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Up-coming artist Asiku James started off painting his campus crush

Occasionally, we run into a talented person outside music that we want to highlight. We met artist Asiku James here on Twitter. Like others, he was trying to draw attention to his works of art. James is from Uganda. Following is a mini-interview we did with him.

  • Please introduce yourself?

My name is Asiku James. On Twitter I am @Franklorenzie and on Instagram: @ asikujames, I am a graphic designer/artist.

  • When did your start drawing?

I started drawing way back in high school. One of my subjects back then was “Fine Art”. However, the fact I was drawing for “pass marks” in school, I did not like very much. I wanted to draw for me. I wanted to draw what I liked and the way I wanted. I finally started viewing art work as a source of income during the last Corona virus lock down. Out of boredom, I picked up my brush once more and started practicing and perfecting my art. I knew I could earn a living from this if I become good enough.

  • How did you evaluate your art work. How did you know you are good?

One of my first drawings was of my “campus crush”, a course mate and a hostel mate called Betty. I did the paintings using coloured pencils only. The reactions and looks of surprises I got when I presented them with the finished work convinced me I should take this seriously. Here are the paintings of my “campus crush”. She was so delighted when I presented them to her:

  • Have you drawn for any known celebrities?

I haven’t yet got the attention of any celebrities yet but I have drawn many of them as practice. For example I have drawings of Diamond Platinumz and some footballers.

  • Why black and white? can you also draw in colour?

Yes, I do both coloured and black and white. The painting of my “campus crush” was done in both modes. It all depends on what people want. I can do both.

  • Are you earning any money currently from your drawing?

Am not earning that much money as at yet. I am doing this on a part time basis yet while I perfect my techniques. You see I just started taking this more seriously during the last lock down period. My dream is to own one of the best and busiest art studios and art gallery in the country. In the meantime, I do earn some money doing portraits. The following are example portraits I have done:

  • How much do you charge per picture?

It depends on the size of the portrait. An A4 size image costs 100,000UGX (aprox. $28). An A3 costs around double of that and so on.

  • What other skills do you have?

I am a trained Biomedical Laboratory Technologist. I am a graduate of Makerere University, Uganda. I currently work with the central public hospital laboratories in Butabika, Uganda. I do my art work mostly during weekends or on my off-work days.

  • Do you support any football team? Which one?

I love football and I support Liverpool football club.

  • What do your parent think of a career in art?

My parents are very supportive of my vaocation as an artiste. However they don’t think it will make a good main job. Thet preffer the labouratory job as my main vocation. They think I should still explore my gift as an artist but as a side hustle. Actually ‘art’ is like a gift to my family because almost everyone can make something creative. My elder sister is so good at fashion and tailoring. My little sister too. My late brother was incredible in modelling, imaginative composition and graphic art.

  • Who inspired you to get into art?

I would say my late elder brother, Angubo Patrick (RIP), inspired me. He was a really good artist too. Back then, during our leisure time at home he would come up with very good, imaginative compositions and clay models.

  • Any other comment?

I just want to thank God for this gift. I also want to thank my family, friends and clients for believing in me. For inquiries please follow me on: Twitter: @Franklorenzie. Instagram: @asikujames. Facebook page: “Ajstylx Art & graphics”

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