Emmanuel B. Coker
Original paintings in West Africa
"I'd say art has been with me since I was born, as my father is also a painter.""I love to paint at night and dawn because it's quieter at that time, so I can focus. I'm an artist, born in Accra in 1976. My friends describe me as friendly, respectful and funny.
"I became interested in art because I love nature and enjoy using brushstrokes to express whatever is on my mind. But I'd say art has been with me since I was born, as my father is also a painter.
"I went to art school to master this art. I painted every day, read and learned from other artists. I also teach others and people ask me to help with their projects.
"I use acrylic on canvas and I especially enjoy the colors I use. The most challenging part is getting a particular shape or texture in a painting, which is very difficult to achieve. I find inspiration in the sky, in observing animals and in seeing people go about their lives.
"I have been painting since 2001 and I provide for my family with my art. I began working at home, showed my artwork to my friends and displayed some of my art on the roadside. I later began selling on social media sites and showed photos of my paintings to my friends in town.
"At one time, it was difficult when a lot of people didn't value my art and, when I tried to explain it to them, they still didn't understand. My clients didn't value my art and I couldn't really sell my works .
"Once, I went on a television program in Accra where other artists performed. There were drinks and snacks so I went for a beverage and a samosa. After I'd eaten it, a woman walked up to me with a bill and I was surprised because I thought it was free.
"My art brings beauty to the homes of people in my community. I dream of becoming a great artist, perhaps having a gallery of my own, traveling around the world and learning new things."