By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
We are all born with different talents and sometimes we only realize what our purpose or passions are late in life. However, some gifts are unique or rare to come by but they need to be utilized and natured. Art is one of those rare talents that needs practice so a support system is necessary for the artist to come alive. When l say Art am talking about all forms of art especially Painting, Drawing, Sculptor and Poetry.
The brilliant thing about Ethelartconnect is the main focus is on you the Artist and your skill and nothing else. The rest is managed by a team of great supporters who will help you every step of your progress. This article will be a long series for the coming weeks as we take a closer glimpse at the artist at Ehelartconnect Enterprise.
Christwish is a young creative visual artist who believes in God as the name implies and is grateful to him for his talent and success. His drawings are influenced by flowers, human activities, landscapes, animals, and a desire to see young artists thrive. Christwish is a humble young man who enjoys his work as he is living his dream. Although it is a struggle to earn a living he still does the work for the love and enjoys the benefits of his labor. When he is not making enough to get buy he earns a few bucks through Photography.
Christwish first discovered his love for art at age 5 after being taught by his dad and so it wasn’t surprising when he entered the Art Club in Grade 1. He enjoyed every moment he spent in that club but it was at age 9 that his breakthrough would come and a lifetime of opportunities.
He won 1st prize in Grade 4 in a national art club competition hosted by the World Food Program nationwide competition. That same drawing took 5th place in the whole of Africa and it was also 12th out of 88 countries. This was when he knew that art was his destiny and he kept going and the final was then held in Rome, Italy. Talk about opportunity! Here is an artist who knows what he is doing and has had many doors open because of hard work and drive!
This is a rare story because many artists struggle to make it but to have an opportunity come that early in life is a blessing one never once to lose. Christwish has won many awards ever since and he proudly has 18 awards in art and 3 are national awards. To have the blessing and support of his parents is the greatest achievement according to him.
Christwish is multitalented but he considers himself more of an impressionist painter but he also does abstract realism and does drawing and is quite a good sculptor.
It is common for a writer to have writer’s block as it is common for artists to get what l will coin artist block”. I asked the young man about how he unblocks and he had a mindboggling answer he does it by shooting pictures or studying more skills in art. Wow!!
His greatest achievement would be becoming one of the greatest World Class Artist to live and to mentor other artist too.
Ba Ropa is a multi-talented man, who paints, draws, and does Sculptor and is very hopeful for the bright future ahead. He is also a proud father who wants the world to know he is proud to be a dad a trait we need more men to carry. Ba Ropa wasted no time studying anything else except Art education and Art production at Masvingo and Gweru Polytechnic and Great Zimbabwe Universities respectively. Interestingly he was taught the Western art school but being the creative artist he diversifying it to African-inspired art.
His love for art began in the 90s when he was in primary school and had the rare gift of having the support of part of his parents, sisters, and lectures at University. The burden to make it was made lighter as he a support fanbase in his family and Lecturers. He considers himself lucky as he’s able to buy his own art materials as that is one of the obstacles many artists faces.
On where he gets his inspiration from he says from day to day encounters and nature. He also considers himself a very cultural man so culture plays a major role in his work. He also gets motivated by other artists both those that have left us and those who are still alive.
It is ironic that the artist that he admires is not even an artesian but a musician and the reason why he is a follower is because of his fame and mastery. The musician is the Congolese man, Kofi Olimide who’s been in the music industry for a very long time. He hasn’t had any major accomplishments but he believes he’s going places as he thanks Ariyana for connecting him with Ehelartconnect.
BaRopa is a multitalented man because apparently when he’s struggling to create an artwork he either plays mbira or studies art. This is an interesting observation because it seems artists use art to unwind. He hopes to have a following in the Art Industry and hope he will inspire other artists.
BaRopa is generally a happy soul especially when he is in the studio it will be like he will be in his whole. Art is a form of expression so these hopes and aspirations are seen within his work.
Having talent is one thing but being able to master it and evolve it makes one a genius. This young man is an artist who is self-taught who says his mastery of art became at the age of 5 and 6. If memory serves him right his family said they knew he would pursue art at that age because of the “masterpieces” he used to draw on the sand.
Chitate’s love for art began in his formative years in primary school where he drew a dozen drawings using a pencil. He remembers himself at the age of 5 clearly getting good grades from one teacher for producing the best patterns. All through the 7 years of primary, he was always at the top of his class in Art class so he decided to continue to pursue arts.
One of his biggest regrets in life was “ I was given a choice between studying Art and Woodworks a practical subject and chose Woodwork because l thought l was good at Art already so didn’t need to study it.
In 2003 while pursuing a course in engineering he turned his talent into a business opportunity. He began doing commissions with fellow students and even today he still survives on these commissions. In 2006 after moving to Mutare within a space of two weeks he got a place to advertise his work which was great because he then gained a following in clients.
Chitate’s proudest moment was when he produced 100 artworks within a period of 2 years. The fruits of his labor became fruitful in 2009 when he won the Graffiti Award at HIFA and the following year, 2010 also. He then had an opportunity to have his first exhibition at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 2015. However, through Ethelartconnect there were many Exhibitions and more is yet to come.
What Ethelartconnect has brought to the table for him is having various platforms to produce and sell his work at various Exhibitions hosted by them. He gets a lot of ideas and gets motivated as he interacts with other artists and admits Ethelartconnect produce a great marketing platform as he has gained a lot of clientele with them.,
He owes his progress so far to his composure and diligence especially with the graphite pencils he works on. He commends himself for moving gradually to Acrylic paints. To those wondering what Acrylic paintings us it is a fast-drying paint that is water-soluble but becomes water-resistant when dry. A graphite pencil is also called a lead pencil, they have a thin graphic core embedded in a shell and is ideal for artists as it’s stronger than an ordinary pencil and it’s always shop ad clean and doesn’t smudge easily so the drawing will be sharp and clean.
The first people to believe in him were his Uncles but his parents joined the support system when they saw his talent. Other support he has obtained from seeing and engaging other artists especially those focused on Portraiture. He says his “aha” moment when he captures the emotions or feelings of a person on paper.
For Chitate when it comes to the inspiration he gets it from UK bases artist Rolf Harris. What captivated him about Harris was the man’s beginning and up to now, ‘That what l call determination.” Harris specializes in Oil painting and with every stroke, he brings alive every aspect of beauty in his subject. When He is struggling to find inspiration to draw he watches other fellow artists and watching other artists working on YouTube or Instagram.
In ten years from now, the vision is to be a fully functional artist who is fully dependent on himself for finances. After he has established himself he hopes to inspire other upcoming artists and to be sharing his skill and talents with the whole world.