Interviewing Paula Nyangabyaki was easy. It is a conversation starter when you walk into a room filled with beautiful well thought through art pieces, and even more when the majority of the art pieces are of dark skinned women and gorgeous landscapes.
Paula, who wears her hair in dreadlocks and is dressed in jeans and a vest comes off as slightly shy. I get her to speak confidently when she is explaining the thought process behind her art pieces. From as far back as she can remember she has always been good at it. She scored straight A’s with no difficulty in her assignments at school, and is able to easily look at an image and replicate it with her own spin to it. She can also use her free hand to draw and paint.
When I find out that she is just 18 years old, I am shocked. How many of you look back at being 18 and knowing what you wanted to do for certain in life? Certainly not me. Paula does though. While she prepares to go to university either in Canada or Cyprus, she is taking time to hone her art skills and trying to establish a steady customer base for her work.
She tells me she seems to gravitate towards painting African women because it allows her to portray where she is from in a sense. She also likes to do landscape painting, and looking at her work I can see that she certainly has a passion for both. Her challenge is finding a steady customer base willing to pay for her work. When I ask her how much she prices her work, she tells me it ranges from $250 to $350, depending on the amount of time and energy that go into each piece.
Paula seems to pause and reflect on the knowledge that her parents have allowed her to pursue her dreams from the get go, in a sense she seems thankful that her family is her support system. Her plan when she finally gets to university is to cover all the bases that her art course has to offer, and then decide from there on what her exact niche will be.
It is interesting and admirable to watch her speak about her passion, and see her confidently express where she would like her life to go. It is also certainly inspiring to me, and it will hopefully be to you too. Lastly, there is no need for me to say she is extremely talented, because I’m sure you can see so for yourself, but Paula is talented, and naturally too. Something tells me this young lady is going to be extremely successful on her journey in art.
Till next time.