Paul: I always drew. I always had a natural ability to draw. I got real good. When I was in the sixth grade they told me I needed to go to school for it so I went to The School for Creative and Performing Arts. Then I went to public school that had a vocational program so I took commercial art there. After that I went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and then to The Antonelli Institute. So, I’ve been in art education all my life. Once I got out of school, I never found a job so I ended up painting and drawing on the streets.
Something that I’ve pursued all my life, with as much education as I have and I ended up painting art on the street to live. I take donations and sometimes people give me leftovers.
The irony of this… I used to look at artists on the street growing up and think, “what a bum” and that’s what I turned out to be. I’m making my living out here and I think this is where I’m going to really get my reward for all my efforts. I think God wanted me to see… Because I wasn’t a very humble kid. I was arrogant. I definitely don’t look at people on the street the same. I give to people now. I just really have a different outlook on life, being on the streets. I think that I’m supposed to be here to show people that there are roses that come out of concrete. There are diamonds in the rough.
Ebrima: There’s an African child in your midst right out here in Little Five Points. He got a serious project. He aint gonna stop til we are free. Until there is no more homeless person in the city of Atlanta. We gonna do that by the ways of making copper bracelets and making films.
I had a culture shock here. I never seen people be homeless where I grew up in Africa so I got inspired to make a film. I didn’t have a gold pot but I had a gold mind so I been banging these bracelets for ten years. Now I’ve got an award winning film that’s helping all of us gain empathy and love for each other. I’m not stopping until there is no more homelessness in Atlanta.
BW: What’s the name of the film?
Ebrima: Our new project is called Food, Clothing and Shelter part 2, A Hand Up, Not a Handout. We don’t do handouts anymore Atlanta. We need a hand up!
Went to Little Five, Atlanta yesterday for my friend’s birthday. It’s the second time I’ve been up there and I just love it. There such a broad assortment of odd shops and restaurants. I particularly wouldn’t want to live in the city, but I’d love to live there. We ate at Vortex and browsed around all kinds of shops. There were awesome street musicians playing around and you see all kinds of funky people and fashions and the whole town just has such a great vibe. I almost bought a shirt from a old, drunken hobo for two bucks. He wanted me to trade him my Nirvana shirt. haha. It was a funny scenario. It was a good day. I’d like to go back sooon, soon, soonn! :D
(photos are from google. my phone died before we got there, so I couldn’t take photos of my own, unfortunately, but these are just photos of the vortex and some of the various shops we went into. :3)