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Treat Your Talent Like a Business

SANDILE KGAPHOLA IS A TALENTED YOUNG ARTIST FROM POLOKWANE WHO BRINGS FRESH AND CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVE TO THE ART SCENE. HIS WORK OFFERS A UNIQUE LENS INTO THE WORLD AROUND US, OFFERING FRESH INSIGHTS AND NEW WAYS OF SEEING THE FAMILIAR. INBOUND SA WRITER KETSIA MAKOLA SPOKE TO HIM ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND HIS WORK.

What inspired you to pursue a career in art, especially while studying graphic design?
My inspiration started when I left high school. I was doing my first year of IT and I saw the potential in the art I was doing. My art started making some money that allowed me to buy more materials. The inspiration was my growth.

How do you balance your academic studies in graphic design with your professional art projects for local and international clients?
My academics have taken a toll because I am so involved with my art. Before it was easier, but now it’s difficult because of my workload. But I do plan to be successful at both.

Can you share a favourite project where you had the opportunity to merge your graphic design skills with your artistic talents?
Most of the art I have done use graphic design to a certain extent because of the software I have learnt. For example, Adobe Photoshop helped me to edit my images, making them clearer for me to use to paint.

What are some key differences you’ve noticed in creating art for local clients versus international clients?
Honestly, it’s all the same for me, but my clients from overseas mostly get art that has nothing to do with them, just their interests. Also, the delivery to overseas and other neighbouring countries costs an arm and a leg.

How do you stay creatively motivated and updated with the latest trends in both graphic design and art?
Thank goodness my art doesn’t need me to follow trends. I just do what I feel at the moment and I’m just happy that other people resonate with it.

How did you turn your hobby into a successful business?
For me to be able to turn what I do into a career, I had to be completely focused and consider myself a business, in every aspect. I monitor how I spend my time and invest it where I must. I would urge people who want to follow a similar path to me to keep focused because life is full of distractions and these distractions are very entertaining and can be innocent but dangerous to your time. Once you value your time you spend it properly

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