Ibby Njoya on the importance of finding your inner child in your practice

The London-based set designer took to the stage to discuss his momentous portfolio, key collaborations, and why you should always make time for playful experimentation.

13 April 2022


Artist and set designer Ibby Njoya stunned us all as he walked up on stage rocking a Britney Spears T-shirt. And the impressive-ness didn’t stop there either.

Beginning his talk with details about his first foray into set design, we learned of the key pillars to which Ibby centres his craft – a “dance between colour shapes and movement”, he explained. The other pillar is his collaborators; the people he feels lucky to work with as they give him the "platform to speak his language”, he said. From photographers to stylists, Ibby told us how he works with a host of creatives to achieve the end goal. One of his long-term clients and collaborators is Dazed, the “big supporter” behind his ideas that has commissioned him on plethora of covers and editorials. All of which are “submerged” in colour and fashion, he explained. “It can be quite exciting!”

Next, Ibby highlighted a few of his favourite projects to date, including the most recent cover story for Dazed shot by Tenzing, a six-year-old based in Nepal. Humorous and insightful, the audience let out a few chuckles as they heard the anecdotes and astounding creative process behind the project. “Tenzing was so great; we got in and opened the suitcase, then all the kids just started running and wearing all the stuff,” he said. “As a six-year-old kid he was so inspiring. His photography is a different viewpoint for us.” Ibby’s work is all about play and finding your inner child – the antithesis to industry perfection or the moment you lose your voice in a project or commission. This shoot – much like all of his work – is paramount to Ibby’s ethos as an artist. He concluded: “We’re trying to tell different kind of stories.”

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