Young Artist, 23, Taught Himself How to Draw, Makes a Living Selling Portraits

Young Artist, 23, Taught Himself How to Draw, Makes a Living Selling Portraits

- Meet Pumlani Plaatjie, a 23-year-old talented up-and-coming visual artist from Johannesburg

- He creates portraits of famous South African television actors to showcase his talent

- Plaatjie aspires to open an art gallery to give a platform to young artists to showcase their unrecognised talents

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By Shirley Mathakga - Freelance Journalist

Pumlani Plaatjie is a talented visual artist who recently moved to Johannesburg from the rural Eastern Cape. The self-taught young man is on a mission to tell his unknown story through his amazing artwork.

Young Artist, 23, Taught Himself How to Draw, Makes a Living Selling Portraits
Left: Pumlani Plaatjie's portrait of Uzalo actor Masoja Msiza, aka Nkunzi. Middle: Pumlani Plaatjie the portrait artist. Right: Portrait of his younger sister. Photos: Supplied
Source: UGC

Plaatjie's love for drawing started at the tender age of seven but passion set in during his teenage years while in high school. It was at this time where he used some of his spare time in class to make drawings of his classmates and the school surroundings. He gained such popularity amongst his peers that some paid him to draw for them.

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"Some would even ask me to assist them with arts projects and pay me, but that remained our secret," he giggles.

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To showcase his talent, Plaatjie stands on the side of the road with portraits of famous South African television actors.

"I am currently selling portraits of famous faces in a bid to lure those that might wants portraits of themselves, this is how I make a living," he says.

Plaatjie uses pencil and fabric paint to make his portraits. Most of his portraits are from people in photos. He sometimes uses oil to incorporate certain objects in his portraits. He does not have a studio at the moment but he uses his tiny bedroom to produce powerful artworks.

"My bedroom is my talent harbour and I get motivated each time I see a smile on those that trust me with my work," he added.

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Plaatjie says he expresses his views, feelings and thoughts through his paintings. His mood always motivates the colours uses, with the exception of those artworks that have been ordered.

"My artworks represent my creativity and feelings, whenever I feel discontent or happy I express that through my work. I live, love and breathe art," he says.

He plans to build a studio where he will be easily accessible for his customers, but a long term goal is to open the art gallery that will assist up-and-coming visual artists to showcase their work.

"I want my art gallery to revolutionise the creative arts sector and give a platform to those that are limited financially," he says.

Plaatjie says he is grateful for the continued support from his family and friends, who believed in his dream from a very young age.

South Africans have talent

Briefly News previously reported on another self-taught local artist who's a hit on social media after displaying his latest artworks and asking his followers to rate them. @NkosinathiSibanda is wowing the crowds on Twitter as many believe he is better than many, including the infamous Rasta.

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Sibanda is based in Klerksdorp as his bio suggests and is a self-taught artist who has also displayed revived pictures of musicians such as Cassper Nyovest. It seems the young man has decided to remain modest and allows his followers to do the ratings before judging his pieces like those of masterpieces.

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