I have been drawing for fun ever since I was a kid or I could remember. I have had some friends and family encourage me to pursue art as a career. After my Ghana national service program in September 2019, I decided to do commissioned pencil portraits for a fee while looking to get a job with my BSc degree. I did quite a few orders, but then I felt the need to do something more challenging - painting. In January 2020, I reached out to some Ghanaians artists via social media for guidance and that's how I met @ahmedpartey on Instagram. He gave me the necessary information I needed to be able to paint on my own. In March 2020, I completed my first acrylic painting. I have been painting ever since, now I do both oil paintings and acrylic paintings on canvas. I have come to understand that nothing is impossible with determination, and it is okay to ask for help when you need it. I never knew I could actually paint until I did. Painting helps me channel my emotions in a positive way and gives me time to reflect. The act of creation can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood. Anything that engages your creative mind is a good thing.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
Initially some friends tried discouraging me based on the idea that art is not a lucrative field here in Ghana and as a matter of fact, only few Ghanaians are willing to spend money on a traditional painting. Fortunately, I'm a self-motivated person and I'll continue painting.
What books are you currently reading?
Currently, I'm reading 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life'.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My family has been very supportive from art supplies to recommendations. What I would have done differently in hindsight is to study visual art in high school instead of the business studies and accounting.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your success?
When people acknowledged me for my worth and my paintings, that will be my success story. The single most influential factor here is Jehovah, for the talent I have.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
Whatever I know now, is just right in time. Every new painting I create is a new challenge, an opportunity to learn something new.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
To upcoming youth, whatever your talents are, do something good with it, believe in yourself and let no one make you feel inferior. A step at a time, follow your dreams, there's real satisfaction in that.