A multi-talented young woman from Thamaga, Tshegofatso Tlholwe, refuses to be defined by one trait, as she is currently an artist who does three totally different art forms.
Tlholwe’s artistic disciplines include painting, performing arts (dancer), and fashion design.
The highly motivated and enthusiastic 27-year-old told Arts and Culture that what translated into artistic talent started off as a hobby.
“My aunt used to attend trainings and art exhibitions, and I would tag along with her,” she said. After some time she started developing an interest in the different art forms. She said she started with fashion design sketches, and after perfecting her sketching skills, she started trying her luck portraits.
“People responded so well to my portraits, which motivated me to perfect my skills,” she said. Tlholwe ultimately realised that she could make a living out of her talents.
She started a clothing line, which she calls Glamlook, which carries a variety of clothing items including dresses, t-shirts, some of which she decorates with African Print and German Print materials. She also does male shirts and trousers, and sweaters for all sexes. She said her designs instantly became a hit and that is when she realised that she could actually use her artistic talents as a source of income.
She said orders started coming in and people responded positively to her designs.
“I started attending art exhibitions and trainings with my aunt and my interest in visual arts grew,” she said.
Tlholwe said while she started off concentrating on portraits of individuals upon request, she started doing other forms of creative expression, which led to her landing her first mural project. Tlholwe was contracted to paint a mural
“I was told to do a mural and given the freedom to express myself through my art. Since the mural I was contracted to do was for a day care centre, I immediately brainstormed on the characters that would be suitable for young children,” she said.
Interestingly Tlholwe, when painting her mural, did not restrict herself to cartoon characters only or numbers, she decided to feature a variety of characters, which most definitely will play a part in the development of the young minds. Some of the characters include wild animals, flowers, birds, fruits and vegetables amongst others.
The artist, who initially restricted herself to using oil pastel for her artworks, experimented with paint for the first, and her first time trial turned out to be an exquisite work of art.
“It was my first attempt to use paint in my artworks, and I enjoyed it, because I had to play around with colours to achieve the colours I wanted to use for my characters,” she said.
Tlholwe further explained that when working with paint, one might not find the exact colours they want to use, thus the artist will be forced to create their own colours by mixing different colours.
The multi-talented young woman is also a professional dancer. She is a member of a two-member group, called Twochange. The group has performed at a number of local events.