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Artist uses craft to self-express



VISUAL artist Tichaona Martin Gwatidzo says his street paintings help to portray his values, beliefs and opinions to the world.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Gwatidzo, a Peter Birch School of Art and Design graduate, said it was his life experiences and mindset that led him to discover and pursue the artistic talent inside him.

“I feel like art chose me and I love it because it is amazing in so many ways.

“Everyone is an artist in some way as art is related to everything in our daily lives,” he said.

“For me, art gives me the freedom to create whatever I want for myself as well as others who want unique masterpieces giving material extraordinary value.

“I love how art gives me the liberation to be financially independent and be my own boss.”

The 25-year-old artist said his paintings were usually purchased by people who are knowledgeable of what it actually means.

“I have a diverse clientele and I can cater for any class in society. I am a versatile artist, so I craft anything according to my clients’ preferences,” he said.

“My clientele is usually people that understand and appreciate art so that they give the befitting monetary value to it.

“My income and expected clientele have been unstable because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is slowly picking up.”

Gwatidzo said he sustained himself in the arts industry through versatility and experience since 2014 when he began painting.

“I believe my natural talent and experience from studying art at a very early age has contributed to my perfection.

“My paintings are unique as you can never find anything similar to mine,” he said.

“I am able to work on anything from shoes, clothes, walls, canvas and cars. I am also a good listener who pays attention to my clients’ requests and this makes me different because I make the artwork that relates to them in a very powerful way.”

Gwatidzo encourages culture incorporation, realness and spirituality in Zimbabwean artists.

“As a proud Zimbabwean my art represents Africa and spirituality standing for those who want to wear unique things bringing out the beauty in things that may have lost

“The arts industry in Zimbabwe still has a long way to go, it is vibrant in certain areas, but that vibrancy needs to be spread out across the entire industry,” he said.

“I encourage artists to stay real and rooted in their culture. There is also still a lot to be done in this industry in terms of making sure that talent stays here.

“There is a lot of discrimination as mainstream artists are prioritised over new up-and-coming artists.

“We have so much talent in Zimbabwe, but most artists end up going to other countries because they are more appreciated there than in their own country.”

Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari

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