Architectural paintings play a vital role in shaping the places we inhabit. They are not merely decorative, but rather an art form that enhances the beauty of our homes and offices. Imagine the urban landscape without the skillful designs and paintings that adorn our buildings – it would be a far less attractive and aesthetically pleasing environment.
The use of color in architectural painting is particularly noteworthy, as it can be used to bring out unique designs that complement the buildings themselves. A bungalow or duplex painted in white and ash colors, or a multi-story building painted in milk tones, can be truly striking.
In recent times, painting has become a professional skill that many young people in Northern Nigeria are leveraging to pay their bills and even forge a full-time career. As the demand for architectural buildings continues to grow, so too does the need for skilled painters to bring out their beauty. As a result, some professionals in the field have set up their own painting and design companies, helping to solve problems and turn a profit.
Even in Nigeria’s North-Eastern region, which has been hit hard by insurgent attacks, professionals in various fields are using their skills to forge a path of social entrepreneurship. Painting is no exception.
The fast-growing industry offers a potentially profitable career path for young people. To learn more about how they are utilizing this opportunity, I spoke with a young social entrepreneur in Jalingo, Taraba State, who is a professional painter with several years of experience. He shared with me the challenges he has faced, the successes he has achieved, and his plans for the future in this exciting field.
Hycienth Haruna, know by many as HighSaint Drillz, was born in Minna and raised in Maiduguri, until his family relocated to Jalingo in 2010. He is currently studying Sociology at Taraba State University. Having garnered 7 years of experience as a professional painter, he is the director of Drillz Painting & Design, a company he founded some years back.
Tell me about your childhood experience with creativity.
My childhood was a wonderful experience filled with fun memories. It was during this time that I discovered my passion for painting, which was born out of my love and admiration for creativity. As a young child, I began drawing and using watercolors to paint portraits of my family members.
What are the forces that channelled your energy to start painting?
As I mentioned earlier, my passion for colors and creativity drew me towards painting. I have always been an artist, painting on cardboard papers using watercolors and sketching in my drawing book since I was a child. I realized that I wanted to turn this passion into a professional skill, so I took a bold step and reached out to Mr. Destiny Nuseh Galadima, a professional painter who painted our house in 2012. Under his guidance, I had the opportunity to learn professional painting, and since then, the rest is history.
How did you find yourself growing in a community like Jalingo where opportunities to thrive are said to be limited?
Jalingo is a small city that offers a range of opportunities, but sometimes our mindset can limit our perspective. Regardless, if you put in the effort and take any venture seriously, despite the challenges, you will see positive results.
How many people have you coached in painting so far?
To date, I have trained seven individuals, and I have kept four of them who are now working under the Drillz Painting & Design platform. Currently, I am coaching another person.
Can you remember your happiest moment since you started a career in painting?
It’s difficult for me to single out a specific moment because every day is a happy day for me. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of doing what you love the most. Although there are challenges along the way, these are the best moments of my life.
How about challenges? Did you face any throughout your work?
I have faced many challenges in the past, and I continue to do so. The journey has not always been smooth. One of the significant challenges I face is breach of contract. Clients will agree to a fixed price, but after completing the job, they may make half-payments and delay sending the outstanding balance, asking for a favor. It can be frustrating, but I remain determined to overcome these obstacles.
Apart from painting. What did you enjoy doing the most?
Helping and making an impact in my community through philanthropical and humanitarian services.
Where do you see yourself in the near future?
Smiles! I see myself as the owner of one of the biggest paint companies in Nigeria and Africa at large.
What words of advice do you have for people who are dreaming to be painters?
They should be focused and don’t get distracted. Everything has its own time. Keep learning.