Prince: Painting his way to the top 

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 10 October 2017   |   By Ontametse Sugar
Prince: Painting his way to the top 

He has taken his craft and talent to another level. There have been some few people that have been able to paint shoes but what Prince Tom does with paint is on another level as he is able to even do that on a tuxedo transforming it into a smash. Magic indeed happened when he transformed the Keno Custom Suits with his painting, not only did they go from good to amazing. He does pencil drawings, paintings, mural paintings, shoes, caps, denim jackets and suit paintings. He is a jack of all trades and his eagerness to quench his thirst for passion has led him to where he is and he is glad Batswana loves and appreciate his work. What happened from the work that people saw with Keno Suits led to South African designers enquiring and wanting to collaborate with him. “The Keno suit won by Thobo Kerekang has opened doors for me in ways I have never imagined and for that I am grateful,” he said. What is also unbelievable is the fact that he is just a 20-year-old and currently studying Industrial Design at Limkokwing University. Having spent all his childhood in Selibe-Phikwe he only came to Gaborone last year to start his university education and is not even training for art. He fell in love with art at a very tender age. At primary school Tom used to draw with his cousins and her supportive mother took him to her students to learn more. Regrettably his mother died in 2011 when he was just a Form 1 student. “This was the first time I did art as a subject. I still wish she could have lived on a few more years to see my artworks and how passionate I am,” he said. 

His mother helped nurture the talent and passion and set him to being the best in every art category that he took part in. The turning point that made him fall in love with art was the competitive spirit unleashed when he saw the artwork made by his sister used as a sample by his mother for her students. “That pushed me to continue with art and it led to so many experiments using different media to see which one I was good at,” he said. Though he might not be the best his hunger and the eagerness to learn is what makes him beat many. He gets inspiration from a lot of things – as a dreamer his mind is always lost on its own galaxy where he thinks about the ways he can improve his craft. Though some people always say they think outside the box, to Tom there is no box at all because he does not want to be limited in any way. To him the sky is not the limit – the only limit to his craft is himself.  He is happy that artworks that he has been doing on clothes and shoes have been trending incredibly well on social media. His challenge locally is that many people are not appreciative of the arts. “They all want beautiful things but they are not willing to pay for the quality products that they want and they always want to set prices for artists because they always think that they are above artists, which is wrong,” he said. He knows he can go very far with his craft because he does not see himself quitting art in many years to come. He is confident that his work will change a perception of art. 

He loves working with a pencil, and paint. The reason he currently paints more is because he is still busy with school - painting does not take that much time. He loves both abstract and realism. He will be having an art exhibition December 9 in Selibe-Phikwe. “It is our duty as artists to communicate with our leaders without using spoken word,” Tom said.  Even though some will say that they are inspired by people who are far away from home, as for Tom he is inspired by local artists in Wilson Ngoni, Ronald Kegomoditswe, Mpho Kgopiso and Ditshupo Mogapi. Soon Tom will be flying Botswana flag high as international brands are making enquiries about his craft with eagerness to collaborate with him.