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Art on denim!

Publishing Date : 13 January, 2020

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

Denim art collection has gained huge popularity as an idea of wearing one-of-a-kind piece of art appealed to many customers.

A splash of colour can inject new life into anything. So are artists, if you fancy, creative designers. We are captivated by the meticulous paintings they create on vintage denim, demonstrating their ability to fuse art and fashion.The lines that define what art is these days are so blurred. Some artists are popular because someone sees potential in them, and it is all very subjective. The same goes to fashion. Some people dress practically, and that is not art. But other people dress for fashion and to express their personalities, and that is art!

These artists do custom, hand painted denim jackets bringing art to the world of fashion hence creating the ultimate unique and expressive look. Some jackets are painted or painted and hand stitched embroidered. We are now far from the times when a piece of denim was just some durable jeans that the last centuries workers used to wear. Now denim, like most of the fabrics in the industry, it used to make a statement, and goes far beyond that concept: so far that we can talk about artistic denim.
When we look at the origin and history of denim, we realise that it was indeed designed to be a durable piece of clothing. Made for the working class, it had forcibly to be that way. What no one probably expected, at that time, was that the piece of clothing that Levi Strauss made popular, would be such a fashionable fabric.

In the last century, from being used in cowboy movies, to its importance as military clothing in the Second World War, or its association to the hippie movement, jeans popularity has always risen. It was a people’s fabric that was later reutilized by designers all over the world. More and more people started to use denim due to its durability, but also due to the cool effects they could do in denim. After world war two, the use in Europe increased dramatically. This fabric was so great that, even when it ripped due to the hard conditions that it was used for, the effect that those ripped jeans produced, was just cool. 
When fashion designers started to look at denim as a great fabric that they could use, all the game changed.

They started to see which things look good, such as the ageing processes, how to replicate it. They found out how denim could be used, not only with a great sense of durability, but also with a great sense of fashion: and that’s how artistic denim started to get shape. Artistic denim refers to the art of using denim and appeared several decades after the first denim examples were made. The constant learning about how a piece of denim could be worked, coloured and shaped into different forms by denim innovation specialists that made denim artistry possible. That can make jeans amazing pieces of art.

That and the creator’s innovative ideas using denim. And the result couldn’t be better: something with fashion sense, that shows your personality, durable and that you will love. I came across one designer who I feel is dynamic, spontaneous, feisty, fearless, extrovert and a trendsetter. This young man has all it takes to be called ‘’an innovative individual of the now century’’ because, he is just incredible! He does remarkable art works on denim, on walls and even on your body. He is a jack of all trades; he is a body-art artist, motivational speaker and a photographer. Let’s just declare him ‘’hustler of the year’’ once and for all.

In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, an artistic, versatile 22-year-old Price Tom is a Limkokwing 4th year student pursing his degree on Industrial Design, who does art part time. ‘’I would choose art over industrial design any day because art was my calling. It had always shown since my tender age and I started painting on clothes back in 2017. I basically started off with painting shows in 2015 then over the years I started painting on denim jackets. The idea came about when I realised that I live in a country where my beloved people do not really appreciate art much especially canvas art and pencil drawings and as an artists, I bestowed it upon me to find solutions to embed art into Batswana’s brain and hearts.

I did my research and figured out that people are trapped in the fashion era hence why I decided to put art and fashion together. It worked wonders. People loved my denim paintings and that made them to see that I do canvas paintings and pencil drawings too. My idea worked pretty well an di started painting blazers, dresses and caps’’ he told Weekend Life reporter in Gaborone this week. Tom underlined that he loves painting on canvas more than on clothes. ‘’This is because painting on canvas allows me to share my melancholic stories through my use of color and my subjects whereas painting on jackets I only do to gain recognition from the masses and I am  happy that it works. It only limits me because most of the times I have to do what satisfies the client, I enjoy panting better when the client allows me to fly on the wings of my creativity.

For me art is more spiritual. We artists have visions of how we want our paintings to look like and we share the unseen, unknown with the world by bringing them to life’’
He further indicated that painting on denim allows color fanatics to play around with different colors and also helps one to understand colors better and how they best work with each other. ‘’I have always been fascinated and intrigued by color because it is the best way of communicating with people how I see the world and my mood’’ he whispered. ‘’When I paint on canvas I usually use color to so express my emotions. Most of my paintings have a lot of color blue because most of my life I known and encountered was sadness and you know how blue is referred to as a sad color. My inspiration is my late mother. I paint as a way of mourning her, as a way of showing her that I’m still listening and it’s a way of paying tribute to her. 

She was the one who introduced me to painting and drawing when I was young, she assisted me in drawing and at one point she helped me with my first art accolades, it’s a pity she never lived long enough to witness me become the champion that I’m turning out to be but I’m certain that she’s watching me’’ Painting on denim doesn’t wash off, so I learnt! The paint Tom uses is suitable for most fabrics. The longevity of the work depends on how well the client takes care of it just like any other clothing from the shop. ‘’I have people who still rock my paintings that I did as back then in 2017 and they still look brand new. Art is invertible. It is mortal. When I paint on denim jackets or blazers, I usually do what the client wants or sometimes I ask them to me surprise them. Sometimes I buy jackets, paint and sell them ready made’’ Tom noted that social media is a platform he uses to attract customers.

He is not wrong! Most businesses, hustlers and artists have turned to social media to market, promote and sell their products and services. If you an entrepreneur and on this era you don’t have either a page or a personal account on social where you sell your stuff, you might as well quit. This is the 21st century and you ought to move with the times. ‘’Social media has been doing a good job for a lot of creative out there and sometimes I go out there and show people my work even though most of the time school limits me. Soon it won’t be something to worry about as I am on my final lap. I’ll have enough time to focus on my art and meet my customers, and even pitch proposals to government as I have been doing lately’’

‘’I recently did four canvas paintings for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and I’ve worked with a lot of people and different companies over 3 years period that I’ve painting and that has boosted my portfolio and connections with important people. Just like any other creative, Tom has a plan to diverse as much as possible because the whole idea is to make art that’s timeless.

Recently, he directed and wrote scripts for 2 music videos which are doing well so far. During his spare time, he enjoys reading as it helps him to remain relevant throughout the years. ‘’What I figured most people lack is consistency and research. I don’t want those two to ever die out in me.’’

 

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