Updated: Sep 19, 2020
1. Who is PB? What inspired the name?
Birth name, Emmanuel Oluoch Nyakwada, Point Blank Evumbi is a creative, who uses visual and verbal art to get his point across. And make a profit in the process.
I gave myself the name 16 years ago, while in high school. My -now deceased- friend from back then, encouraged me to find my voice that doesn’t seek to people please but make an impact. I thus chose to be ‘brutally honest’ with my work. Also, I needed a tag to sign my work. Instead of Brutal honesty, POINT BLANK made sense. I added EVUMBI to make it unique. Its my second name (Oluoch) in Suba.
2. Where are you from/based?
I’m Kenyan. Born and raised. Learnt a lot from in my field through experience and, dare I say, the internet.
3. What kind of creative are you?
I’d like to say, I’m a ‘curious creative’. I will attempt the unexpected and untested and pick from countless sources to better my work. Many like to play safe and God speed to them, if they’re fulfilled in the end. I prefer to go where they choose not to. Use all the weaknesses and strengths of my peers as learning tools.
4. What drew you to creative work?
The possibility of owning my own ideas. I grew up loving comics and when I wanted to know how they were made, the first digital content company I saw was Image comics. Add that to the independent thinking I loved from my second passion, hip hop, no way I wasn’t going to attempt being creative.
5. Tell us about your work/niche of interest?
I work primarily in digital illustration and animation. My love for two-dimensional animation and comic books is still overwhelming. I primarily enjoy imaginative work. It feels like a clean slate. You set the rules as you go. My main works, at the moment, are three publications: Homeguard, Adventures of Nruff – which I write and illustrate, with the latter being a collaboration alongside Dj’s Nruff and Justin Rich- and illustrator for Shadow walkers, written by Mutendei writes.
6. Who inspired your interest in the creative world?
My High school Art teacher: Mrs. Mbero. She told me that I thrive in Imaginative composition and encouraged me to make the work I create, as realistic as possible. Second to her, I would say, my countless friends who introduced me to the underbelly of world history. Countless tales are told and written based on so called “historical Fact”, but when you meet people from all races with a vast knowledge of that which isn’t often made public, your imagination can easily go on overdrive.
For example: it is alleged that Alexander the great (or the barbarian) couldn’t make it past, what we now call Ethiopia, because of a warrior Queen who lead from the front and was unbeaten in war. Try keeping that in your imagination and not pick up a pen…
7. What dreams/aspirations do you have for the creative arena in the continent?
I look forward to the day when the continent has a market so explosive, we read from each other and the major stars of different creators are loved in every single country. I see the west as a secondary market. If we love each other’s material first, the whole world will be an even greater gift.
8. Do you have any upcoming works/events this year?
After a two-year break from my personal brands, I aim to release 4 issues of my lead titles, another 4 collaborations as well. Some great writers approached me years ago in hopes of working together. My schedule, often taking a turn for the excessive, I hope to help their stories along.
9. Who are your favourite comic book characters and why?
Though, lately, he’s been handled poorly, my favorite foreign character is Superman. When I fist saw the character take flight on a tv screen, then eventually in comics, I loved the innocence and moral compass of the character. Granted, no man can be that clean cut, but it pushes us all to try be exactly that. Good to all. Locally, I love Miguel Sede by Maddo. He’s one of the inspirations for my book, Homeguard. I love noir comics and films. Don’t consume as much but intend to.
10. Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Believe in the process of industry. We would love to have a comic industry but first, we must be industrious. The books have to come to life before they hop! to other heights. Same with the animation industry. We will only be able to compete internationally once we move from treating the creative culture as a fad or a curiosity to pretentious about. Love what you do and your audience the world over will love you forever.
See you at the next comic convention in Nairobi