Rising artistry in Ghana; Profitable?

Esther Johnson 

Artistry forms part of culture where it is portrayed in paintings, music, designs among others. The aspect of art that will be focused in this article is the art of paintings. In the 1503’s till date in Europe, works of renowned artist such as Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, William de Kouning, Paul Cezannne among others, portrayed their incredible life stories and culture. Even though the paintings inspired people from around the world to view the art galleries at museums in Europe, money, which is an integral tool for every business was gained massively where prominent people bought paintings for an expensive price. For instance, “Mona Lisa” art painting by Leonardo da Vinci was bought worth 500 million USD. Can Ghana artistry go this far?

Mona Lisa: one of world’s most expensive art work in the world.

Ebenezer takes up the challenge that, his business relating to art and paintings can do well, not only locally, but internationally as well.

Ebenezer Yakubu Mohammed, the founder of Rising Arts Ghana Initiative.

Ebenezer Yakubu Mohammed is a Ghanaian artist and founder of Rising Arts Ghana Initiative, aimed at building grounds for communities to engage fruitfully with Art. Born and raised in the urban
region of Greater Accra, he lives and practices Art by hosting and coordinating artists to mount sustainable art projects which better represents the Artist as a socially related individual.
Since the formation of Rising Arts, Ebenezer has mounted nine different art projects and managed the projects of 12 different artists working in different media and genres. Currently, he’s running an Art studio in Accra
(Rising Art Studios) and encouraging people to practice the Art of expression, a therapeutic approach with Art and building several relationships with his art.

In an interview with him he shares his experience, challenges, achievements and his perspective of the financial sustainability in art as a profession.

Ebenezer analyzed artistry in Ghana as something that is portrayed by people in the country. He says,

“Art in Ghana is a reflection of ourselves, everyone is playing a role knowingly or unknowingly. I believe the moment
we see art as an expression and not just paint on canvas, we are likely to achieve the full potential of art on the
right areas of every industry. As a country, we are yet to fully uncover and understand the principles of art though a few strives have been made by able predecessors.”

Ebenezer Yakubu Mohammed , Ghanaian artist and founder of Rising Arts Ghana Initiative

Share your experience with your business. The good and the bad?

“Personally I think just as every journey, there’s the ups and the downs. The most down moments are those that
you’re denied audience for your proposed projects. Some people feel there are more important things to
attend to than listen to a young man tell them how art can improve a situation. On the other hand, the interesting
moment is when you take about a month to clinically draw a project and execute to see the satisfaction and
the possible impacts.”

Now, to the main focus of the subject matter, is artisty work profitable to you?

“Yes Art is profitable, and is an area I would encourage investors to look at because there are still a number of
lucrative opportunities.”

How did your business survive during the intense nature of covid-19?

“The impact of COVID was actually felt on the areas of demands, as in areas where clients had to make orders or demand for a service because people were too careful to spend, however our business thrived on using arts
to ease up the stress of being at home for extremely long hours and wanting an escape with something new, so we retuned our paint sessions and offered to give people the therapeutic side of art. It helped both financially
and psychologically.”

How do you manage your finances?

“A financially stable routine is important when you’re running projects and managing resources. Just like every other resource, funds need to be properly worked with else you will go down really quick. The right attitude of
saving and reinvesting into the right areas and people secures you enough.”

For your employees to be financially stable, how do you do that?

“It important to communicate with your team from time to time, to help you effectively understand the progress
of work and sometimes the potentials ahead. Encouraging everyone to properly manage funds is a key thing to
do as a leader, just so you are not over burdened by the mismanagement of funds by your team members. A
constant discussion and advisory around finance is often in our discussions.”

One of the most expensive art work by Ebenezer, sold to Ashesi University.

Who are your target audiences?

Well, as it stands now our target audience is wide, ranging from 4 years old young to the aged, because we
are more focussed on a clear impact of understanding art.

“Yes Art is profitable, and is an area I would encourage investors to look at because there are still a number of

lucrative opportunities.”

Ebenezer Yakubu Mohammed – Artist.

What inspired you to venture into art painting business?

I’m heavily inspired by people, their reaction towards every single work we put out there, also the goal of changing
the narrative about art also inspires me from time to time.

Art painting session with Ebenezer and his audiences at Serallio.

Do you believe you can reach higher heights of going international? If yes, what are you doing towards it?

“Yes we can. I mean the sky is a stepping stone”. As it stands now, we working on some research project dubbed “Propagating The Gallery Of The Future.” Hopefully it should help us navigate what the options are for us artists in the coming times. “

What advise would you give to youths out there conserning arts and financial management?

“Saving culture. We need to be able to save alot and know what to invest in at what point in time. Study your wavelength and understand the things that draw people to you, some are your angel investors, some are your advisors, some are your paying clients. Serve them deligently.”

Ebenezer in his interview shows that art paintings are profitable and will only be successful if the business finances is managed well. The consideration of creativity, hardwork, passion, determination, self discipline and financial management in this type of business can enable Ghana to become a spotlight notable for best art works produced around the world. Ebenezer gives inspiration and hope to himself and to others through his arts programs and believes that people or investors from around the world can also invest in his art and appreciate what art is.