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“Made in Lagos took me out of my comfort zone“, Bernard Amankwah on his success as an Art Director

Updated: Aug 27, 2022


In this exclusive interview, Bernhard Amankwah, the creative visionary behind Coffee session Art tells us about working with great African artists and how a dream that seemed far-fetched became a reality while working hard in silence and staying focused on the vision he could see.

Bernhard Amankwah, a visual expert in all facets of creative thoughts and ideas, also serves as the assistant production editor for Lightville Magazine. Benard, who runs CoffeeSessionArt, leads his team in providing excellent art direction services.

His unique ideas have sparked conversation in the short films, advertisements, fashion editorials, music videos, and documentaries he creates. Bernard has also worked with prominent African musicians like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Black Sheriff, Asa, Tems, and corporate firms like Airtel, Fidelity Bank, Club bear, Woodin, and many more earning him and his team a well-deserved spot in the African creative and music industry .


“I’ve always wanted to be an art director. I made that decision in my first year at university. The aim was to have a creative house where I create freely without restrictions while carving a specific identity for my brand and have clients love me for what I represent.”

Here’s what Bernard tells us about his journey as a creative director, the Coffee Session Art team, his creative process, and his accomplishments so far.

Tell us a bit about your background and how it influences your creative process.

I studied visual arts in Secondary school, communication design at University, photography, styling, and set design after university. These are the main skills I posses amongst a few others. Being an art director gives you a broad perspective visually.

So even when I’m tasked to focus on styling only, I still make choices that sync with the

set design and cinematography.

How do you experiment with various materials, people, styles, and skills to bring out your final piece of work?

I’ve never been the type to fit in a particular box and that’s mainly because I love to be carefree and experimental. My entire crew is like-minded. One thing I’ve learned along my journey is to embrace mistakes. They give me a completely different approach to my creative process.

How many people make up your team? How do you function when a part of the team isn’t available?

Everyone is multi-skilled as much as I like to put them in various departments It doesn’t limit their creativity at all. I could easily switch my styling team to assist in the set design department. Also, I do have my core team, but in most cases, the producer already puts the team together and I have to work with them. But ideally a team of 10 or more.