Growing up in Ghana, most people are hardly allowed to pursue their artistic talents. Even people who discover those talents at a young age are redirected towards a more proven career path.
In fact, artistic talent is often relegated to the position of “hobby”. That is exactly how Kwame Adjaye’s journey starts.
Before There Was Midichi, There Was Kwame Adjaye
Kwame Adjaye started drawing when he was young. And although he had always been drawing, his academic path did not reflect that interest. At the university, he studied Geography and Economics. It’s a program that people encourage students to choose once they’re smart enough to land it. Sometimes, this is even in spite of their own interests.
Fortunately for him, after school, his path started to align more with what he wanted. Midichi has always been creative. And he finally had the chance to pursue that—his creative interests.
You see, Midichi’s mother is a fashion designer. And pursuing his own artistic interests, Midichi went into fashion as well. However, as a result of his independent spirit, he chose to start something of his own rather than affiliate with his mother.
As a designer, Midichi designed clothes and had those designs executed by tailors. This was an arrangement that would ultimately not work for the artist. Soon, he would decide to pursue something where he had control over the entire creative process. He wanted something that was truer to his creativity. That’s when Midichi rediscovered his interest in art.
As an artist, Midichi’s style is defined by his desire to paint joy into his pieces. According to him, he tries to stay as far away from depressing themes as possible. All he wants for his art is for it to be joyful and interesting. That being said, the recent surge in police brutality incidents against black people in America inspired a rather thought-provoking piece from the artist.
I watched that video and I could see the devil in him.
Earning A Living As An Artist
To make a living as an artist, Midichi sells his paintings. He also paints pieces on request and sells merchandise with his art. He plans to open a Merch Store soon because he feels that merchandising is an important outlet and source of income for an artist.
In Midichi’s words, you need to sell merchandise because some people who want to support the brand cannot necessarily afford the paintings. Selling merchandise is a great way for artists to connect with their grassroots support. Midichi has also painted an album cover or two. It’s not a regular thing that he does, but it doesn’t make the ones that he makes any less appealing. You might recognize the album cover below.
Currently, Midichi has 8 exhibitions under his belt, spanning Nigeria, New York, London and right here in Ghana.