Blossoming artist Aphelele Lusizi has become the talk of the town ever since a drawing he did of TV personality Boity Thulo went viral.
In an interview with TshisaLIVE, the 20-year-old, said he drew the portrait out of boredom and that he didn’t expect it to get over 20,000 retweets in 24 hours.
“At first it was just a joke. I love art but when I drew Boity that Sunday afternoon, I wasn’t trying to create ‘viral’ art. I then tweeted the drawing just for fun, many retweeted because it made them laugh. Suddenly it got serious, with people DM’ing me to draw them or asking me to draw other celebs,” he said.
He describes his drawing as “simple” and although he knew people liked them for different reasons, he couldn’t agree or disagree with the “fugly” description they have received.
Born in East London, but currently staying in Cape Town, the artist said he realised a while back that Twitter has become more than just a platform to share one’s thoughts.
He said he saw many people get jobs, endorsements and clients for various products through the platform.
However, the business management student said he thought he was one of the “most unlikely” to benefit from Twitter, but has been pleasantly surprised.
“For me art isn’t what the naked eye sees but rather it’s what you imagine and how your brain brings it to life. I was glad when Boity laughed along with Twitter at the portrait. It made people show some love to my art, even if they don’t understand it,” he said.
Aphelele said he has since received national and international requests for portraits.
He explained that he’s still struggling with “how much to make them pay” but he’s hoping it turns into a lucrative business. One that he can “call home and tell his parents about”.
Here are some of Aphelele’s artworks: