This month’s featured artist-illustrator is Manue Akue-Gedu. Manue was born in Lome, Togo and draws on her home experiences to create her strong and expressive digital canvases. Her beautiful pieces of art are heavily influenced by her proud West African heritage. She has since moved to the United States and now lives in Pittsburg Pennsylvania.
Although she has moved continents Manue never strays far from her hometown Togo roots. From the rich colours, patterns, fabrics and folk tales that affect her work. Manue has always been inspired by art and creativity from a young age. But it was only a few years ago that Manue decided to leave her job in visual for a major retailer and commit fully to her journey of freelance illustration full time.
Having studied fine art at her local college, Manue began her artistry in painting with acrylics. She has since transitioned more in to creating her paintings in digital form.
Her art carries within it a joyful expression. A message to inspire, uplift and empower women. Manue describes her style as bold but minimalist, working mainly in digital form but goes back to the traditional form of painting in acrylics sometimes.
Painting strong women are a main feature throughout Manue’s work. One of Manue’s favourite’s among her work is named NANA after the successful business women of the markets. “Nana Benz” are women who sell their African fabrics in the markets of Togo. These business women are so successful in selling their fabrics they able to make a small fortune and look after their family. This includes being able to afford a Mercedes Benz car, in area where buying a Benz is not such an easily afforded luxury.
As well as drawing from influences from her place of birth, Manue Akue-Gedu is inspired by everyday life experiences such as women, nature and fashion. Manue admires the likes of other millennial artists like Janice Sung, Reyna Noriega and Renike.
All artwork and images courtesy of Manue Akue-Gedu.