What is a ‘real’ job, is it simply one that pays the bills regularly or is it one where you are seen to be running helter skelter, and it seems like you are really working as you try to earn another paycheck that extends your livelihood to the next month?

Artist Deolu examines the societal pressure on budding creatives to pursue a perceived more stable career path other than the arts. Get a job that will help you in becoming a man. When in reality these jobs deprive many of basic values of humanity.

His presentation is a series of quirky male figures garbed in the quintessential suit and tie, grabbing on to a briefcase as they try to scurry to their ‘real’ job.

In this illustrations you find texts excerpts that typifies the lifestyle of people working a real job; no time for hobbies or recreation, jobbing 9-5 especially in an urban city like Lagos where affordable housing (e.g Ikorodu) is far away from where well paying jobs exist (Lagos island).

Whether you are in a ‘real’ job or in a not so ‘real’ job, the ideal is to always aspire for a fair (or please, excellent) standard of living.

Here is Deolu’s presentation.

The series examines the concept of what is considered a ‘real’ job in today’s society.
We’ve been told over the years to aspire to getting real jobs, jobs that have you up in the morning and home in the evening with a steady income at the end of the month, basically what is known as a 9 – 5 (for some people [in Lagos], it’s probably a 4 –10).

Not that there is anything wrong with a 9 –5, but there are certain expectations required of people as relating to jobs by today’s society—especially in this part of the world— and when people fail to meet those expectations, they are looked at as inferior.

We need ‘real’ jobs satirizes the notion of a 9 –5 as the only ‘real’ job there is. While studying fine arts in school, I was always asked by my relatives what I planned to do after school, was I going to lecture like my dad? Apply for a job? Or even (as someone suggested) go back to school after I’m done to study another course (a serious one). That I planned to paint and make art all day was not even an acceptable or appropriate answer, the sentences “You are a man” and “How will you take care of your family?” came up often. The series is basically an attempt to say that creatives—no matter where they are with their art—have serious and very real jobs. In recent times though, notable strides have been made by creatives in different areas of art, but the truth is we still have a long way to go.

For more of Deolu’s works, visit Adeoluwajoba