Lockdown a blessing in disguise for artist

Tafadzwa Zimoyo |  1 year ago | local

Dzivarasekwa-based visual artist Jacob Machingavuta has said the Covid-19 lockdown has been a blessing in disguise as he managed to learn and perfect his skills.

Machingavuta, who describes himself as an artist, industrial designer and content creator, has of late been hogging the limelight on social media platform Instagram, where he has been drawing pictures of local, regional and international celebrities.

He then posts the pictures and tags the celebrities, which then makes them go viral. Machingavuta is now charging for the drawings to survive.

In an interview, Machingavuta said the lockdown taught him to be creative and appreciate art more to earn a living.

“I am a self-taught artist who later perfected his skills by enrolling at the Chinhoyi University of Technology. I was supposed to have graduated last year, but due to the Covid-19, it slowed the process. I am completing my Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Creative Art and Industrial Design.

“I then started drawing portraits of different personalities from celebrities, sports stars, musicians, fashionistas to diplomats and posting the works on social media.

‘‘I wasn’t charging a fee as it was for fun since we are locked at home as it is better stay safe in doors.”

The 25-year-old artist said that hobby has managed to put him on the map as it has brought him clients from as far as Nigeria.

“I did few people such as musicians Tehn Diamond and Freeman, model Hillary Makaya which I am yet to present to her, Simba Mhuriro, Sikandar Raza and Letmore Mbidzo among others,” said Machingavuta.

“I now charge from US$25 to US$130 and it is only portraiture.

“I now have fans and clients as far as the United Kingdom, Nigeria and South Africa. My list is endless, some have told me not to share their pictures online.”

Machingavuta uses pencil and colours, and sometimes pastels.

Asked when he discovered that he could draw, he said; “This all started at a tender age, it’s like I was born holding a pencil. It’s really a God-given talent. I use any medium I find comfortable, but currently I’ve been using pencils as my weapon of choice, incorporating colour this year.

“I use any brand of pencils as long as its graded 6B going up and on colour, I prefer water colour pencils. I work from home and I am also proficient in other fields such as sculpture, pottery, digital art and painting.”

Machingavuta said his role model was God.

“God is the original artist above all and several other figures who have played some kind of role in my journey as a creative and a human.

“I guess with the pencil you are more intimate with whatever it is you are transferring from the mind to the surface and that feeling plus the reaction of the intended recipient are my high goals.”

Machingavuta cited lack of support as a major challenge in his career, but wishes to create a brand name first rather than working with others.

“For me it’s more like what I wish for as opposed to who I wish to work with,” he said


“I want to be a household name. I want people who want any form of creative piece on their walls or in their halls/spaces to think of me.