Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
What inspires me at the moment can be called 'accidental visual treasures'. I could be inspired by a brittle leaf on the floor or the cement markings left on a wall by old tiles. It doesn't help that I'm short-sighted which means I can undoubtedly find anything interesting. However, with all that said I remember seeing a Jimmy Law artwork and being taken aback by the playful colours the expressive tones. I can definitely mark that moment as the moment that made me want to get creative again. I watched a YouTube interview of his and I was inspired by the way he paints. I'm not a painter but looking at his work made me feel like I can paint, in the same way someone with a bad voice would think they sound like Adele for a brief second in the shower.
Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Gerard Sekoto’s Song of the Pick is an artwork that left an impact on me. It was the first time and maybe one of the few times that I allowed myself to feel and interpret so much out of an artwork beyond its subject matter.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I would really like to own a can of Campbell's soup. Particularly the chicken noodle soup one. Does that count as a piece of art?
How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
In Grade 8 I drew a portrait in pencil of a famous pop star and I couldn’t wait to show my parents because I was so proud of it. Looking back at the drawing it wasn’t all that great but at the moment I was completely proud. It helped me to know that I should be in Visual Art class and not Consumer Studies in high school and then three years later I was happy to find myself at the Michaelis School of Fine Art.
What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
Identifying my artistic style is definitely one. I stopped making art for a while during the youthful mess between graduation and permanent employment. I lost touch with my creativity and myself. So I wanted to get back to what started it all in the first place; portraiture.
What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
It’s a meditative process. Drawing helps me reach a trance-like state and I quite like that. I make the crosshatch markings on the lips of the portraits lighter so they would stand out more. I wanted to highlight the thick lips being that I am a proud owner of a pair. I’d also like to think that my art as forever-building. It will always teach me something about myself. I am forever learning in my life, therefore I am also learning as an artist.
Tell us more about your creative process.
I print out black and white portraits that speak to me and draw them using a Pigma drawing pens. I use Amedeo paper because I like the texture and the off-white colour.
What drives you as an artist?
A constant yearn to give my own artistic interpretation of things I find beautiful or ugly, unique or mundane.
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
Of mine? It’s more meaningful than a favourite. It’s ink and acrylic on canvas. The background has hiccupy, rough patches of pink and blue on a grey/blue wash. With a black fineliner is a close up drawing of a female face, drawn using a repetitive crosshatch mark.
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
I can confidently say it is taking the risk of creating. All creatives will tell you that they are their worst critics. The ability to create and put something out that you’ve doubted over and over again is a form risk-taking. And only that individual artist will know exactly what they’re risking.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I want to experiment with new drawing techniques and new methods of mark making that can help in my visual interpretation of things or objects or people that catch my eye.