Pictures,Colors,Words

Colors

Don’t be afraid to go where the universe leads you- ‘A Wise Man’

I wasn’t always comfortable with sewing, especially with my traditional fabric and prints. Traditional sewing and craftmanship in Africa, is more of a way of life, not just a trend portrayed in western culture. What held me back many times was the influence of others. Despite what others thought of me, I kept reinventing. I had to start over, from the beginning, more than once.

Like a child learning how to ride a bike, I had to struggle. Experiencing the struggle of life will teach you that nothing is impossible and the only way to achieve anything is to become open to the universe and it’s offerings. The most important part is the amount of dedication and practice I put into my craft. These are the mantras that builds my mental strength

4 Motivational Mantras 

  1. I’m worthy and living with a purpose 
  2. Take one day at a time 
  3. I’m not going to get off *my* path 
  4. I ‘ll never forget where I came from

As much as I’m inspired by these mantras, my first and major influences is family.  I got my aggressive spirit from my dad and sharp intution from my mom. 


She was a working mom and smart buisness women; as a young girl I always wanted to emulate that. She raised me to always have integrity, work hard, and stay humble. Having an understanding of this shaped me into buisness driven, independent woman. Today, I can finally accept that I’m a working fashion designer, building my career and not just someone who can just “sew”.  It’s ok to be who you are, accept your process and to not apologize for it.

Embrace The Culture: More About Ghana

​National Flag

“Know where you come from so you will always know were you stand”

The national flag of Ghana was designed and adopted in 1957 and consists of the Pan-African colours red, gold, and green.

It was designed by Theodosia Salome Okoh who was known as a stateswoman, teacher and artist.

The red represents the blood of those who died in the country’s struggle for independance from Great Britain, the gold represents the mineral wealth of the country, the green symbolises the country’s rich forests and natural resources, and the black star is the symbol of freedom.

Fun Fact
The flag was designed to replace the flag of the United Kingdom and was the first African flag after the flag of Ethiopia to feature red, gold and green. The black star was adopted from the flag of the Black Star Line; a shipping line incorporated by Marcus Garvey that operated from 1919 to 1922, and gives the Ghana national football team their name, The Black Stars.

The Ghana national football team popularly called the Black Stars has represented the Republic of Ghana in association football since the 1950s.


Fabric

Kente Cloth

Kente cloth also known as Nwentoma, means woven cloth and is identified by it’s  multicolored patterns of bright colors, geometric shapes, and bold designs. Each pattern is distinctive and represents symbolic meanings, proverbs, historical events, important chiefs, queen mothers, and plants. Traditionally the cloth is mostly worn on more formal occasions such as, weddings and funerals.

Fun Fact
Legend has it that Kente was first made by two friends, both of Ghanaian decent. They went hunting in the forest and found a spider making it’s web. The friends stood and watched the spider for two days then returned home and implemented what they had seen.

The Dashiki

The Dashiki also known as Angelina Print is a colorful embroidered pattern originated in West Africa. It’s distinctive V-shaped collar, and elaborate detailed print is a cultural statement worn throughout Africa and is now a popular trend all over the world.

Fun Fact: The name dashiki originated from the word ʼdan ciki which means skirt; from one of Ghana’s many dialects, Hausa.
Grey: is the traditional color for West African weddings.
Purple and lavender: the color of African royalty.
Blue: blue is the color of love, peace, and harmony.


Names
Ghanaian names (or Personal names in Ghana) consists of names based on the language of ethnic groups in Ghana and the day of one’s birth.

Male

Monday: Kojo, Kwadwo 

Tuesday: Kwabena 

Wednesday: Kwaku 

Thursday: Yaw 

Friday: Kofi 

Saturday: Kwame

Sunday: Akwasi, Kwasi, Kwesi, Akwesi 

Female

Monday: Adwoa, Adjoa 

Tuesday: Abena

Wednesday: Akua 

Thursday: Yaa 

Friday: Afua 

Saturday: Ama

Sunday: Akosua 

Fun Fact: Some use their names as a first name or middle name.
I was born on a Monday so my parents decided to use Adwoa as my middle name. Having this knowledge of my culture made it easy for me to chose a name for my brand, Adjoa Atelier. I’ll always stay true to myself and my roots.


Symbols

Adinkra (Ad-in-kura) symbols are more than wise sayings. These symbols are one of the rich traditions that built the nation and is a way of life in West Africa. The meaning can range from family, love, spiritual guidance and more and can be expressed through artitectual  features, art and fabric.

Fun Fact: In the past they were hand printed on undyed, red, dark brown or black hand-woven cotton fabric depending on the occasion and the wearer’s role; nowadays they are frequently mass-produced on brighter coloured fabrics.

A fine comb is mostly used to mark parallel lines on an Adinkra Cloth

Pictures,Colors,Words

Pictures

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes; Art is knowing which ones to keep”


The foundation for 
becoming an artist is finding yourself. To accept growth, in this case, is to always  look to the past for some healthy inspiration. There is something so precious about being a child and having the ability to be free and unabashed with all your thoughts and feelings and then you grow up. 


Personally, finding inspiration from my fashion illustrations helps. As a child I always had a huge appreciation for the arts and expressed myself through art, words and colors; these three major qualities from my past, is apart of my growth through this artistic journey.  



Fashion Illustrations from 2006-2010

Inspiration: Hidden Beauty-the mask represents living in a world based on status and beauty so by hiding our faces we can let the fabric speak.

Inspiration: College project based on women’s sportswear apparel. I wanted to be a sportswear designer at one point in my life

Inspiration: I live for color and structure when I’m sketching; I really wanted to portray the woman that loves bold colors at the top and mix the 1950’s classic silouette at the bottom


Basic Sketch Tutorial 

Basic Garment Sketch

Book: Colors and Modern Fashion, Drawing Fashion With Colored Markers By Nancy Riegelman