Meet the master of digital arts …Daniel Arthur Baidoo
His works have caught the attention of presidents and celebrities alike. He combines digital printing with painting to come out with a unique image style that is not common in many art galleries. At the sight of his works, you will stop taking raw photographs and opt for his designs. But if I tell you that art was not his talent, you wouldn’t believe it. Anyway, find out how he became a graphic designer.
His early life
Daniel Arthur Baidoo, 25, was born in Akyem Oda in the Eastern Region. He is currently the CEO of Danny Arthuz Creative Empire. He became an orphan at an early stage when he lost his mother while in class three. For his father, the least said about him, the better. He never knew him.
Fortunately for us Africans, we have the extended family support and so his grandfather went for him and took him to Takoradi where he has spent the rest of his life.
In Takoradi, he had his basic education at Bedu Addo Methodist School and continued at Fijai High School and completed in 2012. From there he went to Takoradi Technical University and studied Graphic Designing. From infancy, Daniel fancied my kind of profession—Journalism. Just as we were all told to study General Arts if we wanted to becomes journalists in future, Daniel decided to study that course at the secondary level.
But he chose Visual Arts when he was filling his application forms, as he believed that will grant him easy entry into Fijai Senior High School, with the intention of diverting to General Arts when he gets admission. Well, unfortunately, he could not be smarter than the system. He had admission alright, but was told he couldn’t change the course he chose on his application form.
Maybe, one will say, it was his fate because that programme has now taken him to unexpected heights.
How the digital printing began
Daniel did his industrial attachment at a photo studio and that started his interest in digital designs after an uncle of his bought him a laptop to assist in his work.
A friend of his who is very good at painting wanted to train him in that area. He loved it but could not combine the graphic design with the painting. That led to his decision to learn how to do digital printing using photoshop, and the painting, among others, to print images of people. And guess where he learned it? YouTube.
After learning how to do it, he did some few works and posted it social media, specifically speaking, Facebook. Friends began to encourage him to continue and started making orders. Initially, he took it as a hobby and did it for friends free of charge. Well, in case you want one for free, remember that father Christmas’ time has passed though.
How he turned it into business
On the same social media platform, he came across a man who inquired how much his products are sold. But as stated earlier, it was just his hobby and he didn’t have any price tag on them.
The man was quite surprised as he knew Daniel was sitting on a pot of gold. He decided to help him write a business plan and later became his personal manager.
Once, he came across a public figure, Ama K. Abebrese, a television anchor. He was kind of afraid and shy to get close to her.So he rather took a picture of her with the aim of showing it to his friends that he saw Ama Abebrese in town. When he showed the picture to a friend, he asked: “why don’t you do a print of her and tag it to one of her social media accounts. Maybe she can help advertise it for you”.
Well, he took the advice seriously and did exactly that and showed it to his manager who was able to connect her to Ama K. Abebrese.
He recalls one Sunday when he was privileged to receive a call from her. She accepted to promote his works with her social media accounts. As soon as she posted the first image of her digital prints, Daniel said, people began inquiring of who the designer is. That was how he came to the limelight.
Daniel’s works, has caught the attention of high profile people as high as presidents. He has once been invited by Former President Rawlings to his home to showcase his works to him.
“There was this exhibition at A and C Mall in Accra which I took part. When I presented my products, the marketing manager later called me and said Ex-President Rawlings had seen my works and requested I meet him. I couldn’t believe it.
So two weeks later, a meeting was arranged for me to meet him at his residence. I made a digital print of him and presented it to him. When I got there, he told me my works are one of the best he has ever come across. Then, he showed me some works he himself had done as an artist.”
In the case of President Akufo-Addo, I made digital painting of him as part of his products at an exhibition.
“A lady, who happened to be a niece of the president, saw it and admired it. So, she took my card and told me she would like us to meet Nana Addo. Later, I came into contact with Anthony Carboo, the Member of Parliament for Lawra Constituency. He asked me to do a painting for him and another one for Nana Addo.
But I told him I would be happy to present it to Nana Addo himself should he win the general elections. So he won, and I got the opportunity to meet him and present his painting to him. He was so excited and encouraged to keep the hard work up.”
His main challenges
A challenge common to many young entrepreneurs is capital. There is growing interest in the business and he needs more money to purchase some tools, machines, and set up a bigger studio to do his works.
Another challenge he faces is the fact that some people outside his profession do not see the efforts he puts in his work and will like to buy his products cheap. Sometimes, he is forced to let it go cheap since it will be needless to keep the images with him after all the efforts he put in making them.
Daniel wants his work to reach art galleries all over the world; and move from country to country to exhibit his products.
Advice to the youth
“I will advise my fellow brothers and sisters to develop their passion or talent into a profession. Do not wait for promises from people to give you a job. Try something you are good at doing and it will succeed.”