Taking inspiration from a photograph is how many visual artists start their journey with art in school.
And many admirers of art in Botswana get fascinated by artists who paint or draw a photograph exactly as it is.
A 24-year-old from Ramotswa is a photo-realist painter who creates images that refer not to nature but to its reproduced images.
Thabiso Junior Kefalotse specialises in portraiture drawing reflecting the genre of photo-realism.
Photo-realism is a genre of art where by an artist creates an artwork that reflects and resembles the photo used as reference.
Kefalotse considers himself as a realistic artist who tries by all means to capture as many details from the subject he draws.
He said that his creations normally take 24 to 150 hours depending on the size of the drawing. “Mostly, I use both graphite and charcoal pencils to create my artworks,” he said.
The talented artist highlighted that his inspiration to create artworks is derived from the world around us.
He claims that people do not get to celebrate other people’s beauty enough therefore he appreciates others through art.
He believes that people’s faces tell a story, every wrinkle bares with it an experience and every tear has a meaning.
“The smiles, the sadness; all these emotions are stories of people that need to be celebrated, also captured in a moment and time. I try to achieve that,” he emphasised.
He stated that he started drawing when he was just six-years-old and that he was always into drawing to an extent that he drew all over the house, which got him into trouble.
He also said that he studied art and performed exceptionally well in it at both junior and senior secondary school. However, he paused drawing when he got to varsity.
“I only reconnected with art last January when I was at home, without funds and unemployed,” he said.
Kefalotse shared that he showcased his work last year
Apart from drawing, he indulges in photography, writing poems and screenplays. As talented as he is, Kefalotse aims to develop his skills to become a pencil hyperrealism artist.
Hyperrealism, however, is an advancement of photo-realism whereby not only does the subject look real, but their image evokes real emotions.
Furthermore, an artist creates an illusion and causes confusion of what is real and what is not. He vowed to take part in more art exhibitions including the President’s Day competitions and TAYA 2018.
“Basically, I want to be the first pencil hyperrealist artist in Botswana on an international scale and I’m hoping to have a solo exhibition this year,” he said.
He aspires to have his own studio with high clientele and run workshops that will teach as well as inspire children who might want to indulge in this genre of art because he sees the significance for youngsters to follow their dreams.
According to him, art is still a growing movement in Botswana and the reception is still slow, but definitely better than a few years ago.
He mentioned that initiatives like TAYA and the President’s Day competitions give artists the platform to showcase their art.
“The support from people has been great on my side. I have been able to get people telling me how much I’m improving and that really motivates me,” he said.
However, he stressed the point that lack of materials in Botswana is a major challenge to the growth of artistry.
He added that local arts stores fail to provide materials they need as artists and sometimes when one opts to order online, it is difficult because most online shops do not deliver to Botswana.