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 the Free State University of Technology. He was also the first to organise an art exhibition in his Township. He gathered local artists, created the event and introduced his community to the world of telling stories through art.
Andrew currently has a studio Hout Bay that serves as a hub for his illustration, painting and facilitation work
Andrew speaks about his earlier memories of being an artist “As a student I was always fascinated with drawing people and depicting everyday circumstances as they happen. In the 80s and 90s at was not part of township public education but I loved biology where I learnt 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 extensive - inside public school classrooms as a teacher, art based non-profits, publishing companies, private galleries, Plein Art Festival and commission-based freelance work.
Because Andrew fought to grow his skills in art from township to big city, he desires for his work and process to inspire others, to educate a new generation and give hope that one can make a career you love from your gifts and talent.
“I am fascinated by the story of everyday life. There is 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 found inspiration from my immediate surroundings. portraits definitely speak volumes, but colourful landscapes and the heart of the community life makes me want to stop the world and capture the moment. I want to make sure viewers take note of how beautiful the everyday 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.”
I am available for art exhibition and art facilitation - let me know if I could add value to your space with my artwork and would love to be part of what you're offering the audience. I looking forward to speaking with you further.