<b>Update (July, 2019)</b><br><br> ?In 2009, I joined NOVICA. I am a jewelry artisan.<br><br> ?A lot has changed since I joined this wonderful institution. I joined as a bracelet maker, but the kind of guidance I had from NOVICA helped me to widen my imagination. To a large extent, my finances have improved since joining NOVICA. In the beginning, even purchasing raw materials for production was an issue for me. NOVICA came to my aid right away with a micro-credit loan which I used for production of both new products and replenishment.<br><br> ?As the years go by I have trained 8 artists, of which 5 are females and 3 are males. My talent has not just been polished; also my finances have seen a tremendous change. Over the years I have had a lot of successes; now I have platforms to showcase my talent.<br><br> ?10 years from now, I want to start up a school to train young artists who can work in the arts industry in years to come.?<br><br> <b>Original Artisan Story</b><br><br> "My name is Robert Aidoo-Taylor, and I was born on December 30, 1967 in the central region of Ghana. I attended elementary and middle school in Ghana, and junior secondary school in Nigeria. I returned to Ghana to finish high school. <br><br> "I am a self-taught artist. I never took any classes or attended courses. I use manual tools to carve my pieces from wood and then I paint them myself. I enjoy working alone, and my inspiration comes from nature. <br><br> "The greatest challenge that I have faced in my life is when I wanted to further my education, but I couldn't afford to do so and had to struggle. I turned to carving as a profession and now I have exhibited my work abroad, including Berlin, Washington, D.C., and Detroit. <br><br> "I have taught others too, especially about making collage works with veneer woods and rattan weaving. <br><br> "One of my favorite things in life is to explore nature and spending time with my wife and two daughters. One of my dreams for the near future is to become an art lecturer, even though I was never able to go to art class myself." <br><br> In 2012, Robert ventures into the realm of handcrafted jewelry. "I explored the use of wood, waxed linen, synthetic cords and other media to make bangles, bracelets and necklaces. I have developed many designs so far, and I am so thrilled about this new venture! I have always used wood in my art and it's exciting to be able to add other materials to achieve something interesting."