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Meet Ido Wu of Great Wu Gallery in West End

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ido Wu.

Ido, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My journey as an artist began when I was a student at Tuskegee University in 2001.

As a young college student and new mother, I found myself in my apartment for long periods of times, with a deep longing for adventure and creative self-expression. There wasn’t much I could do with an infant, no car and limited finances, except go outside.

My perspective on my life began to change when I was able to watch my friend paint one day. I thought it was amazing how she could literally paint her own ideas on canvas. I wanted to do it too. That same day, I got a ride to the dollar store, bought some coloring books, crayons and color pencils- and as they say- that was all she wrote! I started coloring in those books every day after that and never looked back.

One day, bored with coloring cartoon characters and animals, I decided to try my hand at sketching. And to my surprise- my sketches weren’t that bad. One of my sisters sent me a sketchpad for my birthday, and that’s when I really got excited. I would sketch every day. And then one day, I started to color my sketches. I was astonished! My art began to jump off the page! It was wonderful. I fell deeply in love with the bright vibrant colors and began to channel some of my Nigerian heritage into my work. I had discovered something hidden deep down inside of me. And I was lit!!!

Next, I deep dived into my own personal world of imagery for 7 straight years.

In no time, I had an art collection of more than 30+ works. My family and friends told me that I really needed to start to take my so-called “hobby” seriously and take my artistry to the next level.

Now, I was an artist with her own point of view and a newfound sacred place that I could go when I was alone.

It took a couple more years for me to see what others saw in me- but eventually, I did.

I have to admit that those were some of the most transformative years of my life.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Along the way, I had another child and later on, my relationship with my children’s father had ended. Not only was I a poor single mother on welfare, but I had started to show signs of mental illness. It was not until 2012 that I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I was in denial about this for a long time. Yet, there was no excuse that I could find to stop trying to improve the lives of my children and me.

I blamed lack of sleep, poor nutrition and lack of self-care for my eventual downfall. When I suffered from a nervous breakdown, I had to really come to terms with what it was going to take to get my life back on track. I also was in a terrible auto accident in 2015 where I almost lost my right foot. It took 3 1/2 years for me to learn how to walk again. But I could not give up!

It took a lot of work and tears- but I did it. I slowly but surely put my life back together.

My art helped me to cope with a time in my life that was ripe with many disappointments, tragedies, and betrayals. But I also learned so much about myself and gained much wisdom about life and what it takes to pull yourself up from your bootstraps.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Great Wu Gallery – what should we know?
Great Wu Gallery is a self-help portal.

It is a place where you can find inspiration, guidance, and motivation to improve yourself and the conditions of your life.

It’s an online art gallery and a home school for women looking for self-empowerment tools that actually work!

I am a professional workshop facilitator- but I have also been called a motivational speaker and counselor.

What sets the Great Wu Gallery apart from others is it’s genesis from an act of self-preservation to a business that helps to care and nurture other women from ALL walks of life.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Empathy has been the most important ingredient to my success.

I know how to put others before myself.

I know how to lead where I am strong.

I am not better than anybody.

We all have the same potential to be great- just in varying degrees.

I am a teacher who knows that excellence is contagious and I am extremely proud to be a part of this movement in the black community to encompass all areas of black excellence and achievement.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ido Wu, Great Wu Gallery

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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