He quit an exciting day… or should I say night job, as a professional and high end bartender to draw. Since then, Moses Qarhmau has been impressing both his friends and his following online (as well as in real life) with his spectacular pen and pencil drawn pieces of art.
‘Qarhmau’ (which I deduce is a fancy way to spell what must be his government name ‘Kamau’) is a young artist that I happened to know about from when I hosted a show on an exclusively dancehall radio station, Uptown Radio.
Yes. I actually hosted a reggae show! But that’s a story for another day.
Today we’re gearing up for International Youth Day which is to be commemorated around the world this Friday.
It’s a day meant to highlight the Youth and how their journey to Vision 2030 is.
To put it simply, it’s to showcase young people who are making use of ‘what they have’ (i.e skills and/or talents) to create a better tomorrow while seeing how the relevant leaders can and should help.
One such person is Qarhmau.
This young artist who interestingly describes art as ‘nudity’ (read on to find out why), was gracious enough to give me and you this exclusive one on one.
1. What is art to you?
Art is life. God breathed this gift into me and my dad natured it. I can equally say that Art is my dad. Growing up all I wanted was for my art to be a mirror; to reflect what I was feeling in that moment in time. Art is nudity, attracts you in only by what it reveals of your most secret self. Displaying myself and the society in a brutal, raw and beautiful expression of my blood sweat and tears.
2. Is art your means of livelihood? If not, what is?
Yes it is my means of livelihood currently but I’ve worked as a professional barman for a quite some time till I quit to give time for my art projects.
3. When did you discover that you were actually great at it?
I discovered I was good at it when I first picked up a pen. Having been taught how to draw shapes and lines in kindergarten, I remember realizing that I had doodled cars and wrestlers on rough sugar paper as my dad worked on his pieces when I was too young for school. The influence had clearly manifested in me and I felt the need to create more.
(Actual picture he drew in Kindergarten)
4. What’s the most you’ve ever made from your art (you can given me a range if you don’t want to get specific)
Monetary wise id prefer not to say but the first professional piece i ever sold was 2000 bob. It goes deeper than just money, the love fuels me more.
5. If they wanted to hang one of your art pieces on the biggest billboard, which one would you pick?
I think “Alpha male” (picture of a roaring lion) would look really mighty on a billboard.
6. What is the longest time you have ever had to take to create a piece and what piece was that?
The longest piece I’ve done is what I’m currently working on, 22 by 16 inches big, it’s been 2 weeks and counting and it’s only half way done, praying it makes it to the museum or something.
7. What is the shortest time you’ve taken to create an art piece and what piece was that?
The shortest piece I’ve done was a Polaroid portrait… Polaroid meaning 10.7 by 8.8 cm just like the old instant photos in the 90’s and i did it in 3hrs.
8. Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from life itself. I’m a visual artist and i like to capture the beauty in mundane objects and places so any ethnicity, gender or age can relate.
(My daughter Alexis and I)
9. Any chance you are using your skills as a way to give back? If yes, how so?
I’m using my skills to give back to the society through mentoring and tutoring young minds that get wowed by my talents and get the interest and with the help of my comrade we’ve done pieces like the last supper, resurrection of Jesus on church backdrops for youth/teen classes.
Probably one of the realest interviews I’ve done and maybe because he is a guy I have known for a relatively long time on social media.
That said, tune in to Homeboyz Radio this Friday as we celebrate International Youth Day.
P.S. Find Qarhmau on Facebook .