This week’s Squido (Squid Hero) is none other than Alfred Achiampong. Alfred is an impressive and constantly evolving illustrator who has taken the rule of 10,000 hours to heart. He posts as many new illustrations as there are days on his social media accounts. He’s been at this awesomeness for almost two years, posting something new every single day and playing with new pencilling and colouring techniques. He also participated in #Inktober2016. That’s 100 points for motivation and effort. He sometimes goes by the nickname Yo Qwick and I can’t help but connect this to his animation potential evidenced in the brush strokes in some of his older work.

Let’s swoop in.

Inktober 2016 #1

What are your go-to tools?


AA: Wacom Intuos, Photoshop, Manga Studio and when I’m not working digitally, any pen or pencil will do.

Kubo from Kubo and the Two Strings (inspired by Tan ZhiHuii's)
Alfred Achiampong’s Kubo from Kubo and the Two Strings (inspired by Tan ZhiHuii)

What inspires you?


AA: Works from other artists.

What challenges do you face?


AA: Currently, none!

Character Design 24 – Alfred Achiampong

What’s your favourite and the most fun piece you’ve ever worked on? 


AA: That’s a difficult one, there’s quite a number…but recently, my latest piece, character design 24!

Who do you absolutely listen to when you work?


AA: Absolutely, no one in particular. Most of the time I just leave the TV on NatGeo Wild while I draw.

Alfred Achiampong’s Logo

You have 24hrs in the Squid Time Tunnel to change something about your past. What would it be and why?


AA: I’d probably have changed my approach towards art and been more serious. I actually just started taking art seriously in 2016.

What do you do for fun? 


AA: Movies, series and video games.

Cover of Vortex Comic’s Strike Guard.

What’s your hope for African comics, games, and animation in the next 3 years?


AA: That it actually becomes more recognised and respected in Africa. In Africa, art is easily overlooked and hardly recognised as a career path from what I have witnessed. It would be awesome to see that change.

The TRIOmphant Bonus: Who are your top 3 African creatives across comics, games, animation, music, technology; whatever?


AA: There is quite a number, but off the top of my head, Mohammed Agbadi, Segun Samson and Creo Concepts’ Arnold Bannerman.

See the latest updates from Alfred Achiampong on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | ArtStation.

Squirt Creativity!

– KaDi.

2 COMMENTS

  1. […] 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. Vortex caught up with the Ashesi University alumni to talk inspiration, comics, and illustration. This interview was originally published by Vortex Inc. on Geek Africa on January 17, 2017. 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? AA: 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 they are 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! Dark Chocolate Who inspires you to push the boundaries like you do in illustration?   AA: 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?   AA: 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. Ali What have been your most memorable projects and why? AA: 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?) AA: 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. 🙂 Watchman (Security Guards) What is your advice to young illustrators out there?   AA: For young illustrators out there, I’d say, focus on your basics. Get your foundation right and try to dedicate time to draw 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?   AA: 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. […]

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