On Portrait Art and Pursuing A Creative Life: Artist and Painter Dawn Okoro

As we prepare for BABES FEST 2019, we’re sharing interviews with some of the creatives on our lineup. Today, we’re featuring words from artist and painter, Dawn Okoro. You can catch Dawn speak on our closing panel for BABES FEST Day Three: The Hang.


who: Dawn Okoro

Nigerian American artist Dawn Okoro lives and works in Austin, Texas. Her primary areas of focus are painting, video, and wearable art. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in fashion design from the University of Texas, and her law degree from Texas Southern University.  Her desire to become an artist spawned from her love of fashion illustration, photography, and design. Her work has been featured in Forbes and Drawing Magazine. She has shown at the Texas Biennial, George Washington Carver Museum in Austin, New York University, and the MoCADA Museum in Brooklyn.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by people and fashion. Many times, I create what I want to see. I try to take techniques from fashion photography and use them in my paintings.

When did you first discover a love for portrait art?

I discovered my love for portrait art as a child. I have enjoyed drawing people since elementary school. Based on feedback from my teachers and classmates, I discovered that I was good at drawing.

What are some challenges you face as an artist and creative? Like work wise and finding inspiration wise. Is it hard to feel inspired at times? 

One of my biggest challenges is juggling my day job with being a full-time artist. Sometimes just dealing with work and life can make it hard to be inspired. I have to work at being inspired, whether that is doodling or playing with different textures on canvas.

When did your love of art develop? Early age or later in life? 

My love of art started when I was a child and really solidified when I was a teen. In high school, I began to really learn more about art.

Are you excited to be apart of Babes Fest this year, & what are you hoping to contribute through your art to the audience?

I am very excited to be a part of BABES FEST this year. I hope to connect with the audience and let anyone who is struggling with their creative practice know they are not alone.

BABES FEST is an ~ annual convening of minds ~ in Austin, Texas, celebrating and amplifying women and nonbinary artists. As a weekend-long exhibition, our performances, panels, pop-up markets, film screenings and networking hours span music, film, art, creative education and comedy. Our daily schedule, 3-day passes and one-day passes for BABES FEST 2019 are available now.

~ everybody’s welcome. ~

Jane Claire Hervey