Nanyuki based Self-taught youthful artist ekes a living through pencil art

With the unemployment rate in Kenya, it calls for creativity and use of God given talent aimed at cushioning oneself from economic hardship and this is akin to a self-taught pencil image artist based in Nanyuki town, Laikipia County.

John Muriithi, a budding artist, divulges to KNA that he specialises in drawing black and white images which he finds intriguing.

“I do mainly portrait images, first I like showing my customers black and white images because they are different from coloured photographs which shows I am unique in my work,” says Muriithi.

He notes, he started drawing images of various things at a tender age, until 2019, when he decided to venture into the drawing industry for economic livelihood and also for his passion in the art.

“The work is amazing; I do family portraits. However, this is a work in progress, I am also learning from other artists to improve,” says the pencil artist enthusiast.

The 30-year-old says, at first, he drew a picture of himself which was a thriller among his peers that sparked the need to continue with the venture.

He notes, use of social media to market his work has been quite promising since has been able to grow his customer base which equate to increased income, a good month making about Sh14,000 despite that it’s not his full-time venture. He declines to reveal his other job to this writer.

Muriithi says each portrait, A3 size, costs Sh2000 and A4 sh1200, however, the price may go higher depending on the time of frame the customer wants. He operates at his homestead in Nanyuki town but he says plans are underway to open a workshop where his customers can reach him easily.

The artist cites uncommitted customers as one of the challenges in the sector since some may request to get his drawings but when ready, they refuse to pay thus incurring losses.

He encourages other youth who would like to venture into the drawing industry, to stay committed to their work in order to reap the benefit since growth is gradual.

All his drawings are signed with “Murry Arts,” to protect them from being plagiarised which is common in the sector, he points out.

KNA caught up with the pencil artist enthusiast where he was exhibiting his work at the Nanyuki youth expo themed: “Seeing the world through the eyes of the youth. Sustainable designs, sustainable future.”



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