Ice Nweke has been pushing his boundaries for over 25 years. With a mind-blowing portfolio filled with international recognition, exemplary works and performances.
He has technical and vast expertise in dance, painting, digital art, animation, and set design.
Ice Nweke has proven himself solid in different creative sectors and we have him on our Big Showcase to explore his creativity.
Who Is Ice Nweke?
Ice Nweke embodies innovation, creativity, and excellence, precisely what the acronym (ICE) stands for. Coincidentally, that is the name of his company, ICE Productions, founded in 2010.
Outside the creative life, Nnamdi is your regular guy. You can probably meet him in the street, a canteen, gym, but he maintains he is very passionate about what he does.
His Creative Journey
The spark for creativity started when he was only about 4/5 years old. His father gifted him three films:
- the original Romeo and Juliet (dance film),
- Charlie Chaplin,
- Breakin’ (the first breakdance film created)
He loved them so much that it started him on a journey to learn how to dance. There was no dance school in Enugu, but he couldn’t stop thinking about it. Due to those movies, he fell in love with the idea of dancing, ballet, breaking and film.
He had the hunger to be an amazing dancer, and it was there throughout his pre-university days. Then, with the urge to go into a lifetime of producing films and theatre, he studied Theatre Arts at the University of Port Harcourt (UniPort).
Before entering university, he had liked doing sketches since primary school. His father bought him a lot of comics, coloured superhero comics, and had school bags with characters on them. So he started trying to sketch them, giving him the desire to draw and sketch.
“By JSS1, I could draw life and get it.”
He started making comics for people in school. Because his peers paid for it, he decided there was value in it.
In university, he learnt to dance traditionally, but there was no hip-hop then. Later on, he created a group for him and his friends to learn ballet and hip-hop to the best of their knowledge. He created dance routines and became a choreographer.
Dance Is An Integral Part Of Him
“Dance is my emotion in motion. My being is weaved with musical instruments. There is no way there’s music, and my body won’t move to the beat.”
“I dance passionately. When the music plays, a different and transformed person comes to life. My entire body lights up. Everything is awake and moving and stepping and turning.”
Ice Nweke Is An Avid Explorer
“I love exploration. I’m a curious person.”
Ice Nweke is the Christopher Columbus of his time.
“Once I love something, I dedicate my time to it. To be able to absorb and express it.” He has learnt movies, digital manipulations, colour, painting and more. But, he says, “I don’t want to be stranded by the realisation that I can’t do it.”
He is currently learning Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality.
“The way I grew up, I learnt to think ten years ahead.”For example, seven years ago, he was working towards his first solo audition, primarily in Lagos. He included traditional art and digital art, plus 3D mapping.
It wasn’t something Ice Nweke foresaw, digital art and NFTs, but he had already started meddling. It reminds him of how his mind is weaved.
“I am able to express myself to an audience that is constantly changing and evolving.”
Which is why he learnt multidimensional visual effects.
He plans to tell stories through film. He studies film books and watches videos so that he can learn enough.
“As a child, I had stories I wanted to tell. Stories and ideas would come to my head, and I wanted to shoot it as a film.”
But he got discouraged whenever he saw something in Nollywood because it wasn’t enjoyable. Also, the visual effects in the film were so lame that he would get upset about it.
“If there’s a problem, there needs to be a solution. And either you be the solution, or you don’t.”
So he did something about it. He learnt visual effects: explosions, crashes, bullet ricochets, shattering and other things. That drive built up the desire to go into VFX and CGI to blend computer-generated images that looks believable.
His solution was to learn VFX and CGI and be a plus to the industry. And it helps that when he tells his own story, he can express it internationally.
Ice Nweke Lives By Discipline And Growth
One of the main problems he faced was ensuring all his skill sets brought revenue and were successes in their own right.
“I have to discipline myself. Sometimes I still fall short.”But he understands that he loves art, music, dance, and drama and keeps striving for growth.
He spent seven years on a 4-year course at UniPort, which is not common. So he learned a lot about set design, acting, and theatre arts. His diploma course made it eight years spent in tertiary institutions.
He realised he could do most skills in school, and as he got called upon, he created schedules around them. And as his line of study was related to his skill set, it even helped him with assignments. It helped Ice Nweke master discipline.
In the real world, he started working for the Society for Performing Art in Nigeria (SPAN).With his initial role as an instructor, he grew to become a creative director. He still harnessed dance and choreography. Then progressed to stage production, and set design and theatre arts came in handy.
But there was no room to explore his painting. So he started working with exhibitions and terra couture art galleries. He started painting for people. Over time, Ice Nweke created his style of painting.
He created a schedule and studio with a canvas that he could paint. “My gift became a cross to carry every day. A happy cross. Because I’m in a happy place when dancing or painting.”
“You can’t see me spending hours in a club. Nighttime is when I work – on designs or technology or painting.”
“I built my entire skill set around the 24 hours of my life.”
Ice Nweke prefers to be Jack Of All Trades. While he might not be the best in the world, he is exceptional in all of them to be a force for anyone who wants to work with him.
Battling Creative Blocks
Ice Nweke has a lot of creative blocks. He has games on his iPad to talk his mind off it. Or he walks away from the painting, workstation, or theatre and looks for something quite different from what he was working on. He could play football or word games or watch movies. Or see nature.
He doesn’t force production because he knows the feeling that full creative juices bring. So he takes time and returns to work the next day, week or month.
Dying Empty Is His Goal
In 2019, Ice Nweke devoted his life to the Christain religion. And he got a vision to have a healing gallery where attendees feel well when leaving.
So he kept pushing the boundaries of what he does as an artist – mastering Blender and Unreal Engine to prepare for his future.
“Greater works shall you do.”
The above quote from the Bible drives him to do more. He references musician R. Kelly who said he would die with no musical note in his body.
To Ice Nweke, the grave is the richest place because people die with their talents.
So he wants to empty all his talents before he leaves. And sometimes, he sacrifices sleep to achieve his goals.
Ice Nweke has spent over 25 years in the creative industry and he is not done pushing past his limits. With 5 main skills on his belt, we know that he will produce more masterpieces in the future.