Although I now live in the United States of America, the sights and sounds of Ghana in West Africa are never far from my thoughts. I feel good about having paid enough attention to my surroundings and culture to be able to draw from it now. The music, the people, the food, the colors and the fabrics are so vibrant and vivid in my mind that I hope everyone gets the chance to enjoy them as much as I do.
Recollections, is a collection of water color paintings of some of my memories of Africa. Take the journey with me.
As far back as I remember, I was always doing something artistic. I was that kid who drew all the neighbors, plants and creatures that caught my eye. By the age of twelve, I was the full service decorator of our entire house, complete with designing and sewing the drapes, bed covers, pillows and cushions covers. In my teens I started making greeting cards that I sold to my neighbors and making church clothes for some of my friends. The study of art in high school(Achimota School),was what gave me direction. Art was a natural choice for me when it was time for college. I studied art from the College of Art, University of Science and Technology in Ghana, West Africa. Choosing a specific area of study was not so easy because I was an all-rounder. I settled on Graphic Design because I thought that was more challenging.
My very first job was in the Art Gallery at the Center for National Culture in Ghana. It was while there that I actually realized that the freedom of creating from my soul was what I had always yearned to do. Graphic Design was much too controlled for my spirit, I was good at it but it did not bring me as much joy. I am still a Graphic Designer but first a creative person, so I paint, draw, illustrate, write, sculpt, design interiors and clothing. My works are clearly influenced by the study of Graphic Design.
Working for the Center for National Culture in Africa led to unbelievable exposure, I met a lot of notable statesmen and dignitaries from all over the world, one of such encounters led to a job for the Kakum National Forest, which led to a job with the Museums and Monuments Board in Cape Coast, Ghana which also ended up bringing me to the Smithsonian Institution In Washington DC. I met my husband while at the Smithsonian. I still live in America.
Two experiences have truly stuck with me, the first was when the Kakum National Park needed an artist who could illustrate on these huge panels with life size animals such as the elephant. I was brought in to meet the man in charge of the project and he looked at me doubtfully, took me to go see the scale of work he needed done, thinking that I was going to bolt after that, naturally I was intrigued and took the job.
He came back on the third day to check on my progress and I was done. Needless to say he was flabbergasted, job after job came after that. He later told me he did not see how a tiny, young, female with highly manicured hands was going to get the job done.
The second experience was a result of the first, when Dr Vera Hyatt from the Smithsonian Institution walked in, congratulated me on a job I had done and personally offered me a job on a project she was working on. That project the first among others, was titled, “CROSSROADS OF PEOPLE, CROSS ROADS OF TRADE”. Here I was, a black educated young woman living in West Africa and that was the very first time I had actually been confronted with the Slave Trade and I was the Graphic Designer and Editor who helped to tell that story.
You can see some of my works on facebook-DESIGNMANIA INTERIORS & ART or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.