THE UNSEEN BEAUTY
Samuel Adoquei was born in Ghana, West Africa, where he completed his fine arts studies at the Ghanatta College of Fine Arts. After graduation, Mr Adoquei travelled extensively around Africa and Europe before moving to the United States.
‘I knew I was better than some of my friends but never thought of myself as an “artist.”
Following a recent brief glimpse into the world of the Ghanaian born artist, Samuel Adoquei through the mini documentary, ‘the unseen beauty’ by Gabriel de Urioste based upon Sam’s award winning books, I felt pessimistic vibes being exorcised. I was in awe, as I listened further to explanations of his own unique theory how to produce art, which does not have to be ‘cheap’ and provide a ‘difference to people’.
‘I have about 12 questions I test the people who come to me for mentorship believe it or not 10 out of ten fails the test. Everyone want to go to the top but no one wants to use a ladder.’
Instantly, I posted the Documentary onto Facebook, and twitter, sharing the wisdom of how ‘you have a choice of creating great art for others . The ‘Difference between good and bad is if the artist does a little homework’. I was frothing at the mouth when Sam eloquently described, ‘we are waiting for the next hero to show us how things will be done well’.
‘How could George Orwell be so right about predicting the future? Is a question that still baffles me and inspires me at the same time!’
My mind was that of a young infant with life staring, reaching out with such promise alienating me from my previous theory that the greatest moments in art had long since passed.
I have been regretfully living in the past, even in my musical and artistic heroes Salvador Dali and The Beatles cut their teeth decades ago, so I have not been very optimistic of an artistic silver lining, yet when Sam spoke I encountered an authentic truth within his words professing a powerful future surfacing at our feet.
‘The 11 minute track ‘Human sadness’ on Julian’s (Casablancas) most recent ‘Tyranny’ album has that kind of quality, which only a talent in touch of something higher could achieve. The whole music becomes an experience rather than just a song.’
Right, let us get to work here, Sam, as we are eager to know a little more about you..
What is your brief background, and at what age, or period in your life did you consider yourself an artist and decide to take on this mission of investing your mind, your being, your everything?
the honest truth is at 14 I knew from people around me that I was gifted with creative abilities and could come out with ideas and designs to silk screen beautiful names, logos and numbers on jerseys for soccer teams, names and numbers on T-shirts for my town teams and friends, I even designed college trunks. I knew I was better than some of my friends but never thought of myself as an “artist.”
You speak about Jimi Hendrix being an influence upon your work, as he can teach you more about what you can do with your paint than an actual artist. Could you name any other influences outside of the realm of the painting art world whom have influenced you and why?
I wish you had asked me how did Jimi Hendrix influenced me because I just gave a lecture yesterday to a group of mixed creative people. The lecture was on how to bring to life divine ideas such as great melodies, divine sounds and divine images, Hearing divine melodies of the heavens in your mind’s ears and seeing and envisioning beautiful hidden images in nature happen first in the mind ears and eyes, to bring these magical sounds, ideas and beauties to life are reasons skill and experiences are necessary. Growth and advancement challenges dreamers and satisfaction and happiness always attract talents who suppress their ego and desires in other to create to help mankind. Divine ideas and sounds don’t reveal themselves to us because we are good with materials and instruments. Great artistic achievements are not accidents and they don’t just happen. You reap what you sow is not just a biblical adage, it is a natural law in everything. You don’t produce good or bad, sensitive or insensitive creations because you are emotional or detached from human beings. I believe Jimi Hendrix have several senses one of which is (spiritual and Godly) he has improved beyond the average human. That is the sense to listen to the heavens, to speak to invisible forces: saints, Gods and spirits roaming around us in search of messengers to make their intentions accessible to humans.
I think I have drifted away from your question, sorry: Jimi Hendrix is not the only musician, any exceptional achievement that seems like the creator or the artist went beyond the boundaries of human capacity always influences me. How could George Orwell be so right about predicting the future? Is a question that still baffles me and inspires me at the same time! Any artist who I think communicate with the heavens and speaks with those invisible forces with all the keys and ladders of life inspires me and teaches me more. One can do many, many wonderful things but no one can tap on to their fullest potential with asking the heavens to reveal what their intentions are.
For example, the 11 minute track ‘Human sadness’ on Julian’s (Casablancas) most recent ‘Tyranny’ album has that kind of quality, which only a talent in touch of something higher could achieve. The whole music becomes an experience rather than just a song.
There are many of us out there whom consider ourselves artists. In the ‘Unseen beauty’ you speak about being an artist and how you must take on that mission, which means investing your mind, your time, your being, your everything. Could you please explain this further to aspiring artists whom are yet to encounter your fascinating books, and documentary.
In boxing the secret of great boxers is combination of muscles, mind and brains, and insight and psychology.
As you know I covered this in Essay 5 page 53 of my small book: Origin of Inspiration I hate to repeat myself.
There are seven laws all must obey and live by if one desires to do more in order to achieve more and help more. Law one answers your question. Your readers can download all the laws from Cult Records (My friends at Cult Records has exclusivity. It is free, of course) below is Law three
LAW THREE: Greatness comes from a coconut full of fresh and healthy juice.
How do you feed your coconut with fresh and healthy nutrition? It is not what you create, what you want or what your wishes and hopes are, but where your creations and ideas are coming from. Greatness comes from within so culture your taste to feed your coconut nutrition that produce healthy fresh juice. Culturing your loyalty and devotion towards learning, honesty, sincerity and sensitivity towards your subject through nature. Humility and respect towards your approach and dealing with others are part of being an artist one must culture these skills, if one desires grand and timeless creations. Often those I mentor are surprise and shocked when we start to talk about nature and life and invisible and divine forces. Imagine the times we live in, our great information age, the age where the average couldn’t tell good from bad, bad from excellent. We have the best of everything: why does the best of everything bring the tricks and gimmicks of artists? Why do quality and exceptional creations elude so many talents? this is a question I tackle with my guys a lot.
