Meet the self-taught Sierra Leonean artist

Born on the 2nd, June 1993, 27-year-old self-taught Sierra Leonean artist, Melicia Barrie was born in Kono District. She is the founder of MelArt Design. She is actively engaged in drawing, paintings of different designs, and the making of stencils, canvas, cards, or on walls.

Melicia Barrie attended the Zadet preparatory and primary school. She later forwarded her Junior and Senior Secondary School at the Richard Allen Junior and Senior Secondary School. Melicia Barrie graduated from the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology with a Diploma in Social Work. She is currently pursuing an Associate Degree in Multimedia Broadcasting and advertising at the Limkokwing University. Melicia Barrie was part of the Global Youth Network and IOM entrepreneurship training. She has succeeded in building a website for her company (melartsl.com) which she uses to showcase her artworks online.

 At Salone Messenger, I had an interview with her to tell us her story.

Q. Tell us about your work?

Answer: ‘’I am the founder of MelArt Design. I actively engaged in drawings and paintings of different designs and also making stencils on canvas, cards, or walls.’’

Q. Who or what inspired you to involve in art?

Answer: ‘’I’ve been into the Art field since I was a kid. I kept practicing and developed a passion for it until I realized its part of me. I realized I was born with the gift so there is no other way I can let it go. I love painting and find pleasure in doing it.’’

Q. Where did you learn artistry?

Answer: ‘’I was born with the gift of art. I do not enroll in any Art school in my whole life. I just kept practicing to develop more skills in the artistry. And also learning new techniques from some professional artists.’’

Q. What are the challenges you’re facing as an artist?

Answer: ‘’There have been some challenges that I’ve been facing, which sometimes causes a delay in the Art field. One of the challenges is lacking and yearning for art materials in Sierra Leone. Most Artists are facing this constraint due to the lack of Art galleries or shops to get art materials from. There is also low demand for artwork in Sierra Leone.’’

Q. What’s your message to young people out there that want to involve in art, but are afraid to due to the lack of opportunities for people in Art?

Answer:  ‘’I want to encourage every beginner or young artist in the Art field not to get scared or accept any obstacles that will hinder their carriers for art. Let them keep practicing and be passionate about what they do. And they will surely be professionals artists one day.’’

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