In August 2013, a collective of young men, excited and wet behind the ears, convened on the colorful and historic streets of Jamestown. They were there to showcase their work to an audience hungry for artistic expression that was rare, imaginative and unlike anything they had ever seen before. In those days, the Chale Wote Street Art Festival was just the place to find such an audience.
These men were united by a common love for anime, manga and urban fashion. Together, they represented akolabone, an urban lifestyle brand that blended their love for anime, Ghanaian culture, comics, urban fashion, and the what-ifs into a cocktail of edgy cool.
These “cool kids” were an instant hit at Chale Wote that year. They sold out their inventory which consisted of screen-printed t-shirts and laser-cut wooden necklaces they dubbed ‘AKB Tokens’.
The defining feature of this collective was its art style. While their competition made shirts by printing viral phrases, Akolabone painted their anime-inspired imaginations onto theirs. The result was people walking away with never-before-seen illustrations on their chests. They made wearing art cool.
The backbone of that art style and the collective is Paapa Kobina Okyne Taylor, simply known as Kobe Taylor and online as Nurd AKB.
Fast forward to 2020, Kobe is primarily an illustrator and graphic designer. Outside of that, he is also a UI designer, 2D animator, motion graphics designer, game designer and beatmaker.
Lime & Honey’s Maame Serwaa had a lot of questions and went Behind the Ink to explore the beautiful mind of Kobina Taylor.