We Are Essex

Abena's story

Abena Agyemang Prempeh

"I have dreams of combining my passion for law and art"

Before I came here I was doing Art A-Levels and I’ve done a couple of paintings I’m very happy with. That was one proud moment in my life when I submitted my art pieces. I do mostly portrait painting, because I just love human faces, and the fact that I can capture human’s eye, and a specific expression on their face. It’s beautiful when you can do that with your own hands. I haven’t done that in a while because I’m busy with my Law Degree right now, but that’s what I major in. Sometimes I have dreams of combining my passion for law and art. You know, that lawyer who is accomplished, and at the side she just does paintings. It’s a bit hard to picture now because I have to focus all my energy on one thing, but I hope that in the future I could do it as a hobby.

My first teacher in Ghana was terrible at teaching us art, so I was just determined to learn more than I was taught. I started drawing faces, and painting, and I thought that maybe I should consider doing this. Other people were impressed with my work and kept telling me that I should build on it.

My father constantly motivates me, especially with my art. Sometimes I belittle myself, thinking that maybe I’m not as good as other people, but my he reminds me of my potential and reassures me that I can do this, that I can pass through… I’m a Christian, so God motivates me equally. Every time I pray to him I feel some type of confidence and boost for each day. They are the two major mentors in my life.

Last year was the first time I was far away from home for the whole year, and I haven’t seen my family for a long time. I’m the only child so it’s very difficult for me to leave the family and people I’m used to. I had to come to a new environment, meet new people, get used to everything; it was hard. I’m kind of an introvert and at the same time an extrovert; trying to explain that is very complicated. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable with a lot of people around me, so it was a hard thing for me to overcome, but I’ve been trying my best. It was a struggle for me, but I’m over that now.

Recently I saw a quote that inspired me. It said that if you want to do something, you shouldn’t hold yourself back. I’ve been holding myself back for a lot of things; when it has to do with my paintings, or even with me getting up to go to lectures. Sometimes I feel like it’s such a strain to just get up and go. Painting takes a lot of time, energy and determination. It’s not just putting a pen to a paper or a brush to a canvas; you have to be focused, you have to be in the right mood. Now I’m telling myself that if I want to be that artist in the future, if I want to set that goal for my life, I have to actually do it and not constantly make excuses, otherwise I would lose my skills, I can feel it.

 

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