, art is an expression of self, and there is no truer expression than using the city as a canvas. Stop, look and appreciate is what I always say :-)
You're right, we all seem to be rushing around the whole time without noticing what's really around us. Are there any particular Dublin street artists or photographers we should look out for in the future?
That's tough, there are too many talented artists to call. Solus is a man with talent and a vision, Morgan is an unbelievable talent and Mels is a kid with a massive future ahead of him. Kathrina Rupit and then all the guys working out of the Icon Factory and the White Lady art gallery deserve a special mention.
We'll be checking them out ASAP! Have you discovered any interesting spots that we should know about while documenting Dublin?
Every laneway has a story to tell. The Icon Walk is something every school should have in its curriculum, Conor Harrington's pieces littered around the city are epic and C215's 10 hidden pieces are a must find!
I've never done the Icon Walk, it's now on my to-do list! Is there anyone who inspires your work?
I like to think that I just wing it with the Picture This crew, if there's anyone that inspires me, it's Aidan Kelly; artist, writer, dj... He's been there and done that and I definitely look up to him.
You're clearly really passionate about what you do.. Does your job feel like you're living your passion or is work just work at the end of the day?
It definitely doesn't feel like work getting to know people who make the city turn, learning and sharing their stories; witnessing the city come alive every day is great fun.
What's the craziest thing you've seen when you've been out shooting in Dublin?
Well I was crossing O'Connell bridge once and a lost and disoriented swan was strolling down like it was all good, a man then proceeded to 'attempt' to guide it back into the Liffey.... Funniest 5 minutes of my life.
I wish you had some photos of that! Do you have any favourite galleries or arty spots in Dublin that we should be visiting?
White Lady art gallery, Icon Factory and the now defunct (said with a sigh) Mabos building
Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
I have a plan for my life but it has absolutely no specifics. I love Dublin right now, but 10 years is a long time... who knows ;-)
Tell me your favourite way to spend a day in Dublin?
Walking around with my dogs and my girlfriend, getting a bite to eat in one of my favourite places, Herbstreet, Dakota, Pitt Bros or finding somewhere new. Then sitting in a park having the laughs until it's too cold and walking down the Liffey at night.
Sounds like a great way to spend the day. What's your favourite bar in Dublin and why?
Too tough to choose. It would be between Cassidy's, 4 Dame Lane and Pygmalion. A light, easy atmosphere surrounded by art and creativity is what I love in a bar.
Any hangover cures you swear by?
Don't get too drunk, or you WILL suffer a hangover! I did get taught by a tequila specialist that to avoid a hangover when drinking heavy spirits, always have a bit of saliva on your tongue. Does it work? I'm still not sure!
Tell me your favourite restaurant in Dublin, and when you're there, what do you order?
Chicken wings in Dakota. Easy.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Chicken wings... Although, I don't feel guilty about eating them? I honestly haven't any guilty pleasures. I just do what I love ;-)
If you could add one thing to Dublin that we don't currently have, what would it be?
More pet friendly areas in the city and on public transportation.
What one thing would you never change about Dublin?
The people. Love them or hate them, they're brilliant.
Describe Dublin in 3 words.
Vibrant, Creative, Bohemian
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Scatterbrained, Excitable, chatterbox
Best piece of advice you've ever received and from whom?
When you walk down a road, look up, never down at your feet. My dad told me that 15 years ago, still live by it. If you haven't got confidence, feign it.
That's great advice. Last but not least, anything happening in Dublin this summer that you're excited about?
There is just so much happening that Picture This is going to be a part of! Couldn't possibly pick one! The Temple Bar night markets were the best thing in the city last year for me. Live art, music, food stalls and so much more in Temple Bar. Just wonderful! Can't wait for that this year!