Jokotade (JOE-KOH-TAH-DAY) is a Nigerian-American artist, illustrator, and designer who inspires a global audience with her art, words, and voice. With signature hand-drawn illustrations found on thoughtful, luxury gifts, stationery, decor and homeware, the premise of her work celebrates modern elegance, timeless simplicity with graceful style. She is best known for her iconic use of minimal clean lines to amplify the messages of love, harmony, beauty and calm. When she is not drawing or inspiring others to be creative, she is on a microphone engaging audiences with her relevant insights. Her work benefits and empowers creative enterprise in developing countries. She quietly works from her studio in Houston, Texas.
Vivian Jokotade Adeniyi fondly known as “Jokotade” (JOE-KOH-TAH-DAY) is a contemporary, Nigerian-American artist, creative entrepreneur, and speaker who inspires a global audience with her art, words, and voice.
Her journey as a serial entrepreneur and innovator began at an early age of six and for many years, Jokotade struggled with rising above the cultural label – “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Now, with several successful ventures, Jokotade uses her words and voice to inspire other multi-passionate and multi-gifted creatives, teaching them how to choose and embrace their many talents, rise above cultural limitations, focus on impactful goals and live out their potential. Her network of podcasts and talk shows have served audiences in over 100 countries.
After her 15-year career as a creative entrepreneur in event and graphic design which led to brand and art direction, Jokotade picked up her pen again in 2017 to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a world-class artist. She is best known for her iconic use of minimal clean lines to illustrate compelling stories and works with influential brands to elegantly amplify their messaging, grow their reach and extend their impact. Her limited edition work is featured in private collections and her signature illustrations can be found on luxury gifts, stationery, decor and homeware.
When she is not in her studio sketching or writing her latest ideas, she is on a microphone engaging audiences with her inspiring stories. In her quiet moments, she enjoys reading and cooking for her little family of four. She quietly lives and works in Houston, Texas as a proven “Master of Many Trades”.
1. Every Big Thing Starts Small
I began my American life as a hair braider. This was my only choice at the time as I had to wait a full year to begin my university education. I finally received an admission into the University of Houston where I majored in Computer Information Systems (CIS) and graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration with special interests in marketing and communications. Along the way life happened. I got passed up for career promotions. I lost my dream job. I suffered a heart break. I struggled with fear and insecurities. I got married. I grieved a miscarriage and I also built a business.
My journey wasn’t smooth neither was it easy but I am very grateful. Everything I learned growing up as a young African child shaped my values and influenced my path. Learn more of my story when you hear me speak live or through any of my podcasts.
In 2013, I launched Jokotade.com as a style blog and set out to inspire women to rethink style, become authentic and live beautifully. Back then, there were hardly any bloggers who featured classic, polished and tastefully styled African clothes. So you know what I did? I raised my hand and rose to the task. My selections and features quickly became a hit on social media. It literally caused a renaissance and the Jokotade platform took off! What followed was life changing...
2. Every Thing Has a Purpose
As I continued posting more photos, I noticed my audience wanted more. The women who followed me reached out to ask me more questions about other areas of life:
They asked about personal development;
They asked how I started my business;
They asked how I balanced my passions with my marriage;
They asked about raising a family;
They asked so many questions I could relate to.
A year later in 2014, I felt inspired to start a podcast. I titled it The Jokotade Show. I had no idea what it would evolve into. The Jokotade Show became an avenue for me to cover a diverse set of topics to meet the many different needs of my audience. I also developed an APP called Jokotade. The APP organizes all of the resources I offer and helps my audience access their favorite shows on their mobile devices at any time. The Jokotade platform has since grown to serve audiences in over 100 countries and I couldn’t be more grateful.
3. Every Gift Should Be Unwrapped
Towards the end of 2017, I felt uneasy and desired to do more. I sensed it was time for me to look in a different direction, repurpose everything I learned over the years, and create more impact while staying true to my passions and vocation. After much prayer and a dream, I discovered there was more inside of me that I hadn’t tapped into. I took a big step of faith to pick up my art gift again - a talent I had set aside to satisfy the demands of cultural pressure.
It’s 2018 and I am grateful for the years of opportunity to serve many globally using my voice and my words. Now, I am fully embracing one more way to inspire others - using my hands. For the first time in my life journey, I feel like I am doing more of what I am purposed to do. There is still a lot more to come but I'm starting small and taking it one day at a time. Let’s just say it’s a new season for me…
The Story Behind The Name
Jokotade pronounced JOE-KOH-TAH-DAY is a Nigerian Yoruba name given to a child whose parents suffered the loss of a child prior to the birth of the named. Its literal meaning is - "sit with the crown" or "sit with royalty" signifying that this child will not die but will stay and live with her parents and family. This powerful name was concurrently given by both of my grandmothers at my traditional Nigerian naming ceremony.
My first name "Vivian" was given by my mom and the name "Jokotade" was given by both of my grandmothers. I use the name "Jokotade" here because it is a very powerful and purposeful name. The name tells a story of my origin, gives you insight into my identity and speaks powerfully to my destiny.
From a young age, I seemed to naturally balance my dual name-ship pretty well and I have stuck with it. I like to say, half the world calls me "Vivian" and the other half calls me "Jokotade”. I write all of the inspiring details surrounding my birth in my breakout, best selling book - FRESH START. Once you discover my full story, I have a sense you'll simply call me Jokotade.