Tejumola Butler Adenuga

We sat down with London-based multi-disciplinary artist and designer Tejumola Butler Adenuga to discuss his philosophy for design and style, his love of unusual materials, and designing for Tinie Tempah.

Tejumola Butler Adenuga

You’re a man of many creative talents – artist, interior designer, furniture maker to name just a few. Is there a theme or philosophy that underpins your approach to each discipline?

I think the running theme so far has been; how can I use as little materials as possible to create something impressive and interesting. A good reference would be the curved bench which is just a sheet of aluminium folded in half, it’s a simple idea but it has a striking impossibility about it.

You seem to have a penchant for unusual materials, whether it’s the ink you use for your paintings or the airplane-grade aluminium you use to design furniture. How do you choose the materials you work with?

The choosing of materials really involves what I understand from that particular material or how familiar I am with it. There is also a cost perspective to consider unfortunately. In the future, I would like to go a little bit more unconventional and make materials of my own.

What qualities do you look for in a piece of clothing?

There are two things that I look for; it should stand the test of time and have a good form to it. I also enjoy a lot of pockets for a strange reason.

Do you have any style icons?

Jimi Hendrix, Prince and Phoebe Philo.

You’ve actually designed a line of clothing for Tinie Tempah’s brand What We Wear. What was the inspiration behind that collection?

I worked across five collections while I was there and the general theme was responding to a set of particular questions; what would we like to see in our wardrobes, are there items that are missing from it and what are the best ways to fill in the gaps.

Quick fire:

  • Favourite restaurant: Ikoyi, St. James
  • Favourite holiday destination: Lisbon
  • Favourite musician: Miles Davis
  • Prize possession: A photograph of me and my siblings
  • Biggest Indulgence: Plantain Chips