Vis­ual artist dares to dream

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment - Mo­halenyane Phakela

FOR vis­ual artist, Se­bas­tian “Tsekzartz” Tsek­iso, draw­ing and paint­ing are life­long pas­sions that are slowly but surely be­com­ing a vi­able ca­reer choice.

Tsekzartz told the Week­ender this week, he was smit­ten by vis­ual art at pri­mary school. The third year De­vel­op­ment Stud­ies and So­ci­ol­ogy stu­dent at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho (NUL) said he was reg­u­larly on the re­ceiv­ing end of beat­ings by teach­ers dur­ing his pri­mary school days be­cause of a pen­chant for draw­ing on ev­ery book in sight.

Ac­cord­ing to Tsekzartz, a flair for artistry is an in­born thing since he never re­ceived any men­tor­ship dur­ing his for­ma­tive years.

“I be­lieve ev­ery tal­ent emerges from as early as kin­der­garten for most chil­dren. Most of my peers loved soc­cer dur­ing those days, while I would sit near the pitch as they played and tried to draw them while in ac­tion,” he said.

“With time, I im­proved and when I went to high school I got the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess the in­ter­net where I re­searched about lu­mi­nar­ies in the vis­ual art realm such as Leonardo Da Vinci of whom I am greatly in­spired.”

Hav­ing been born and bred in Man­tšonyane vil­lage in Thaba Tseka district, Tsekzartz said he had scant ex­po­sure to vis­ual art. He only re­alised the art form could be a ca­reer choice af­ter en­rolling at NUL in 2013.

“When I en­rolled at NUL, I could ac­cess the in­ter­net on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, and would down­load pic­tures of var­i­ous celebri­ties whom I would draw for my amuse­ment,” the 21-year old said.

Tsekzartz used part of his Na­tional Man­power De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tariat ( NMDS) stipend to buy vis­ual art equip­ment such as paints and draw­ing boards much to the sur­prise of col­leagues who used the money for booz­ing and par­ty­ing.

“Af­ter the dis­burse­ment of NMDS al­lowances, Roma comes alive with a lot of par­ties since a lot of NUL stu­dents will be blow­ing their money,” he said.

“But, since I have al­ways been pas­sion­ate about sharp­en­ing my skills, I in­vested in my craft by buy­ing equip­ment. Ev­ery free time is used to draw and paint.”

Upon see­ing his hand­i­work, Tsekzartz’s col­leagues be­gan ask­ing him to draw their por­traits for an ini­tial mod­est fee.

“Peo­ple close to me were en­chanted by my celebrity draw­ings and would ask me to do their por­traits. That is how my ca­reer started, as each per­son I drew would spread the word,” he said.

“I then started get­ting or­ders from dif­fer­ent peo­ple and charge them from M50 to M100 de­pend­ing on the ma­te­rial I used.

“As I im­proved, the de­mand for my ser­vices grew, so I in­creased my prices. I now charge around M400 per por­trait.”

Tsekzartz, who made his de­but exhibition dur­ing the NUL Expo at Pioneer Mall last month, said he would not get car­ried away by vis­ual art, but also fo­cus on his stud­ies.

“It is dif­fi­cult in this coun­try to just rely on tal­ent as a ca­reer, so I am still un­cer­tain whether vis­ual art would be my full-time ca­reer. I want to fin­ish my stud­ies first and then weigh my op­tions there­after,” he said.

“My ul­ti­mate goal is to ex­hibit in mu­se­ums and art gal­leries as well as in­ter­na­tional art fes­ti­vals. Hope­fully, I will be as fa­mous as Leonardo Da Vinci who left an in­deli­ble legacy.”

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