So, you are the second person I’ve spoken to from Ghana, and it’s really a pleasure. I am vacationing there next year and I also want to break into the African territory of talent. I’m so excited. Real Talk With Ree is going international very soon and very quickly, by God’s grace (laughs). I think Ghana is my first stop to expand the brand though, I’ve heard amazing breakthroughs are happening over there. But anyway, enough about me(laughs). Kaydadzie, you are a visual artist and can I say that your art is mind-blowing. I couldn’t even find the words, but its aesthetically pleasing should I say.When did you fall in love with art and realize that’s what you wanted to do? And I said visual artist, but I don’t know what that means (laughs), how would you describe a visual artist for those who don’t know what it is?
Hi, thank you so much for having me. I’m honored to be your second Ghanaian guest, I hope I am able to live up to that (laughs).
Well, I’ve been interested in art for years, but like everyone else, I just observed and fostered connections with people who make them. I remember always drawing when I was younger. I had dairies full of illustrations, just so no one but me could understand them. Then occasionally someone would open it and decipher a couple pages.
I recall one particular girl read it like it was in writing, that experience made a deep and lasting impression on me. Ummm, For someone else to have such an innate understanding of the emotions, struggles and stories they represent, and to fully appreciate them intellectually, was amazing. I think that was it. Then It became more of a form of expression for me. Later on, I got introduced to photography by my big brother and i just picked up from there. I learned how to Photoshop from Youtube and l started taking pictures with my phone.
I realized it was something I’d really like to pursue when I got to the university. I use to follow friends who had cameras around. And Often times I’d be there when they made deliveries, so I got to see the reactions of people when they received their pictures . The excitement on their faces, I really liked that. I saved up, bought a camera, and I’ve been taking photos ever since.
To me it’s expressing thoughts or emotions in a form that appeals primarily to the visual sense.
So basically anyone who creates art in the form of paintings, sculptures, illustrations and photographs as opposed to music, drama and literature is a visual artist.
How would you say your nationality, has inspired you and contributed to your passion for art and creativity? Has travelling also shaped your artistic niche?
Being Ghanaian is awesome, because the country is a cocktail of different cultures. And as a creative, you are of course, influenced by your experiences so I try to find inspiration in everything, the food, music, literature, architecture and cultures. There are so may different ethnicities and yet they blend together so well. A lot of diversity that coexist harmoniously here, it’s beautiful. It creates an Incredible capacity for creativity and imagination. You get inspired by everything .
Well not traveling per say, But interacting with people from different cultures and seeing what others find beautiful stimulates my mind, it forces me to think in new ways. Learning about other cultures is one interesting way I like to challenge Myself and My thought process. Ummm, Especially when I encounter others in my own country, it makes sense to learn about their cultures so can I avoid a faux pas. I believe the cultural heritage of someone else can add another dimension to your life and honestly it has given me a richer experience everywhere I’ve been. I try to express that in my work.
I looked at your Instagram, and can I just say you are so talented! Like, I’m amazed at how creatively pleasing your page is. I’m literally in awe of you and your work, really, I am. A lot of your pictures are of black people, would you say that is your distinct signature, or a preference, or is it coincidental? And how would you describe your style as an artist?
Haha, You noticed that . Well, I like darker skin tones, I find them intriguing. They give off an aura of mystery and I enjoy that. But in this case I’d say it’s purely coincidental, I’ve never really made an active effort to photograph just black people. Its more or less due to my geographic location right now.
My personal philosophy is quite simple. I try to present my subject in the best possible way, given the prevailing conditions. I think of myself as perfectionist and i’m a bit obsessive when it comes to my work . Down to every last detail, everything in an image is intended to communicate something to the audience. Whether it is portraiture, conceptual, documentary or fashion photography, everything is done solely sticking to a unique aesthetic vision.
Being a visual artist, I’m sure you get a lot of people wanting to view your work or even want a piece from you. What was the latest project you have worked on? Have you done art galleries or showcases? And if not, would you like too?
The last project I worked on was with modeling agency in Accra, a portfolio for their new models. It was quite interesting, I really enjoy working with new talent, they always have this energy about them. And as much as, I like to think they learned something from me, I learned quite a lot from them too. All in all, it was a really grounding experience.
Well not yet, but I’d like to one day. I’m not too sure I’m well established at the moment for that (laughs), Maybe in the not too distant future.
Kaydadzie, what is next for you and how can we stay connected to you?