I have about 12 questions I test the people who come to me for mentorship believe it or not 10 out of ten fails the test. Everyone want to go to the top but no one wants to use a ladder
In The ‘Unseen beauty’ and acclaimed book, ‘origin of inspiration’ you speak about the ‘physical beauty’ and the ‘unseen beauty’ Could you tell me what information and meaning you are trying to convey through these two separate comparisons?
Answer to this question is the same or similar to the one I mention in your previous question. I believe Jimi Hendrix have several senses one of which is (spiritual, divine and Godly) he has improved this sense beyond the average artist. That is the sense to listen to the heavens, to speak with invisible forces, to ask the saints, Gods and spirits for solutions, So that he Jimi Hendrix could make their intentions accessible to humans. The visual artist is exactly in the same boat. Invisible beauty could only be achieved by the trained mind with divine intentions, in touch with the heavens. It is hard to explain with words alone when computer screen is burning and making my eyes tear up. Realistically, You can only explain or teach this in person
Whilst watching, I was surprised to hear that a man, an artist whom studied at Art college without adequate utensils and worked over 18 hour days on billboards in Nigeria at fifteen years old would consider painting has become more difficult, as it was always about the ‘physical beauty’ previously.
How does the ‘unseen beauty’ effect your working style at present and why has it made painting so difficult for you?
As I have explained in both books: there are differences between the science of painting (the mechanics) and the art of painting (art, personal vision, likes and dislikes) and how exploration could lead to invention. The mechanics of art require no brains nor talent. You don’t even have to think, it’s all about formulas for this I can paint ten paintings a day or more under the influence of a bottle of wine.
Ten years ago you began exploring the landscapes of the Dordogne region of France, especially the outskirts of Bergerac, a challenging subject unexplored by other western art masters, for obvious reasons as it requires a dedicated artist with strong convictions.
You were since awarded the cities Medal of Honour for your contribution and dedication to the arts and culture of the area, and for bringing out the hidden beauty of the area for international art enthusiasts. It was indeed the first time in history that the city its Medal of Honour to a foreigner or to an artist, an historical achievement in western art for an artist.
How did you become inspired enough to explore this region and how do you now reflect back upon your time in this magical area of France?
Had I known what I know now I would probably not have explored the region. Commercially it was risky investing so many years in a place art collectors don’t consider romantic, but artistically it is one of the greatest decisions I have ever made using skills of the past to assist a new vision. Artistic life is kind of strange. It is almost like investment, at the end it is more like what have I done with the little I was given. Great people in our history books never took easy tasks. There are those who built from nothing, those who transformed things, those who brought the best in others, those whose ideas keep improving humanity. As I answered in one of your early questions, only the love for the place, loyalty to the friends I made there, the challenge to do my best with what is at hand and the dutiful mission to bring this place to the consciousness of the outside world made it worth every beating and scar I received.
What are some of the challenges you face as an artist, in particular as an African artist and how have you overcome those challenges?
My dear Friend you are the first to ask me such a straight forward question. After over 20 years as an artist no one has ever gotten close to such a question. Being an African artist in the West is like boxing with three forces of human nature, with your hands tide at your back. The referee and the doctor have to make sure you don’t die in the ring, it’s not good for the media. No complains at all my friend, it is nature at her best. It is such challenges that bring the best in those who dare to follow their calling. Leonardo was called a bastard, rejected and lived a life of solitude, constant struggles, rejections; at the end of his life he has no place to call home. Many, many people have faced worst situation or facing similar than I am. If you consider deceases, death and many other challenges of life but with courage, will power and determination you can build armies to defend your soul’s journey and recruit crusaders to protect your dreams. All dreamers must have these armies, crusaders of their soul to guide them in their endeavors, which is always going to be tough.
You don’t ever overcome the constant assault of negative human forces, you must be aware and have the forward ever backwards never attitude. Racism, gender bias, religious bias and hate are human nature wherever you go. You are in for a big shock and disappointment once you forget the true nature of life. It is this that youth of today often don’t prepare themselves for.
At a certain point as a child my mother stopped taking bones out of the fish she serves and warns us to carefully chew everything. When we get choked on a bone she looks at us and asks didn’t I ask you to chew everything carefully before swallowing?
Finally, I gather this is going to be an extraordinarily difficult question to answer as you have achieved so much in your career. Therefore, I feel that your response could lead to an exciting answer. Sam, if possible what has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
Honest, honest and honest. HONESTLY I feel like a total failure my dear friend Nicholas. I am so appreciative with all that nature and life have given me, I am super grateful with all that few of my patrons have contributed to make the lifestyle possible.
The history of art, especially Western art is thousands of years old and to come from so far and become part of the institution and history is something I will always be thankful of. America and the Western culture through grinding have given me all I need in order to be of help to many who my experience, wisdom and ideas could improve their lives, but for the weirdest reason I have not been able to come out with achieving the number one ingredient to make this dream possible. I am still trying. The day I will achieve it, I will let you know my friend.
I wish you all the best Nicholas, I have no doubt you are on your way to doing great things, please stay strong at all cause, do your best at all cause give more to life than you take from it. Be the source to provide inspiration. Help all those who come to you, wage daily wars and battles against greedy and selfish desires and goals. When obstacles come, remember when you unwrapped the package of struggles, failures and disappointments you will discover hidden jewels of wisdom and keys to open doors of freedom and success, by giving more than you take; you receive more than you need.
Thank you for making this possible, Nicholas, all my best wishes.
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