For someone who started taking fine art seriously in 2015 when he completed his high school examinations, Mandipa David is now committed than ever to the course.
The 23-year-old man uses different mediums from drawing to painting to do his work.
“I do abstract and concentrate more on landscapes because I am mostly inspired by nature. That’s how I express my feelings as an artist, it you take a look at most of my paintings, they are dominated by nature such as wildlife,” David told Arts & Culture in an interview at Thapong Visual Arts Centre where he is based.
He said through his artwork, he would like to instil the conservation mentality in his audience that is already established amongst most Batswana. Looking back, David said his roots in art come from his school days. “It was the only subject I was good at and I made it my life career. I am a full-time artist and art pays my bills,” he said.
The artist from Tutume said he then later relocated to Gaborone to advance his career and get more exposure. “I told my family that I cannot work, but I would rather be an artist,” he said. David added that his family supported him to start up his career and bought required materials.
“Being an artist is difficult because I have to find ways to promote and market my craft. I realised that there are a lot of tourists coming into our country so I now package small paintings aimed at those people who like to carry portable stuff,” he said.
The young painter was quick to acknowledge that government has promoted their market as artists by buying some of their artworks.
He said he is currently working on hosting a collaborative exhibition at Thapong with a fellow artist. “It would be my first duo exhibition because so far I have participated in various exhibition in Botswana,” he said.
David said during the past years as a full-time artist he has gained a lot of experience by working with various ministries and stakeholders in the private sector.
Compared to other fine artists, he said he is so much into detail whenever he paints or draws. “My pictures are lifelike,” he said.
He also said locally Ditshupo Mogapi inspires him. He clarified that as an artist they have to raise awareness about the importance of art.
“Artworks are an investment because if you buy it today you can sell it at higher price later,” he said. He said as visual artists they are aware that Batswana cannot be compared financially with tourists, hence they sell their artworks at affordable prices.
In conclusion, he said he would like Batswana to invest in art because it has the potential of growing Botswana’s economy.
“We are dependent on diamonds and they are not forever (but our arts is for ever),” he said.