Like a ray of sunlight, Ray brightens homes, galleries, shops and offices with his artistic gift. He is introspective as he is bold. Daring to venture into the unknown, and creating pieces that often leave an indelible impression on spectators and clients happens to be his signature trait.
Given the birth name Emmanuel Apraku by his parents, he began exhibiting his artistic talent as a child. Forget about the little scribbles that children often create on sheets of paper for a brief time during their developmental years … with little Ray, his desire to draw never waned. Lest you assume he always knew without a doubt what his “calling ” in life was, it was not the case.For,at a point in his life, he believed he would earn a living as a soccer star. This was between grade four through to Junior High. In between, this period of his life, he briefly entertained the thought of joining the healing profession in the capacity of a Doctor. In his words, ” I was good in biology, physics and chemistry and excelled in these subjects”. He was rather hesitant to share this fact. However, I happily urged him to claim his victories.
A defining moment in his life arrived as the much dreaded Basic Education Certificate Examination(B.E.C.E) inched nearer. An excellent grade in this examination granted the candidate an opportunity to attend any of the best Senior High schools in Ghana . Likewise, a failing grade could negatively impact a candidate’s future educational prospects by denying him or her access to the best Senior High Schools. Fully aware of this solemn truth, Ray quit his daily soccer practice and spent an ample amount of his time studying for the exams. His efforts were not in vain as he earned very good grades in the examinations. After completing Junior High School, so did his love affair with soccer end. It was over. He had lost interest in soccer and went on to pursue Visual Arts at Accra Academy Senior High School. There, he majored in PICTURE MAKING.
By now, it should come as no surprise that Ray’s great work ethic coupled with his talent led to the achievement of success in Senior High. He went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts(B.A) in Communications Design at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (one of the best tertiary institutions in Ghana).There, he graduated with a 1st Class Hons. He soon joined the working world and it was great – for a while.
One day, while having a conversation with a colleague, the topic of entrepreneurship came up. Ray recalled telling his colleague, “Honestly, I don’t see myself working here for a very long time. I will one day leave to pursue my passion .You know, find something I totally enjoy and a place where I can create and capture memorable moments”. His colleague simply nodded. They had been working together at the company for 2 years when he uttered those words. There wasn’t a major problem at work. Everything was okay. The only subtle problem stemmed from spending 10% of his time on illustration work(which he loved) and 90% of his time working on assignments that held little interest to him. He did not have a specific time frame for when he would resign. All he knew was that at some point, he will work more on what he loves and at his own pace.
The wind of change soon blew in his favor. Today, Ray is living his dream of doing what he loves best (caricature arts, portraits, canvas painting, pencil arts etc). He finally resigned from his job to pursue his passion! With the days of fervently praying for the 9:00am -6:00pm work day to be over so that he can work on projects for his clients, he laughs more, loves more and works … a lot more. Despite his expanding global clientele and hectic schedule, Ray finds time to enjoy the simple things in life – Spending time with his strong, inspirational and hard-working mother .
Interested in knowing more about his family life, what makes him tick, his favorite shows … Stay tuned, an in-depth bio on Ray may just hold the answers you seek :).
Article was first published on Nopoku- July 22nd, 2016