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Ayokanmi and Tolu Binutu – Doing Business with Art, Design, Portraits, Painting and More

Eugene Lonesco once said, “A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind”.

Two Brothers in Nigeria clearly have a passion for Art, and they decided to take this odyssey into the art world to the next level.

Ayokanmi and Tolu Binutu - Doing Business with Art, Design, Portraits, Painting

They clearly saw a gap. They were unhappy with the situation of visual arts and visual artists in Nigeria. They felt that visual artists appeared to have been relegated to the background and were not as valued as they should.

What gaps can you see around you?

Believe me, It is very easy to complain and murmur when we are not satisfied about something, but what do we do to change the situation?

These young men believed they could do something. They boldly decided to create an Art and Design Service Company that will be known for its unique style of expression and its patriotic approach to Art and Culture. They created an art company with a difference, one with a progressive mind-set.

The names of these two shining stars are Ayokanmi and Tolu Binutu, and their uncommon art company is called “Pencils n Brushes Artworks”.

Ayokanmi Binutu
Ayokanmi Binutu

How did they start? I will tell you.

Ayokanmi loves to draw portraits using graphite pencils, while Tolu loves to sell – a marketer per excellence who can sell ice to an eskimo. In a bid to leverage their core competencies, they founded the business in September 2010. The plan was simple – Ayokanmi will draw while Tolu will sell the art works for a cut (a percentage). But like many big companies today, within a short time, they started to evolve.

Tolu Binutu
Tolu Binutu

They decided that it was only right to take it a step further and create an art company that would be a home for like-minded artists to create the most remarkable art works ever for Nigeria and beyond. How about that?

They officially launched in 2011, attracting some great hands, while teaching and employing some artists with loads of potential. With its headquarters in Lagos Nigeria, Pencils n Brushes Artworks creates and sells spectacular artworks and designs.

Their artworks include pencil artworks, paintings, pyrography, creative designs and gift cards.

Toolz Oniru with a painting of herself
Toolz Oniru with a painting of herself

Ayokanmi and Tolu Binutu are not all about creating and selling art works. They also seek to change the negative stereotypes existing among young artists today. So, they have taken it a step further to create an Art school called The HIVE.

This creative workshop trains and imbibes professional work ethics into artists. It also seeks to inspire and teach artists to tap into their inner creativity and create art pieces.

Pencils n Brushes artworks is currently involved in Project Raise, a project which seeks to empower young minds. The project is in partnership with GEMSTONE Leadership Center (owned by Fela Durotoye) and targets students in Primary schools, inspiring them and teaching them to balance their talents with their education.

Pencils n Brushes Artworks Exhibition
Pencils n Brushes Artworks Exhibition

Wow! Talk about using what you have (your talents, your giftings etc) to make money for yourself and make an impact in the world

They are not resting on their Oars. In November 2013, they displayed their strong sense of patriotism when they held their maiden art exhibition held. The theme of the exhibition was “Proudly Ours” which was based on the expression of core Nigerian values, cultures, places and beliefs.

As their own way of rewarding patriotic and exemplary Nigerians, Ayokanmi and Tolu Binutu surprise them with portraits of themselves. Some beneficiaries include Mr Fela Durotoye and Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye.

Ayokanmi Binutu with Fela Durotoye
Ayokanmi Binutu with Fela Durotoye


More from the Pencils n Brushes Artworks Exhibition
More from the Pencils n Brushes Artworks Exhibition

At a time when Africa is experiencing very high levels of unemployment and many young people across our dear continent are looking for new / better jobs, stepping up your passion and converting it to a business is a step in the right direction. Something to seriously consider, I tell you.

What are your special gifts? Where is your passion? Which of them will you convert into a business that pays you cool cash?

Do share with us in the comments section below.

For more about Pencils n Brushes Artworks, visit

Arise Arizechi
Arise Arizechi
CEO of KA Publishing, Founder of Konnect Africa and Host of Breakthrough Academy

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