Hout Bay’s Shawn Ingwane might only be 16, but his world is already bursting with colour and creativity.
The young artist is now looking to break onto the art scene, using his talent to create a new life for himself.
“I choose art because I feel that it’s the most powerful tool that anyone could use to send out a message to the world. I personally chose art because through art I get to express how I feel and my perception of things. Art is just my escape from things,” he says.
The Grade 10 Silikamva High School pupil moved to Cape Town from Thembisa in Gauteng as his family looked for better working opportunities.
His love for art started in Grade 1, tracing pictures and telling his friends he drew the pictures freehand. The following year, he dabbled in anime, drawing Dragon Ball Z characters and selling them.
“I would go home with lots of coins which I had made in school.”
When he reached Grade 5, Shawn started taking his artistic skill a bit more seriously and he joined after-school art programmes.
“I do all kinds of art because I am still trying to find my style and what I want to display to the world, as there are many different kinds of awesome art out there.”
Currently, he draws or paints whatever he feels inside. This year, Shawn became more of a painter, replacing his pencil with a brush.
“I paint leather jackets, paint on canvases, paint murals, paint comics, portraits, abstract art and I enjoy making pop-culture art and drawing comics.”
His work has already been exhibited at Intle Art and Raven Artwear, a non-profit organisation that promotes up-and-coming artists. He joined the organisation in 2017 while doing Grade 8 and has been producing paintings ever since.
His paintings have been exhibited in the Bay Harbour Market’s Sembach Gallery. And at an exhibition there last year he sold his first painting, The Warm Butterfly for R1900.
“When I was done with the painting, I had second thoughts of selling it because it was so unique to the kind of work I did before and I really loved it.”
The day after the sale he learnt that another of his paintings had been sold.
“I was thrilled as it was my first paintings that were sold,” he laughs, glowing with pride.
“It’s really not impossible to chase after your dream. It starts with you and ends with you.”