Name: James Njoroge
Occupation: Visual Artist
Location: Mwihoko, Kiambu County, Kenya.
Facebook page: James Njoroge, the Art Of- https://web.facebook.com/kimoshire
Bio/ Creative lifecycle
My artistic journey began as a toddler, before I start school. My mum discovered my artistic capabilities and cheeredme on. She would allow me to scribble on scrap paper and encouraged us to enter our work, my sister and I, into children’s’ art competitions. Slowly by slowly, I found my voice and my work went from scribbles to more figurative forms. It wasn’t until my cousin, who was pursuing a diploma in graphic design, came to live with us that I discovered the possibility of art as a career. (Up until this time I wanted to be a pastor)
I received my first formal training in art in Kenyatta University where I took a degree in Fine Art. I majored in Painting and minored in Graphic Design and Multi-Media Crafts. I learnt and formed most of my skill at this stage and graduated in 2012.At this point I had grown quite an interest in illustration. My plan was to pursue a career in character design for animation. (hah!)
In the same year I graduated, I submitted my work to the ‘Experiencing Kenyan Heritage through Art’ competition by the National Museums of Kenya where I was granted a solo exhibition at the museum as a ‘special category’ award. With the mentorship and help of curator OlutosinOnile of Iroko Art Consultancy, I had a successful solo show in November 2013 of collage paintings dubbed ‘Mwanamke NI Effort’ dedicated to my mother. This marked the beginning of my career and recognition in the art industry.
During the show, there was a squabble between the museum and my curator over commission and roles. I was caught right in the middle of it. Around the same time, Circle Art Agency made a call for works on paper. Seizing the opportunity, I made and submitted a series of experimental collages made of magazine paper called ‘voices’ based on the row I was caught up in. These became a hit and I continued to make a few pieces in the series and showed them in various galleries in and around Nairobi.
I continue to experiment in various mediums, particularly collage. Because of constantly trying out new things, I often find myself moving back to finding voice in my creative lifecycle. I was formerly based at Kuona Art Trust but recently moved my studio to Mwihoko where I currently reside.
James Njoroge Studio: To producedexterousand inspiring art recognized most importantly by the public and the art society
‘KaaToon’: To be thoroughly witty, relevant and entertaining cartoons
James Njoroge Studio: To experiment, learn and labor to create and show art in public, digital and unexplored spaces
‘KaaToon’: To create strikingly recognizable and humorous caricatures of people
18 month plan
-Start caricature business –Deadline 31st August
-setup practice schedule
-setup bank account
-take advantage of opportunities; events and social media
-Register James Njoroge Studio business- Deadline 31st August
-Online campaign Beginning
-develop content for channels; studio activities in gifs, timelapses, images of work
-consistent broadcasting of content; at least once a week, boosting content
-take advantage of opportunities; youtube, facebook sponsoring
-online sales; etsy, tatugallery, facebook pages