We had the pleasure of speaking with South African local artist Christo Francis, he told us abit about his journey in the industry and what it takes to make it.
1. How did discover your passion for art and where did you get your start in the industry?
1. When I was growing up my parents ran a small rustic game lodge near the Kruger National Park, I had a natural connection to drawing all the animals around me .I have always been addicted to the process of creating art. The focus and almost zen like state it requires.
I loved to doodle drawings at coffee shops all day long and became a semi- professional people-watcher.
It was only really in 2013 when I combined the idea of doodling in a familiar outline of something that the penny dropped.
I started drawing outlines of animals and filling them with stories and patterns.
2.What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
2.In 2016 I collaborated with @home and they chose to sell a limited number prints of my animal series across the country in their flag -ship stores.This gave me huge exposure and certainly allowed for bigger things to follow.
I also teamed up with WWF for their 50 anniversary last year in cape town and we auctioned off my shark drawing “how much is enough” for ocean conservation ,which was truly an exhilarating experience ,but also close to my heart as Im passionate about our wildlife and even more so about protecting whats left of it.
My latest works are small stories of a big picture how we take what we need from the environment without little thought of the true cost.
3.Are there any Jozi local artists you find inspiration from ?
3.William Kentridge has to be right up there as I find his work unique and brilliant and what he has done for the south African art scene is inspiring.
4.Who locally or internationally would you say defines your creative style?
4.My creative influence comes from a variety of factors both meaningful and silly but mostly, it originates from the complexities of being a human here and now. The world we live in is always providing me with content .My job as an “artist” is to translate the chaos into something others can hopefully relate to.
5.What words of advice do you have for aspiring creatives?
5.It’s a tricky industry made even more confusing with the help of ‘2 minute noodle’ art on social media
Don’t fall into the trap of producing works for likes and lollipops.
Find out what makes you really feel something and paint that picture.
I would rather be less known and have my own signature than to be creating works that can be mistaken for someone else .
Put in the hours and maybe be ok with working a few extra jobs.
To find out more or follow Christo click on any of the links below.