“I have grown with the passion for art, now it has become something else. Every day I wake up, I strive to be the best female visual artist in Kenya.”
My name is Lilian Muriithi, I am 22 years old, from Karatina, Nyeri County and currently residing in Ruiru. My childhood was quite the experience, I grew up on a farm bordering the Mt Kenya forest which meant we often got visits from wild animals on the farm.This was at times captivating, with an awesome feel of nature. My favorite experiences as a kid were helping out with the farm chores, playing skipping rope with my classmates and riding my bike around the neighborhood. I was just a typical kid anyway.
I attended numerous primary schools before joining Kahuhia GIrls’ High school located in Murang’a County. In 2011, I joined Kenyatta University where I took up a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. I am in my final year in campus and I believe that my education won’t end here because life itself is a learning experience.
What gets me out of bed every morning, is the desire to be the greatest female visual artist Kenya will ever see. I hope to one day have my story be an inspiration to other youths so they can pursue their passions and be great at what they do.
MY JOURNEY IN PURSUING ART
Art has always been a great passion to me since I was a kid. In school, I often got into trouble with teachers for drawing on my text and exercise books. My mum realized I had an interest in art and encouraged me to join a high school where I can take up art classes, these classes were a good start in my introduction to the to the art world. My love for art continued up to Kenyatta University where, while studying B.A fine arts I have interacted with many artists and lecturers who have helped me a great deal.
Lately, I have been working on a series of portraits for clients interested in having themselves or their loved ones drawn. I try to make every portrait as close to reality as I can so that the person receiving the gift feels special, loved and appreciated.You would ask whether I am earning and yes I am that’s how it has transformed me as well. My greatest achievement so far has been putting smiles on the numerous number of families and people that I have done portraits for.
At the start, I didn’t know much about art, I often struggled with getting proportions right and making the drawings look as realistic as possible. I was able to conquer the challenge through constant practice, I committed 4 hours every day to working on a portrait until it was finished.
THE MOMENT THAT LEFT A MARK IN MY LIFE
My trans-formative life experience was when I started going to Patrick Mukabi’s dust dep studio located at Nairobi railways museum. I was exposed to a whole new world of art, I got to meet with artists, upcoming and established alike, I started attending exhibitions and I also learned the importance of patience and resilience while working on an art piece until it is finished.
5 years from now I hope to be a worldwide renowned hyper realist artist. I also hope to own a studio, big enough to host art classes for both adults and children, an art gallery and work space big enough to accommodate several artists.
I look up to several artists, Patrick Mukabbi also known as the god father of fine art, Clavers Odhiambo a great photo-realist, his work is very inspiring and Victor Mwangi, a friend, and colleague who spent time tutoring me and has who has been a constant motivator in my art life.
My greatest motivator, however, is my mum, who has shown me through her own actions that if you put your heart, soul and work hard at your passion you will certainly succeed.
ENCOURAGEMENT TO YOUTHS
My encouragement to the Kenyan youth is that they shouldn’t just sit and wait for life to handed to them on a silver platter. If one has a talent or hobby that they are really into, through working smart on honing that skill and networking with the right people they can get their work out into the world.
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