Award-winning portrait opens doors for artist
Posted Monday, August 20 2012 at 18:00
- A presidential award motivated him to open a workshop which he named Artworld and Signs in the heart of Nakuru town.
- Mr Waithaka sells his paintings for between Sh4,000 and Sh10,000.
- His biggest hurdle, however, lies in marketing his job.
- Just like many people trying to look for platforms to market their products, Mr Waithaka said that he gave up on the Internet when he realised that his paintings and drawings were being pirated.
- To further expand his business, he hopes to open an institution to train the youth and empower them with skills to venture into entrepreneurship the way he has done.
When Patrick Waithaka ventured into his business as an artist in 1999 after completing a one-year course in fine arts and painting, he had no idea that it would propel him to great achievement besides sustaining him and his family.
A presidential award motivated him to open a workshop which he named Artworld and Signs in the heart of Nakuru town.
When his artwork was ranked the best after drawing the then President Daniel arap Moi’s portrait in 1999, Mr Waithaka won the award which boosted his career.
Mr Waithaka has been operating his business from the workshop at Nakuru’s Kanu House, a room given to him as part of the award for past 12 years.
The father of two sells his paintings for between Sh4,000 and Sh10,000.
He also engages in interior design and computer graphics for schools, hospitals and individual clients.
“I knew that even our people require colouring in their world,” he said of his decision to target Kenyans as his main customers.
His earnings from interior design depend on the size of the room but prices range between Sh10,000 and Sh15,000.
“This business has stabilised my family as it gets better with time. It means everything to me as I am able to cater for all my family needs,” he says.
Mr Waithaka engages in fine art, interior design and signage.
He also has a busy schedule of attending to several contractors who need their residential buildings to be designed.
In his interior designs, Mr Waithaka aims to create an inspiring ambience.
Although he has plenty of work in his hands, Mr Waithaka cannot hire workers to help him since he entirely depends on his creativity, which he says is difficult to get someone else to express to his satisfaction.
He is, however, training a friend who aspires to gain skills from him. The apprentice gets experience from the work that Mr Waithaka gives him.
“It is both a busy and challenging schedule when it comes to interior decoration of buildings. Sometimes you need to evade the tradition and use your own creativity for a change,” he says.
He also has to adhere to supplying 30 pieces of drawings and paintings a month to a tourist friend which he prices according to sizes.