By Eric Elezuo
A man’s gift, they say makes a way for him, and among such ways is paving veritable means for him to dine with kings and princes, and not with mean men.
In the world of creative or imaginative drawing, one name continues to resonate among lovers of aesthetics and beauty, and that is Anthony Chibuzor Ezeanyika, better known as Tonyartworks. This is a young man, who has captured almost all the currencies of the world in his creative work in addition to bringing to life every inanimate object his mind can conjure.
Born in Aba, Abia State on June 16, 1986, Ezeanyika, who is the last child of a family of seven, kicked off his academic career at Ijeoma Primary School, Aba, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He followed it up with a Senior Secondary School Certificate after completing a meritorious six years stint at the Annunciation Seminary, Amaudara, before proceeding to the University of Calabar to study Educational Economics. However, Ezeanyika had to abandon the quest when a call for greener pastures sounded. He had to leave for the United kingdom, where he presently lives and operate from.
Certainly a gifted child, Ezeanyika started exhibiting his gift of art at a very young age, even as not much people noticed as to give him the desired encouragement. But he persevered, putting pencil to paper almost everything his eyes can capture. And on many occasions, delved into the imaginary to create larger than life situations and objects, which were admired and adored by not a few.
It was not until 2012, when he jettisoned his sojourn in the University of Calabar to travel to the United Kingdom, that he created an opportunity for himself to pursue his God-given gift of art. Effortlessly, he managed to replicate with additional standards, works of art, including cartoon characters to amazement of his cousins, who once in a while threw challenges at him. He knew he was even surprising his own self, and so he gave the art of drawing a definite thought, and afterwards a chance.
A year after he arrived London (2013), he had a vision, where he was mandated to draw all the currency notes in the world. The project took him five years of painstaking attention to details to complete. It was completed in 2018. He affectionately christened the project The Global Currency Project, and this singlehandedly fueled his passion to bridge the world through art.
In his words, Ezeanyika informed that the intention is to have cultures united on one platform as people identify with their currencies during an exhibition.
“The Global Currency Project is intentionally designed to acknowledge all the currency notes in the world through pencil drawing. Through exhibitions, people can identify with their currency, cultures can be united on one platform and the history of countries across the globe respected,” he said.
This young man, who had said that passion is the sole drive for the path he has chosen, maintained that completing the Global Currency Project was not only a dream come true, but an eye opener to pursue more dreams and affect his world. Consequently, since completing The Global Currency Project, he has chosen to use his gift as a vehicle to challenge social injustice, and proffer solutions to societal ills.
But how does he achieve that?
“I do this by drawing political leaders, respected individuals as well as upcoming leaders on uniquely designed currency notes. My artwork is symbolic and shows respect to those who deserve respect,” he said.
Ezeanyika’s art is entertaining, sermonising, educative and in the spirit of change for a better world. He is available from his base in London for any form of high profile design.