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Vendor of the Week: Keabetswe Molosi

VENDOR OF THE WEEK: KEABETSWE MOLOSI

Tell us about your journey… How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve been painting since I was a high school student, that is when the initial love for the craft was birthed in me. I started working with acrylics when I was a bit older; my friends bought me a canvas and some paint for my birthday. It was the first canvas I’d ever owned and I wanted it to be perfect! So it took months for me to finally start drawing something. It started off with a few doodles of an elephant in the margin of my Jurisprudence notebook that I later transferred onto the canvas and brought to life with paint. From then on I was hooked!

What makes your work different from art made by other painters?

This is actually a difficult question because I don’t think you can put art in degrees like that. Each artist is different and brings something different to their work. So I think it goes down to the personality of the artist. My personality can’t help but come out when I paint. Feedback from buyers so far has been that my art is ‘different’. Simply that, without being particular about what’s different about it. One thing, I think, that’s different is that I like to explore outside the box. For instance, why can’t a leopard be shades of magenta? Blue, even.  

How does your work progress from an idea to a finished product?

I work with different mediums, so the process is different for each. With paintings, I start off with inspiration from any source. I could literally be walking down the street and find an element that I want to immortalize in paint. Then I start with a sketch on paper, select my colour palette and then finally transfer it to canvas.

The process with greeting cards is slightly different. Yes, I also create greeting cards on request. These are highly personalised because I like to involve the client in the piece as much as possible. The process for creating one of these begins with a consultation with a buyer to find out exactly what they want and draw inspiration. I go on to create a sketch which I then show to the client for comment. Once i get the green light on the design, I draw it on the card itself.

What does your work space look like?

I would say I work in an organised mess. Everything has it’s place, and if I idon’t leave it in it’s place (which tends to happen) I forget where I’ve put it. The space has this level of organisation before my work begin. Once I start painting, it’s a war zone! There is paint everywhere, including on myself! But from that mess, a masterpiece will emerge. Then I clean up again…until the next time.

What does your schedule look like on a normal day?

In addition to my painting, I am an English teacher, so I split my time between shaping minds and making art. When school is done, I normally devote time to work on a piece by drawing a mental plan. For commercial work, I’ll make sure that by a certain day I’ve completed the painting or card up to a certain point to make sure I meet the deadline.

When I’m painting just for myself I’m definitely a binge-painter. When inspiration strikes  I can pull a six-hour shift and forget to even eat (it can be quite demanding). And then sometimes I’ll leave the piece for months before getting back to it. It’s a bad habit, really.

What is the most encouraging thing a customer has said to you?

“I love it!” those are the best words to hear, really. It was also nice to hear that people found my work different, that it stands out.

What is your vision for your work and what are you looking forward to in 2017?

This year I’m looking forward partnering with some people, particularly with greeting cards. I also want to grow creatively and expand into other mediums.

What should your customers look forward to?

The same personalized, unique approach that they’ve come to love. I don’t think that will ever change. They should know that they will have a unique piece of art that nobody else has.