Original paintings in West Africa
"I became interested in art when I was in elementary school. The beauty of God's creations, like the sea, rivers and forests, attracted me more and more to the arts.""I am Andy Isong and I am a self-taught artist from Nigeria.
"I became interested in art when I was in elementary school. The beauty of God's creations, like the sea, rivers and forests, attracted me more and more to the arts. I feel, dream and need art.
"I've introduced to art to all of my six brothers. I've also taught some students. Starting on my own wasn't easy. I've needed lots of patience and care to pursue my painting. I wasn't easily discouraged because I knew where I was going. I had to hustle on the streets to buy art materials. I work extra hard to improve the quality of my art.
"It was very difficult for me when my parents didn't encourage my dream of becoming an artist. They said art was a worthless and useless profession. They sent me to grammar school and didn't give me the chance to develop my talent. Today, I am an artist and still learning more.
"Once, my friends and neighbors advised me to stop painting because my canvases were not selling. They encouraged me to do something else so I could earn money, but I laughed it off.
"I use oil and acrylic paint on canvas. My art speaks for me. The most challenging part about my craft is that I don't have enough financial support to continue my work because there are more paintings I haven't created yet. I'm inspired by God and my surroundings, feelings and dreams. My plans are to experiment a lot and take arts to another level. I dream about becoming the next Michelangelo."