Along with the Pan-Africanist ideology, the main source of inspiration for the album sleeves was, of course, Fela’s music with its effervescent lyrics.
But Lemi talks about artistic inspiration more generally, saying:
‘It comes from your immediate environment if you are observant enough. If you’re calm enough to listen and reason and be in tune with the infinite source that is within every human entity. So my inspiration comes from people who had been before me and had left behind legacies for me. Specifically, I was born with a pan-African frame of mind.’
As far as inspriational adjuvants are concerned, Lemi declares he doesn’t drink and doesn’t smoke : ‘I dont womanise, but humanize‘ and doesn’t believe in external influence too much. The only time he used drugs was when he designed the album cover for No Bread because Fela insisted that he tried a concoction of Igbo (marijuana) to ‘elevate’ his talent. He did not recourse to it again; instead, he uses meditation to achieve the same ‘high’.
So we can see how his work is a meeting point for influences and ideas from the social context they were created in and the inner realm of feelings and human consciousness.