WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF ART: The Akatu Artquest

21 years old Philip Akatu Ingutia born and raised up in Nairobi’s Landi Mawe is a young man who abandoned his Graphics and Animation profession for the love of art where he has successfully established his name and has no regrets whatsoever.

He is based at the GoDowns Arts Centre in Industrial Area where his mentor one, Patrick Mukabi has been so instrumental in the young entrepreneur’s life after he provided him with the requisite materials of art.

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“It is a year now since I ventured into the world of art and my mentor; Patrick Mukabi has always been there for me to ensure that I get all the best in my career. He provided me with sketch books, paintings and other materials necessary for this work when I first set my foot here.” says Philip

Philip says that he started drawing at a tender age. To him, art is talent especially when you take a look at some of his finished products awaiting market or exhibitions at the arts Centre.

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“Talent drove me into this world of art. I used to draw cartoons in comic books before I advanced to the level where I am today.” He says adding on that he is looking forward to start drawing graffiti soon.

After high school, he worked as a barber where he would draw sketches and sell them afterwards to cater for his personal needs. A friend then introduced him to Mr. Mukabi after he drew a good looking picture of the late reggae maestro Bob Marley. Mr. Mukabi then absorbed him and helped him develop his skills in art.

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At the moment, Mr. Mukabi has assigned Philip the mandate of guiding students who come at the facility to develop their skills in art. He has so far helped a couple sharpen their skills and become independent just like him.

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With the help of the social media, Philip markets his artwork on his Facebook fan page as well as in exhibitions or displaying them at the facility for visitors or anyone who may be interested in buying them.

“Most of my products are picked from here by my clients and I also market them on my Facebook fan page, The Akatu Artquest. The Akatu Artquest is my brand name I hatched from the kind of drawings I do. The drawings condemn vices like ethnicity, nepotism and racism in the society by carrying messages that represent peace, love and unity inscribed in most of my work.” Philip says.

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The need for materials remains his biggest challenge due to their high prices as well as availability of ready products for his drawings.

“Getting materials such as paintings, sketch books, manila papers among others are the greatest hurdle for me because they are scarce and come at higher prices reflecting their availability. The government has also neglected artists in this part of the world because we lack exposure.” He says adding on that the Jubilee government should live up to its promises they made to Kenyans during the presidential campaigns in the just concluded landmark General Elections.

 

His target consumers are people who embrace nature, environment and culture because that is where his art dwells most.

“Most of my customers are environment conservatives who embrace nature and even those who love culture. Like currently am working on the Maasai culture and am full of hope that the drawings will be bought once am through. I just finished working on animal project before embarking on this.” He says showing some of his work at the workshop that is displayed with all kind of artwork.

According to Philip, this kind of art is growing in Kenya at a very high rate reflecting the high number of arty centers that are being set up across the country.

“In Kenya currently art is growing at a very devastating speed. For instance, in the past, art was associated with the Whites but currently it has gotten a place here in Kenya and people appreciate it so much. Africans buy much of my artwork as compared to the Whites.” He says.

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Figurative art, that is human figures depict most of his work. He has set this as his work policy. He cites the high rate of unemployment in this country as his key motivation to work hard.

“The margin between the rich and the poor is growing g rapidly and all unemployed people should put their talents and skills to practice because in life people need people. The poor need the rich just like the rich need the poor and it is through exploring our talents that we can seal this margin.” Philip says adding on that; tribalism is one vice that need to be sent to the gutter in this nation so that peace, love and unity can prevail.

Any unfinished business gives him sleepless nights. He says that he must ensure that he needs all the necessary materials to cater for his work before he embarks on any drawing so that he can meet his deadlines on time.

“Once am working on any project and I finish it successfully that is always the best moment in my life. To me, unfinished work is like a problem that is not solved. It gives me sleepless nights because on most occasions I have deadlines to meet. I hate disappointing my clients.” He says.

His advice to anyone intending to venture into the world of art is that, they should exercise patience and have unique styles when executing your work because the field is fast becoming crowded with everyone exploring it with different styles.

“They say patience pays. For one to succeed in art, you have to embrace this virtue. Come up with unique styles in your drawings. Once you finish a painting, don’t sell it a higher price as how good it may look because this may shun away your customers. Start from somewhere to go places with your work.” Philip says urging fresh and new talents seeking to venture in the field to visit art centers such as Go down Arts Centre, Kuona Arts Centre in Ngong, Mukuru Arts Centre among many others to get exposure as well as visit art exhibitions to seek advice from already established artists.

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His drawings range from Kshs. 7,000 to Kshs. 150,000 depending with the size and content.

He is no longer into graphics and animation because he has since fell in love with art. He is moving at a high speed because his petrol tank is full and to him the sky is the limit.

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14 comments

  1. Hillary Ambundoh

    Innovation is the offspring of invention.\innovation leads to bad things and or items and even ideas being improved on for better!i like what Phillip went through.patience pays.quite encouraging

  2. Jackie Munyasa

    Waah!Congrats 4 the good work.I love art work and I will plan and come to ur godown next mnth nijionee na ninunue.Gud luck!

  3. Petronilla Ayuma

    Wow! I like it! More about how you brought it out. Its awesome. Keep the fire burning.

  4. George Joseph Ngety

    At such an age it is too motivating, a great challenge for those of as who have neglected such gifts from God yet moving from office to the other in quest for jobs. We indeed need to rekindle our lambs for a better tomorrow. Shallom

  5. Kennedy Adamba

    This is what i term resilience. Art is at the core og my art. This young man needs support. It is an inspiring story.

  6. zac

    Congratulations on having one of the most sophisticated blogs Ive arrive across in some time! Its just incredible how very much you can take away from anything simply because of how visually beautiful it is. Youve put with each other a fantastic weblog space great graphics, videos, layout. This is absolutely a must-see weblog!

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