I like to make the brush dance and the ink sing – Reezy
Meet Robinson ‘Reezy’ Njoroge, an artist based in Nyeri. He defines his artwork as that which captures life while seeking to celebrate the human. He’s undistracted as I interview him while he is finishing up on a portrait.
My background influenced my art. As I grew up in a ghetto where everyone mixed freely and I had exposure to different forms of art.
On noticing my talent, my mother bought me a drawing book, and then my teacher did too, after growing tired of punishing me for drawing on my exercise books as well as exam booklets.
Art school enabled me to have an in-depth interaction with 3D art, without which I would still be stuck in the traditional 2D art.
Art to me is a lifestyle. It doubles as a hobby and income source. My drawing kit always travels with me wherever I go, even during a night out with friends.
My biggest project so far is one that I did at a salon (Babz) in Nyeri. The client got me to do all the walls, with ‘do what you do best’ as my only instruction.
Most people don’t appreciate or value art, especially when it comes to pricing. Most clients will liken our (artists) effort to that of a 3-year old kid doodling, thus looking at the price as exaggerated. The irony is in when you tell them to stick around until you are done, and 5 minutes into the drawing, they will start excusing themselves.
The most touching and amazing moment in my journey is this one time that I attended an art gallery and during speech time, I sat facing this huge man, whom I began sketching as the speech went on. Just after the speech, the man came up to me to see what I had been doing. Awestruck, he went ahead and got my phone number without much talk. It is the immediacy, more than our exchanging numbers that fared as an elating moment.
I can’t tell the uniqueness of my art, but what I can say is that I am an all-rounded artist. I believe I can get any project done, irrespective of its complexity.
My daily schedule starts with me watching an animated movie just to look at the characters and perhaps pick one that I would want to draw before I proceed to check on my orders of the day.
Linking up with other artists is very important, as you enrich each other’s creativity through sharing tips and ideas. There being many forms of art, you also get to know who shares your vision and as such, who you can easily work with.
I charge according to the amount of work involved, with my basic package going for Ksh 2500
People are slowly learning to feel and appreciate the beauty of art, especially with the advent of social media, where you are able to create, share and get feedback instantly. The orders are also coming in good numbers, compared to the previous years.
Criticism is an integral part of art. It sometimes happens that you give a project your best, only for the client to claim not to feel it at all; what else if not redoing it? Just as music is reviewed as a hit or a miss, so is the same with art, the only difference being that you can recreate by adding or removing a certain feature to enhance the piece.
I enjoy mentoring other artists and wish to start an art school where up and coming artists could hone their talents and know how to get the best out of them.
When not busy on the canvas, you will find me doing photography or skating.