Life is too short to work a job you hate, and no one understands this better than Kevin Chiwanza. The 24-year-old artist is making a living from sketching charcoal onto paper. Some of the art masterpieces that Kevin has created include a portrait of the first post-apartheid president, Nelson Mandela, and Oliver Mtukudzi.
Kevin showed his artistic flair at a younger age and used drawing as a vessel to express himself. His teachers noticed his potential and motivated him to take art seriously. He also had unwavering support from Albert Mubatsa, a friend who introduced him to charcoal and hyperrealism. Today, charcoal is Kevin’s primary tool and a way to pay for his bills.
“I used to get motivation from my primary school teachers. I was often asked to draw school projects on boards. In the long run, that moulded me to an artist that I am today,” Kevin told the Olifants News.
Research has proven that arts education is invaluable to the proper functioning of the child’s brain. According to the paper, Child Development and Arts Education published by the College Board, learning arts on its own helps develop a child’s brain.
Kevin would hone his artistic skills by interacting with various accomplished artists, online and in person. He also learned different tactics by watching tutorials by Kelvin Okafor, a well-known hyperrealist artist who specialises in pencil portraits.
Like any other career, arts has its ups and downs. The first challenge for Kevin was funding, which made it essentially difficult to procure all the proper art materials. “The challenges that I had to deal with when I ventured into doing art full-time were funding related. Appropriate art materials are costly, and reaching out to the people was an added cost, which required me to hire transport,” he said.
“The other challenge is marketing my work online, which has become a playground for scammers. Some potential customers are skeptical when you approach them online, even if you try to prove that you’re a legit artist,” he added. He urged budding artists to persevere and not let disappointments deter their spirit.
You can connect with Kevin via his Facebook page Kevin C Art, or WhatsApp him on 073 774 5489.