ABOUT THE ARTIST
Andrew Mokgatla grew up in a small town just outside of Bloemfontein. Art and drawing came naturally. He was praised as a young one for his talent, but the pursuit of being a professional artist was a foreign concept in his township community. Andrew went against the grain and pursued an art education; he graduated with a National Diploma in Fine Arts
from Free State University of Technology. He was also the first to organize an art exhibition in his township. He gathered local artists, curated the event and introduced his community to the world of telling stories through art. Andrew currently has a studio in Muizenberg that serves as a hub for his illustration, painting and facilitation work.
Andrew speaks about his early memories of being an artist: “As a student I was always fascinated with drawing people and depicting everyday circumstances as they happen.
In the 80’s and 90’s, art was not part of township public education, but I loved biology where I
learned about the human body and observed the human form. I drew from what I was learning in the classroom. I was constantly sketching people at school and at home.”
His creative career has been vast: inside public school classrooms as a teacher, art based non-profits, publishing companies, private galleries, Plein Air Festivals, and commission-based freelance. Because Andrew fought to grow his skills in art from township to big-city, he desires for his work and process to inspire others, educate a new generation and give hope that you can make a career you love out of your gifts and talents!
“I’m fascinated by the story of everyday life. There’s so much we miss and don’t stop to appreciate. My work captures the beauty of a moment – the smile of a child, the slouch of an old man, the fabric of daily life.
I find inspiration from my immediate surroundings. Portraits definitely speak volumes, but colourful landscapes and the heart of community-life make me want to stop the world and capture the moment. I want to make sure viewers take note of how beautiful their every-day environment can be. We all have a story to tell. We all have things to celebrate. It’s my mission to help others discover the beauty around them and celebrate life.”