It is said that a pen is mightier than the sword; but whoever coined such an explanation might have forgotten one valuable tool that all fine artists crave for; a pencil.
A mere pencil, a mere lead pencil, is one of the most valuable companions any artist would aspire to possess, but, unfortunately, it is also one of the most underrated crafting implements around.
Evidence is there for everybody who cares to see of how valuable this otherwise underrated tool has turned paupers into overnight untouchables, musically, or otherwise.
That is the communique, one, Guy B Rapsy, is exactly sending to all Malawians who have an eye for pencil drawings.
Once you make a ‘mistake’ of feasting your eyes on any of Guy B Rapsy’s drawings, then, and only then, shall you appreciate that a pencil, no matter how simple it may be, is way sharper than a double barreled assassin gun. Believe you me!
Nicknamed “Mr.Pencil Assassin”, this trained journalist-cum- turned fine artist is one hell of an illustrator extraordinaire who does not just admire the art on the wall but he also literary eats, dreams and lives by the canvas and creates exquisite portraits.
Trading under the pseudonym of Guy B Rapsy, this super-talented Blantyre-based pencil Illustrator drew inspiration from unlikely sources.
“I was inspired by the life of other artists that I came across online. I realized that there are people out there who take art as a serious business and live by it,” says B Rapsy adding that upon discovering his potential, he had to utilize it, “I decided to take my art seriously and exposed it to the art market.”
A majority of Guy B Rapsy’s idiosyncratic style dwells on pencil drawings. At times though, he also does paintings. According to him, designs emanate from the relationship with the clients, and his artistic genius as well.
“I am a commercial artist, and as such most of the ideas I work on are inspired by what a client wants. For instance, a client can tell me what they would want me to draw and then I interpret their ideas into a drawing.”
“When it comes to portrait drawing I draw from pictures that my clients send me which is more of presenting reality from a photograph to pencil on paper.”
“However there are certain times when I just think of something from my imagination and I immediately draw that.”
The artistic hands of this Malawian Picasso is well accredited, because he does not only draw with the pencil, but also he is ‘able to create images that have never been there before in addition to replicating already existing ones.’
In his mid-twenties, Mr. Pencil Assassin is a model worth emulating to most Malawian youths who fall short of cultivating from their in-born talents.
With just a simple home studio, Mr Pencil Assassin is able to create masterpieces and uses his media skills to connect with different people; forming a cathedral of street urban portraits of Avant garde style by his mixed clients.
And Mr. Pencil Assassin is not afraid to reveal a few tips to overcome challenges in such a business venture as art, and says “It’s all about taking risk and keeping the pencil sharp at all times.”
“The biggest challenge when it comes to art in Malawi is failure to appreciate and give value the artworks deserve.
Most of the time, people want me to do good artworks for them cheaply, which doesn’t work well on my side, because I invest a lot of time, effort and materials to come up with nice artworks.”
How to overcome them
“As a way of overcoming this challenge I have tried to broaden my market and avenues online so as to reach people even from other countries and find possible clients who put value in arts.”
Secret to success
Nonetheless B Rapsy says venturing in fine arts requires a collaboration of different people and actually, since its business, those people have to be paid in the end.
“Entrepreneurship is not a one man show. You need to have consumers around, and quality customer care is the path for survival on the market.” He advises.
Advice to the youths
The young artist who says he’s been doing business all his life, but went professional in 2014 tells the youth to man up and pursue their passion with full energy.
“I think the youth in Malawi are scared of trying just because they will fail, but serious entrepreneurs take risks.
I would like to encourage the youth to realize their talents so that they can earn a living that way, because it is satisfying when you get paid for doing what you love…and it starts with realizing your talents and dreams.”
Guy B Rapsy works under his own art firm, ArtRapsy Productions, and believes that ‘every artist has his/her own uniqueness as such there can’t be two Guy B Raspys’ hence no competition.
At the moment samples of Mr. Pencil Assassin drawings can be accessed at Ziboliboli (Curios) market in Blantyre or online through www.artrapsy.artweb.com, www.facebook.com/pencilassassin , IG and twitter : @guybrapsy,with affordable and average prices available, surely one would visit Mr. Malawian Van Gogh.