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Staying creative through COVID-19

Last week has been surreal and any form of normal changed overnight. The entire framework of daily life has been turned upside down. 

In between trying to do house chores and refreshing Facebook feeds, a lot of creatives are keeping themselves positive and energised. For local visual artist Goabaone Mogwe, who resides in Gaborone North and has been doing art as a hobby, coronavirus has provided him an opportunity to get more creative whilst living life under lockdown. Mogwe is using technology creatively to stay connected with people and keep their spirits up with his digital art that mostly consists of cartoons.

Showbiz interviewed the artist to see how he is faring during this crisis. Currently adhering to the extreme amount of ‘social distancing’, Mogwe’s hobby has already become part of his routine, with most time spent drawing in the digital platform of his computer. 

“Digital art is more like traditional art because I use my freehand but the difference is that I use a computer,” he said. Mogwe was quick to say that he can paint on canvas but he doe not like it because it limits his skills. He said he first started last year after Steve Harvey’s visit to Botswana at the invitation of President Mokgweetsi Masisi. “I wanted to get into cartoons and I heard how Steve Harvey said there is a lot of potential at Btv, but underutilised. I haven’t drawn in years so in order to tap into the market I decided to teach myself how to do digital art so that I can eventually do

cartoons,” he said. 

Mogwe further revealed that he initially drew on paper, scanned the image and added colours using a computer, but it was a tedious process. He said at the moment he is still learning because there are many forms of art. 

“Just the other day I was doing caricature of Morpheus from The Matrix and it is about coronavirus,” he said. He said he has done a lot of artworks trying to educate people about COVID-19. 

“I want to do more corona cartoons. I have done a video clip of a minute and 30 seconds so I plan to do more,” he said. He said with cartoons it would be interesting for children because the main aim is to educate people who do not understand COVID-19. 

He said going forward his main aim is to do cartoons. “The big picture behind this is to do a local anime. I want to do my own story and maybe one day I can sell them to Netflix or Btv,” he revealed. Mogwe said there is a lot of potential for animation, but the problem is that people don’t know how to accept it. He said sometimes he looks at other artists’ work in order to improve his own.  The artist who is using software like Clip Art Adobe Photoshop said he has been selling his art to his friends, but has not yet sold anything to corporate companies.




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