Alloys Iteba is simple guy, born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. Who has passion in the built environment. Holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture. In pursuit for yet another recent selfdiscovery passion in digital art. I am a co-owner of Chromez Studio which is a photography studio enthusiastic about architecture, commercial photography, fashion, portraiture and conceptual photography.
Why the creative industry?
Creative industry is at the forefront of a rapidly changing world. Creativity in Kenya and the whole of Africa is more
valued today by society. It plays an important role in driving our economy by contributing to cultural diversity, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and technological advancement. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that? On the other hand have always had this imaginative ideas and fantasy and the best way I could have turned them into reality is by becoming an artist.
Do you keep up with the trends in the industry?
I don’t think anyone in the creative world can afford to ignore industry trends. Though we have few who do not feel the necessity to keep abreast of new development. It is important to stay informed with the emerging trends in your career filed so that you maintain a competitive edge in the job market. You will be in the best position to seize any new opportunity presented to you.
Journey from concept to reality.
The process or rather approach I use is inspired from Art of Thought – The Model of Creativity, written in 1926, by Graham Wallas. He broke down what we now refer to as the “creative process” into four distinct stages– Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and Implementation.
It is inevitable not to pass though this stage. The process is boring but it creates a strong foundation for whatever ideas you have. Am in touch with my childhood memories so I go where children play to look for that ingredient that will trigger my mind. I listen to music, watch movies (lover of horror and animation), and look for inspiration from other artists work. Also from daily life events. This is where my creative juices flow from.
This is where my conscious and subconscious minds are working on the idea. Is where I picture the end result vividly.
At this stage you can’t ignore the idea. It keeps coming back again and again. It is when my creative urge is strong and solid. I usually walk around with my ‘ideas sketch book’ to pin them down whenever they appear. They disappear in seconds, so better not procrastinate.
This is a stage I do mockups, mood boards, for the project. It is my execution stage. Giving ideas ‘life’. I get to evaluate if my idea is good enough to proceed with it. I look for a production team to work with. And if all goes well. The shoot is done. For my personal project have never spent more than 15 minutes shooting them. It is all about how well you plan (months of planning though)
My post production process is purely informed by the creative process of that project am working on. The message to be driven out. The feeling I have at that particular moment. And of cause icing it with my ‘merging’ photography style. In this era of digital art, you have to perfect your post production skills if you want to be among the top.
How did you raise the capital to start your business?
I used savings from my salary; I was employed as a graduate architect. Used to save like 80% of it since I was still staying with my parents. That enabled me to purchase my first photography equipment.
How has the brand grown since inception?
I’m trying to make a name for myself and our company, Chromez Studio. The journey has not been easy and we have a long way to go. We are still trying hard and working smart to make our name known in the industry. We thank God for the few awards we have won and that have really boosted us in this competitive industry. And also to have worked with Sportpesa, is a big step for us.
Who are your major competitors?
The creative industry is so competitive today. And they say having competitors is healthy for business. Actually competition is what keeps us all going and giving our best. It makes the industry more exciting. They have helped us work smarter and think creatively So am not troubled with that, I believe in our company, I believe in our product/service, then the unique service we give to our clients.
How are you paying it forward/ how do you encourage youth in the industry?
For the last one year I have heard a lot of requests from ‘youths’ who want to learn one or two things from my work.
So when I do my personal projects I try to accommodate few of them to assist me and have an opportunity to learn some of my tricks I use.Also I co-direct a workshop series themed Fictive with fellow creative Stephen Maithya which helps upcoming photographers to learn how to create fictional stories from concepts to reality.
Do you think there is enough government support to the industry?
Not really at the moment but I see that changing in the near future. While creativity is thriving in Kenya, many businesses struggle to make the step from executing successful projects to becoming fully fledged, sustainable creative businesses. The government needs to take action now to ensure we are inspiring and equipping the next generation of talent, helping creative businesses to start-up and grow and maintaining the Kenyan competitiveness against other international markets.
Who is your mentor and is it important to have one?
I have some I look up to but they keep on changing depending on what I shoot at that particular time. They include; Osborne Macharia, Joey Lawrence, Adrian Sommeling, Clay Cook, Erik Johansson to name but a few. It important to have mentors if you need that extra push, they can provide that spark of guidance to kick start you. They will build your confidence. You will be learning from someone who has already arrived at where you want to be.
Advice to other creatives?
• Try everything. You won’t know what kind of a photographer you are until you try it.
• Never settle for the ordinary as you easily become irrelevant.
• Keep crafting and perfecting your art with passion and money will follow.
• Work every day even without assignments or cash, grind with discipline for yourself and not for editors or awards.
• Follow your heart, not your head and if it feels right, then carry on.
• Above all keep asking God to guide you.
How important is education in the creative industry?
One thing I know is that without knowledge of what drives the process, it is difficult to foster creativity. Education is important from business environment point of view and from the creative industry perspective. The most important
support in the field of education should not be related to creativity itself, but more on the complementary skills like entrepreneurship.