Israel Derrick Apeti, better known by his pen name “Enil Art,” is a Ghanaian pen artist who makes people smile. He accomplishes this by quickly sketching beautiful portraits of complete strangers with a pen on Ghana’s local public buses. His art-related posts on Twitter and TikTok have garnered a large number of followers.
Israel Apeti revealed in an exclusive interview with the Tales of Africa Podcast that he discovered his love and fascination for creating accurate representations of what he saw on paper at a young age.
He has been nurturing that passion until now. The young artist went on to say that he constantly pushes himself to do his best on every task. Because he writes with a blue ballpoint pen, Israel emphasizes that there is no room for error.
Israel Apeti admitted to Tales of Africa Podcast host Richmond Setrana that the idea of drawing random strangers on public transportation was inspired by Devon Rodriguez, a New York-based artist who sketches random people on the subway.
The American artist rose to prominence through his realistic portrait paintings on the New York City subway system.
The talented artist confessed to the Tales Of Africa Podcast host that his art sketches were well received by almost all the people he drew. He said:
“No matter our culture or identity, if people see their image, they are excited. So, I decided to give it a try in Ghana, and since there is no subway here, I decided to use the “trotro” (public transport) and it seems to be working.”
Drawing a person can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, according to Israel. “There are naturally fewer details when there is less time,” he explained. He also mentioned that the bumpy nature of most roads in Ghana sometimes slows down his work.
People frequently ask the talented artist how he is able to draw random people with such fine details. He admitted that before drawing someone, he takes a brief video of the subject on his phone, then freezes the frame to capture an image. According to the image, he can create amazing art with a pen.
When asked about what the future holds for his amazing talent, Israel said that he hopes something positive can come out of what he is doing. He explained:
“I want to see how far this can go. That is why I keep doing it. I want to see what can come out of it because people are showing interest, this is why I do it every day.”