Is art just a form of self-expression or is it a statement? Does art cause people to look a little closer at the social issues, at other people and their emotions, the environment that surround them, and the everyday objects ? Does the artist bring out that which cannot be seen or felt easily?
Meet 26-year-old Maina Joseph Njoroge, a promising self-taught, freelance fine artist and teacher at Ituru High School. Maina has painted portraits for renowned public figures such as Professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Governor of Nairobi Evans Kidero, Mr Wilson Sossion among many others. His vibrant and naturalistic abstract as well as landscape paintings are products of passion and hardwork, as he reveals in the following one-on-one conversation that he had with Edge Magazine.
Tell us about yourself and what you do?
I am Maina Joseph Njoroge, 26, from Murang’a County. I did my KCSE in 2007 at Karega Sec. School and later joined University of Nairobi and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Education. I am currently a teacher at Ituru High School in Kiambu. Besides teaching, I am a self-taught freelance fine artist mainly doing drawing and painting. I do portraits, landscape and abstract paintings.
When did you start painting?
I started painting as a small boy in primary school.
What is the best thing about painting?
Painting is so fulfilling to me. Art is my hobby. Furthermore, it’s inborn thus I do it passionately.
And the worst?
The fact that not many people appreciate art.
How many drawings do you have to do when preparing for a painting?
I just need one drawing
Highlight some of your successes
I’ve had opportunities of painting high profile personalities like Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Hon. Evans Kidero, Mr Wilson Sossion among several others. I have also worked with corporates including Automobile Association of Kenya, The TSC and several schools. I’ve also been featured in various local media platforms in Kenya.
Do you consider yourself a good artist?
Yes, I am the best version of me.
How do you advertise your works?
I mainly depend on referrals and Internet- social media and OLX.
Who is your role model?
The late Leonardo de Vinci and J Nyaga, cartoonist at NMG
What are your future prospects?
To become one of the most inspiring fine artists in Kenya and worldwide