Meet Acclaimed Kenyan Digital Artist Marvin Gakere
This week, we feature Mchoozi, a digital artist who aims to inspire and provoke thought through his art
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Marvin Gakere and my artist alias is Mchoozi. I’m a graphic designer & motion designer based in Nairobi, Kenya
Ok Marvin, how long have you been practising your art?
8 years now.
How did you begin practising your art?
Having spent quite a considerable amount of time in the graphic design world dealing with brands, i felt the need to seek an expressive outlet, this led me to channel my graphic design knowledge into visual and motion graphics
So, are you a self-taught artist or were you taught in school?
I am a self-taught artist
Ok, can you tell us how the learning process was?
I found the learning process quite manageable. With a background in graphic design, I had sufficient knowledge of the tools needed to execute my vision. The bulk of the work to be done was in finding a purpose for my work, all this however required loads of determination and consistency.
Purpose, that’s always a driving force. What is your current art discipline?
My art discipline mainly revolves around the visual arts, motion to be precise.
Then how did you settle for the visual motion arts?
My love for cinema led me here. I’ve always been fascinated by the creative aspect and processes of the arts. Also, the journey from conception to fruition. The visual arts seemed like a perfect fit for me, it gave me the platform to aesthetically put my thoughts and ideas out into the world.
Ah, you’ve spoken about loving cinema. So in terms of visuals, which movie/franchise do you admire?
I’m particularly fascinated by the minds of Jordan Peele (Get Out), David Slade (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch), and Mark Duplass (Creep). Black Mirror is one of my favorites and Star Wars has always wowed me on the technicality and tradition of the production process
Can you disclose what it takes for you to create one of your art pieces (e.g software used, a certain ambience, amount of time taken etc)
Being a multi-media artist my work tends to incorporate the use of different software from the adobe family to cinema 4D. I prefer working at night as I find it to have less distractions plus a good Kwaito playlist always sets the mood. Timelines always range from details involved to relevance. A detail intensive project may take up a week or so. Artworks riding on trending topics usually take less.
Ok, what ups and downs do you face practising your current discipline?
Personally, impacting social change and changing perceptions for the better must be on the top 1 rewards of my craft. A major downfall in my discipline related to my demography would be traditional perceptions. Furthermore, finding the visual language to stir up positive dialogue on certain topics like mental health is tasking.
Traditional perceptions, something most artists are trying to overcome 😞 . What influences you to create your art pieces?
My environment is my biggest influence and motivation, from the guy selling newspapers at the bus stop to the headline of the newspaper itself. My work mostly touches on social issues from poverty, mental health, inequality to broad topics like existential crises. Merging myself with the community and my global environment including past experiences help me tell my stories.
Deep man, deep. So what are some achievements you’ve made since being a motion-graphic designer?
The biggest achievement my art has given me was the chance to work with Africa’s most acclaimed boy band Sauti Sol as their art director for close to three years. This exposed me to great minds and undoubtedly a new perspective on life.
Sauti Sol, ok. That’s a major move! How is the experience of working with them?
Working with the guys was nothing short of amazing, I traveled vicariously through them and learned quite a lot on family, work ethics and determination, definitely my best work experience thus far.
What is the main goal you seek to achieve as a digital artist?
I seek to impact social change and have it as my legacy. To lend a shoulder to the downtrodden and ignite emotions that will fuel personal if not communal action. All in all, I seek to be the change
Ah, being a changer seeker, is there any other individual, group or organization you’d like to work with and why?
It’d be an honour to work with human rights bodies such as amnesty international and UNESCO to name a few as my work predominantly inclines towards social issues
Hopefully, AMNESTY and UNESCO are reading this 😌 Finally, in an alternate universe, if not digital art, what would you be pursuing and why?
I’d definitely be a musician (guitarist). I plan to pursue it concurrently even if as a hobby
We’re done for now, how can people reach you online?
You can find me on Instagram as @mchoozi
That’s the end of our interview with Mchoozi. Connect with him on Instagram to marvel at his work.