I spent the first twelve days of July working for Cue, a newspaper that runs for the duration of the National Arts festival in Grahmstown. It was twelve days on nonstop adventuring, interviewing, illustrating and writing, and it was unimaginable fun.
I pitched a bucket list – a few ideas of adventures that anyone can have access to, if they’re looking for a little joy. And I was given the freedom to illustrate the list. I couldn’t believe my luck. I also landed an interview with Nicholas Ellenbogen and his wife – who I wished I could have written an article about.
I started drawing the portraits before the interview and thought it would be best to begin the drawing before the appointment. Stage white hair and a Santa’s-cousin-kind-of-beard seem to be his signature feature, so I drew his hair and shirt before meeting him for coffee. I was sitting on the steps on the coffee shop, frantically sketching as I waited for him to arrive. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw that he had shaved his entire head and beard, completely. Although I finished both portraits to show the remarkable difference – I forgot to ask him why he’d done it.
Bieber gave a walk-about tour of the exhibition, and it was beyond fascinating to hear about the experiences and motivations behind her works. It was also such a privilege to review such a phenomenal exhibition.
I struggled to contain my excitement when Nick asked for a illustration for his article on the comedy-celebrity, Dylan Moran. I later updated the picture with a piece of cake (to link it with the article) and some shading touch-ups.
Wa Lehulere is this year’s the Standard Bank featured artist for visual art – and his artworks told a thousand true tales.
I got to go exploring the Cathedral bell tower, and the write and illustrate my adventure – life couldn’t be better (or more rushed!).