In 2012, I had an encounter with CorelDraw, a very popular design software. The owner of the laptop I was using left it open and because of my love for computers, I started playing with it. I ended up designing a poster he thought looked cool. He screamed, “Ah wait! Are you a graphic designer? Wow!” I said no and he said, “wow, you should be.” That was how it all started.
I ended up Googling “How to be a graphic designer” on my Pentium 4 desktop at home and got myself a version of Photoshop that night (that was what the article told me to download). After a few explorations and ‘How-Tos’ on YouTube, I figured the basic tools out. I have always been excited about how good things looked so it wasn’t so difficult to think through how I wanted a design to look like.
Going to University that year to read Physics, I only had one thought in mind. How to convert my love for making things look good into something meaningful. No one had developed a blueprint to follow. ‘How to be a graphic designer’ didn’t yield any Ghanaian results. In my room on the 5th floor of Conti, I had unpacked my desktop unto a table, ready to figure out how to combine Physics with being a designer.
Throughout my years on KNUST campus, I spent time honing my skills by being a collector of flyers and posters everywhere I went. You’d see me enter a bank only to pick up sample flyers (and sometimes drink some refreshing water lol). I believed I could only give what I consumed. KNUST made this easy because every flat surface you’d find was covered with posters – student businesses, election campaign posters, college week celebrations, events, parties and . Those became my major source of inspiration. They gave me ideas on colour combinations, typeface, layout, visual style and imagery.
Social Media made it easier. I connected with a few other creatives on Facebook which led me to a Whatsapp community called Artminded. This was a powerhouse of some of the best creatives I know in this country right now. The community helped me find people who would share honest feedback about your work and help you get better. This has been a major contributing factor to my growth as a creative and I decided to extend this experience to other creatives through dEX Ghana.
This is why I have decided to write. The plan is to share all I know in the small 9 years that I have been a creative. To be able to help provide a roadmap for budding creatives and to help them find answers. I started in 2018 and took the site down due to some technical challenges. I’ll try and find some blog posts from back then and share as well. Let’s see how it goes.