A young and talented local fine arts artist’s passion for the arts has seen him become a game-changer in the industry.
Next month will see Prince Tom unveil his brand where he would be selling his custom-made items (such as jeans, suits, shoes, caps and t-shirts). With Tom in the mix, his artworks become somewhat where fashion meets painting.
“We will be hosting an exhibition on December 9, 2017 dubbed The Best In Us that will be held at Selebi Phikwe. We chose Phikwe after realising that it was turning into a ghost town after the BCL Mine was closed. We want to bring the town back to life,” he said.
His determination and fearlessness has seen the multi-talented artist gain a lot of recognition from his acclaimed fans. His latest artworks, where he started painting clothes, have been trending on Facebook after he painted one local celebrity, Thobo of KeNo Custom Suits’ suit, which the musician wore at Chill-Step Sunday recently.
He explained that he met Thobo of KeNo Suits through his sister and he had shown a great interest in his works. He said Thobo asked him to customise their suits and see how their clients would respond, the idea worked as people loved them. However, Tom explained that they were working on a partnership deal.
Tom’s new customisation of clothes varying from t-shirts, jean jackets, leather jackets and canvas shoes have won him a legion of fans, more especially amongst the youth.
“After customising clothing items, I got positive feedback from my clients. However, I prefer drawing compared to painting as I can produce more work within a short period of time,” he said.
He explained that if it were not for his mother, he would have not recognised his artistic talent.
“I developed the love for art at a tender age. I remember drawing on my sister’s books when I was very young. My late mother who was a senior teacher for Practicals inspired me. She was passionate about arts. After identifying my skills in arts, she told her pupils to teach me art.
When I was in Standard 7, my mother encouraged me to enter my very first art competition because she believed in me,” he said. He added that he mainly does art
“I find solace in art. I am also inspired by my father, sisters and friends to keep up the good work,” the 20-year-old artist who is also a student at Limkokwing University where he studies Industrial Design, said.
He added that he does a lot of art ranging from drawing to painting. He said he uses different materials such as pencils, charcoals, paintings, and coloured pencils. However, he said he stopped using coloured pencils because they required more time than black ones.
“I have always known art. During my junior and senior secondary school days, I decided to learn painting. Unfortunately my art teacher taught me painting for only three months before being transferred to another school. At the time, painting was not offered in schools. I was frustrated when I got grade B in art because I felt I could have done much better. I had always wanted to make a living out of fine arts,” he said.
Tom said upon completing his senior secondary, he entered The Life of an Artist Exhibition at Selebi Phikwe along with two other artists. He said the exhibition gave them a great platform as many people started buying their work. He said he gained popularity for it.
His journey in the art industry had just started because he took part in a charity exhibition that was held at the National Museum in Gaborone. He added that he also took part in the Presidential Competitions in the drawing competition where he scooped position one at the regional competition.
The young artist said he started customising shoes, jean jackets, t-shirts, suits and caps this year after being comfortable with painting. He said he decided to move out of his comfort zone and decided to make art with clothes so that people could appreciate the work.
He pointed out that he looks up to local artists such as Ronald Kegomoditswe, Mpho Kgopiso and Wilson Ngoni. He added that he also does wall painting where he decorates pre-schools, houses, and other walls.