This is an old interview by Vortex Comics with Alfred Achiampong that we pulled up from our archives. GeekAfrica.net, the blogging division of Vortex Comics where this was originally published sometime in 2017.
Alfred Achiampong is a Ghanaian illustrator with a talent for fine strokes that smell like rain, in calm, moody hues that set you at ease. We caught up with the Ashesi University alumni to talk about inspiration, comics, and illustration.
Tell us about the inspirations that drove you into art and also about your career so far; projects you’ve worked on and so on. How did it start?
My inspiration mainly comes from checking out other artists that I believe are the best in the industry currently. These include artists such as Olivier Coipel, Stuart Immonen, Kim Jung Gi, Terada, Alex Negrea, Faraz Shanyar, Iris Muddy and Marte Gracia. The list goes on and on.
My career just started, so I doubt I can give an answer as to how it’s going now. I have worked on some projects though that is mostly colouring related. I am still working on some ongoing projects, and I have a few coming up shortly too. I’m excited about that!
Who inspires you to push the boundaries as you do in illustration?
Like I said earlier, it’s the artists that inspire me that make me want to become the best at what I do. For example, Kim’s take on perspective just pushes you to want to look at and tackle your drawings from different angles.
Alex Negrea’s understanding of colour gives you a sense of the different colouring techniques you could use to give your illustrations a more vibrant look. For those interested in comics, Olivier Coipel takes cross-hatching to a whole new level.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced as an illustrator?
My biggest challenge is growing up as a digital artist in Ghana, where digital art has little recognition. Additionally, it took a while for my parents to warm up to me doing art full time.
What have been your most memorable projects and why?
It’s too early for me to decide on one at the moment.
Have you created any characters of your own? (If yes, tell us more. If no why?)
I don’t think I’ve ever thought of doing any character design, so don’t think I’ve created any recently. I’m sure I had a couple when I was younger, though. 🙂
What is your advice to young illustrators out there?
For young illustrators out there, I’d say, focus on your basics. Get your foundation right and try to dedicate time to drawing every day. You may be gifted but, if you don’t nurture that gift, it’ll never grow, and you’ll become stagnant eventually.
Also, don’t be scared to push out your work, clients love to see progress, so it’s always good to have your crappiest work out there as well. This way, they can see your transition from one point to another. There’s a lot more to say that I can’t put on here, unfortunately.
What do you think about the comic industry in Africa?
There’s definitely a comic industry present, but I don’t believe that it’s getting that much recognition. It’s difficult to point out why because of the many factors that come into play like; the fact that it’s still young, and that it is not particularly attractive to African society. I, however, believe that all things take time. We’ll eventually catch up with the rest of the world.
AnimateGH Animation Festival 2019 Celebrates International Animation Day
Monday, October 28 is International Animation Day and to celebrate, the Animators Association of Ghana and Animation Africa in partnership with the Goethe-Institut will present the 2019 edition of the AnimateGh Animation Film Festival. The event will open on Monday,…
Maputo Fast Forward & The Rise of African Comics – Bill Masuku
This post was originally written to highlight the SUPERHEROES: Comic Book and Video Games from Africa exhibition at Maputo Fast Forward 2019 and later turned into a brief overview of African comics by Bill Masuku. It has further been edited…
Pa Gya 2019! African Comics Make a Home in Accra
The 3rd edition of Pa Gya! A Literary Festival in Accra (Pa Gya 2019) kicks off this weekend, starting today, October 18 up until Sunday, October 20 at the Goethe-Institut in Accra. We’re stoked to be participating this year, making…
Lagos Comic-Con 2019 Award Winners
A breakdown of all the Lagos Comic-Con winners in 2019. Lagos Comic-Con is the biggest geek and pop-culture event in West Africa, drawing in scores of animation, comics, games and digital art enthusiasts. Other than being a great gathering for…
Fearless Lagos Comic-Con: The Good, the Bad and the Future
Despite the scandal that rocked the Lagos Comic-Con last year, West Africa’s biggest geek gathering returned in a new dimension. The three-day event took place at the Alliance Francaise/Mike Adenuga’s Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos and the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island Lagos,…