Evocative street artist and social activist Faith47 cast a meditative spell on the conference delegates with her exquisitely sensitive work. Here she answers the audience questions submitted via SMS. Blogger Masha du Toit introduces Faith47.
You say you try do as little commercial art as possible. Every artist has to eat. How do you balance what you believe in, with the nine-to-five you have to conform to?
It’s been a process of many years – I was supporting myself with freelance design and illustration work, but each year moving more and more into my fine art. Slowly getting to the stage where I can really only do my art.
I have been focusing very strongly on my gallery work and intend to support myself fully through that. I really enjoy the creative process this involves and am not scared of working long nights in the studio so you can pretty much find me there all hours. I also get invited to many international art projects and shows that allow for travel and generally pay well.
Over the years I’ve had to sacrifice a lot in order to work independently and I’ve also done many jobs that I didn’t necessarily want to do. A nine-to-five would have been easier in many ways but from the start I knew that was not for me. So I’ve been happy to live a simpler life if it allows me to follow my passion.
It’s been a harder road to take but I’d say that I’m pretty much at the stage where I can dictate the work and projects I want to do.
Are you welcomed into these spaces by the locals there?
You have to read each space individually and speak to people about what you want to do. It’s about the interaction with the people in the area; as it is their space you need to be sensitive to that and respectful.
But generally people are really positive. Art is something that can open people up. Of course you do get some hate, but that usually would come from someone driving by in their 4x4 – not the people where you are painting. They are mostly interested and happy to see something creative going on in their community. Read about her trip to the Transkei with Word of Art.
Have you ever encountered violence during painting?
Yes. I’ve witnessed some bad violence. But have I also had angels watching over me somehow.
How do you do such high walls quickly without being stopped?
There is no reason to stop me as I organise everything in detail with the owners of the walls.
Faith47 can “vandalise” my boundary wall any day!
Thank you kindly... Where do you live?
How would you feel if I walked into your house and spray painted my name on your TV?
A bit sad... But I don’t watch much TV anyway.