Josef Adamu


There's A First Time For Everything (2018)

Photo by Benedict Adu.

Photo by Benedict Adu.


These last few months have been hectic. I’ve been both blessed and stressed, though I wouldn’t have any other way. In February, my team and I decided our first ever Sunday School exhibition will take place in May. As much as this was nerve-racking, I felt it was very necessary considering how long I’ve been pursuing this creative journey even from a personal branding perspective. I’ve spoke to close ones for years now about having some form of a presentation of my work being displayed, though I’ve always been hesitant due to money or simply due to lack of resources here in Toronto. Nonetheless, it is 2018, my team and I have been working real hard to build our brand, and the people are itching for a showcase! It must happen! This decision made in February gave us time to outline every detail of the creative process required to make it successful. This stuff is NOT easy, why didn’t anyone tell me this would take so much work? Preparing for a show requires a ton of tedious work and responsibilities including finding a venue, potential sponsorships, presentation layout, printing, framing, invites, and many more. Marketing is expensive!

 In March, Ben (one of our photographers) and I purchased a locker from a random ad we found online. A locker? Yes, a high school locker! A high school locker that I would then paint and transform into an official Sunday School locker. A staple piece that would travel with us everywhere we go! Well, I’d hope. My vision for this exhibition included providing guests with a feeling of nostalgia as they walked in to the gallery. The “Locker of Inspiration” was the perfect piece to tie in our inspirations as a team (i.e. sports, fashion, education, music, etc). Every detail counts. If you take a look at the link above, we use the photos to really highlight particular details that you’d find in our locker and what excites me most is that we’re going to add more over time! Did I mention we also created a periodic table from scratch? Imagine removing all the elements of the traditional table viewed during high school science class, and replacing those with words and phrases that inspire your brand. To be honest, I’m still impressed with our ability to come up with that! We used words such as Community, Integrity, Design, Photography, Storytelling, which are all terms that directly define us. Both the locker and the periodic table served as amazing details for the show, and I knew that a feeling of nostalgia would hit home when guests first saw them. 

The goal with ‘First Class’ was to establish an interpersonal relationship with our audience here in Toronto, but also to branch out of the virtual world and actually mingle with people from the city. That physical interaction surpasses anything one could do online, and I’m really happy we were able to sell out the show within a few weeks. I’ve said it to my team and I’ll say it here, Toronto is a great city with a lot of diversity. The issue consists of the lack of creative resources and the lack of community within the creative industry. There’s nothing wrong with cliques, though when it comes time to support one another and mingle with a new crowd, it is almost never happening here in Toronto. Not only do we want to break this pattern with a black-owned agency like Sunday School, but we also want to encourage people to do dope things as a group instead of letting your ego get the best of you. This city has so much talent and I know it can be stronger if we came together to make timeless work. A lot of other cities do it, why can’t we? That’s just my opinion!

That being said, there’s a first time for everything and our show was a solid 8.5/10 for me. Why not 10? Man, I’ll probably never rate anything a 10, and there were very minor flaws that I picked up on that dropped the experience from a 9. Then again, as detail-oriented as I am, I can be sort of impractical with my expectations at times. I’m not complaining though, an 85% in university is a 4.0, so I’ll definitely enjoy that feeling for now! There is always room for improvement, and I try to set high standards for myself and my team. We will be having more events/workshops in the near future, both in and outside of Canada! (NYC, LONDON, LA, DC, PARIS) **eyes emoji**

Stay tuned for all that good stuff and more. Follow the school if you’re not already,

Cheers my g!