We sit down with this up and coming Kenyan artist who talks to us about his inspiration, goals and more.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m an aspiring illustrator and artist. I’ve been doing this since I was seven. I take art very seriously. My late mum invested in art more than anything else, and I’m eternally grateful for that. I was the kid sitting in class drawing instead of playing outside and in high school, I realized I could make money from art (people used to ask me to draw their portraits) and I could finally see a future for myself.
What does your creative process look like?
I’m inspired by people. People and the stuff that goes on around the world. I always carry a book around with me and when I get home (maybe with a glass of wine) I let my imagination carry on with the rest. Maybe I’ll be watching a show or a movie and I just keep sketching and see where that takes me.
What’s your favourite part of the creative process?
Going on aeroplane mode and just drawing for hours. Once I’m in the zone, that’s my favorite part. I also love being inspired. I’ll be watching, let’s say, Insecure and that aesthetic just pushes me to explore more.
What work are you most proud of?
The cafe art I did at The Grind Cafe, Wilson Airport. I’ve gone to the airport twice just to go see it.
How did that piece of work come about?
When I was young, my mum and I used to go to the airport just to go see the planes. We would walk to Java and look at the beautiful artwork. ‘That’s where I want to be’ I would say. She always said I could. She used to tell me three words repeatedly: Dream, desire, vision. Always trust the process, she used to say. Two months ago, a friend called me saying a friend of hers wanted me to do some artwork for their cafe and here I am. I’m keeping the Dream, Desire and Vision going.
Who inspires you?
So many people. Sarah Waiswa, Lyra Aoko, Mutua Matheka, myself, Sharon Mundia, The Mentalyst and many more. I’m a big fan of photography.
What’s that one thing you can’t live without?
A clear mind. If you’re doing the art and it’s not depicting what you feel, that’s a problem.
How do you overcome creative blocks?
Doing fun things and calling up my friends. We meet and talk. I also like going for movies alone or even just simple walks. The small stuff can really help. For me, no man is an island.
What’s your go-to move when you’re in an awkward situation?
I bring out playing cards. It breaks the ice immediately. As soon as I pull them out, someone will always come up to me and asks ‘Can we play?’ It’s also a great way to see who’s a sore loser.
Advice to other artists?
It’s a cliche, but seriously, do what you love. If you’re not getting paid for what you’re doing, would you still do it?
Advice to your younger self?
Can I ask for a commercial break? Well, I would tell myself to forgive myself for letting people take advantage of me. I would tell my younger self to not let people dim my light.
Goals for 2019?
Travel, mainly to Bali, Morocco and South Africa. I want to travel with the main goal of meeting other artists like Karabo Poppy. I also want to graduate and grow with more people. More collaboration.
Ultimate goals for life?
I want to start a school, especially for kids who don’t have access to mentors or the right tools. And, I want to have my own studio one day.