"I am Robert Lanyo, a wood carver born in the Volta region of Ghana in 1978. My friends say I am hardworking, very determined and creative. <br><br> "I come from a family that works in arts and crafts. I appreciate the skills of people who carved and I wanted to learn the craft. <br><br> "I was taught to carve in school. After completing secondary school, I had no one to help me continue my education so I undertook a five year apprenticeship where I was taught by three masters. I had to work hard with determination and creativeness to master this craft, but am now an experienced carver and also craft instruments. <br><br> "I eventually I founded my own school. Today, I teach my own students and I also give courses in several orphanages. I love to teach people about arts and crafts so they can learn about the importance of art in Ghana. <br><br> "My materials are recycled glass beads and ebony, and my inspiration comes through meditation, nature, reading books and sometimes from people's appreciation. <br><br> "I worked day and night in a friend's shop, which resulted in friction between us. But I didn't have money to buy materials or build a workshop of my own. Then I suddenly received help, which seemed to come out of nowhere and I thank God. <br><br> "It was difficult when customers would buy my carvings on credit, then refuse to pay and even fight about it. At one point, people thought I was a Rastafarian and because of that, I couldn't earn a living. But I can. <br><br> "I hope to meet people who will love my carvings and buy more of my work. I dream of becoming known around the world and would love to establish a formal art school. My community benefits from my craft, as I teach others, and my shop is an open market for the community. The musical instruments I craft are a source of entertainment as well."