Arts Help is pleased to announce Del Titus Bawuah as a member of its 2023 Advisory Board. Based in the United Kingdom and Ghana, Del is the CEO and creator of Lili Smart City and a tech entrepreneur that focuses on creating smart and sustainable living spaces. Del also passionately advocates for unlocking Web 3.0 opportunities. He is an ambitious cultural thought leader who leads with intention and compassion.
How would your closest friends and family describe you in one sentence?
According to my best friend, a focused good friend who people can find ambitious and has a cool head when needed. Then I'll give you one that came from another friend. A powerful cultural thought leader who leads with intention and compassion and has his foot on the pulse of history-making and groundbreaking change.
Then one from my youngest brother; he says: caring, forward-thinking and futuristic and loves helping people.
What characteristics of your favourite artist do you think you possess and why?
I would say, Banksy and Mystery. That's what I hear most of the time.
Using only one word, how would describe Arts Help?
Who is your favourite artist and why (any art form)?
He [Banksy] is my favourite because of the fact that the work does the talking. I think that all you do is just see his work; you don't really see him per se, right? So I feel like that's definitely a very important aspect of him that I really resonate with. The work does the talking first. You don't see him.
Which artwork from your favourite artist/general has touched your life?
There's one that he has with the chimpanzees at the House of Commons. That's actually my favourite piece. I just think he brings humour to very serious situations, through that piece and not just humour in a comedic sense, but his ability to extract that [ what the House of Commons represents] and put it in a format that is very alternative – it's a contrarian view of what is going on there.
If you really hear some of the discussions and some of the outcomes and some of the historical things that have happened there, it's a laugh. In some sense, but then in another sense, it's pretty serious, very kind of cult-like in some of its attributes. And I think the way he kind of exhibits that in his artwork is very dope.
Best advice ever received, and by who?
I had a chance to meet who is a very well-established business mogul in Africa and Nicholas Candy, who is an established real business mogul in London.
The one thing they said stood out, the intensity of focus is what set them apart from everyone.
I mean, I wouldn't necessarily say it's my main motto in life, but I would say in context to the advice part, I think it's very sound advice because, in every area of life, you need focus unless you are relaxing or you're sleeping or it's time to die. In most areas of life, if you want to be a good brother, good father, good leader, or good friend, you need to apply yourself in order to serve or give the best version of yourself to whatever relationship or cause you are fighting for.
So I think that the intensity of focus, not just for business but across the board is very important.
What is your favourite quote and why?
My favourite quote is, Know thyself. I think even as a world we need to know ourselves, but we know ourselves, we're able to contribute better to society and we're also honest with ourselves. I think individually, and collectively, that is the one principle that we can live by to achieve some of the humanities or get past some of humanity's biggest obstacles cause half of the time we're not very honest with ourselves. Then we don't set the parameters to allow us to go beyond ourselves. So knowing ourselves is probably my favourite quote.
How do you think the way we view and perceive art is going to be transformed in the digital age?
We'll realize that we are actually very limitless in our creativity towards arts. Obviously, in the 2D world, we have limits. We have certain physical and creative limits that once it's on paper, that's the end of that.
But in the digital world, we now get into a new dimension where it is limitless and we can actually go into the future, we can go into the past, and we can remain in the present all at once through art. Now for the amazing artists who have built careers and built amazing works in the 2D world, there's a conflict there. But when you think of the future in terms of digitalization, there is a completely different dimension that art's going to take that we've never explored before.
How do you think NFTs are going to change the art industry?
I think that it will give the creators a lot more ownership and allow them to not just profit but benefit from their IP for generations to come in ways that they've never or couldn't even imagine benefiting.
What does creativity mean to you in that aspect? Does it have limits?
Creativity doesn't really have limits, but depending on the period that you are coming from, will determine how well you could do. So for example, when people wanted to send letters, they had to put it in a bottle, then put it on some sort of river and let the river kind of take it all the way down to wherever they wanted it to go or tied to a bird, etc.
Now with the invention of email, those dynamics have changed the postal system and just changed the way we communicate. So I believe that technology will broaden our creative horizons and the same with art, there will be so many limitations we had before that We'll no longer have.
What is one misconception about the art industry and the artists who work in the industry?
It's, that artists basically can only do art on canvas. Now there are so many forms of art. I think that that misconception is what is causing the divide, even in the digital age versus the traditional age where people originally draw on canvas versus what you have now, in the invention of NFTs. I think that the misconception of the one dimension that art can be done in is probably the biggest problem we have.
What motivates you?
Leaving the world better than I found it. That is what wakes me up in the morning. Trying to do more than what I've found and go beyond what I've come to meet is a big motivation.
What colour would you choose to be in a box of crayons and why?
Black. I mean, it is the truth. There is no ambiguity about it; it's clear. It brings, it brings clarity to almost every situation for better or for worse.
How can we bring diverse communities together through art?
The thing about art is you can easily integrate it with culture. So given we have so many different cultures across the globe, art is the medium that kind of bridges that in a seamless way. So I feel like through art, we can communicate different cultures in a much more seamless manner. It's a lot easier to bring people together through culture or references to culture than you can do in religion or you can do in politics. I feel that art is a very good reference point for culture and culture is what brings people together.
Of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which do you relate to most and why?
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. So one of the businesses I'm involved in is a sanitation business and our environments really shape our perception and how we build and how we do things as a society. So I feel like, that particular policy is one that will contribute massively towards humanity.
I know Climate Change is a very big one, but ultimately I think that once we cross that hurdle, the secondary priority there is making our cities a lot more sustainable because if we don't do that, we are going to end up in the same situation that we were in. So that is basically right next to first priority because what that's going to do is it's going to encourage behaviour for humanity and long-term benefits for generations to come.
How do you see the relationship between art and global activism?
Art is a way of communicating and by creating opportunities for artists in a new age, we can start to access resources for artists who have never been heard of. The first thing is our ability to communicate through art is very powerful in a diverse way and now as I said, we have the advent of the NFTs, there are so many amazing innovations and inventions and things that we can consolidate towards art now that we may not have been able to do before in the past.
So all these opportunities that lay before we are going to be very great tools to do activism, particularly around NFTs. I feel like there's a lot of work that could be done for NFTs. We can consolidate more, and we can make our systems productive, efficient, and also very transparent in ways that we've never been able to do before.
What makes Arts Help's purpose/mission meaningful to you, and how does it align with your values?
I think that you are providing an opportunity; you're giving an opportunity to a pool of talent. You are providing access to a whole entire new generation by what you're doing, and also your influence in memory banks, in people who would not have otherwise been ever known or heard of. By that, what you also do is provide resources for people, and that's very powerful. If you think of how many people are on Arts Help, and you think of the impact of one artist alone like Vincent Van Gogh or Picasso right throughout history, and you think of the database that Arts Help has, the future is limitless.
What does success mean to you in terms of your contribution as a board member to Arts Help?
I think for me success for Arts Help is very key because it's not just about the company. It's about the impact we're making in the generation through the arts. So Arts Help has a medium and a platform to do that. And success for me would be for us to get all these artists and their work recognized not just in the communities but globally and also across the stakeholders and partners that we're working with.
We have a real opportunity to tell so many stories and so many different ways. I think the success of Arts Help is heavily linked to its mission. If we can communicate that effectively and scale it across the different communities and through the different artists and audiences that we want to reach, then the mission is accomplished.