His Swift Hands - A quick sketching graffiti artist.

 One of Swifts graffiti pieces

I saw a guy holding up a portrait that looked exactly like him. He was talking on his phone so in a bid to give him his privacy. I waved at him and raised my thumb. I could not help but mouth the words did you do that?

Since he was talking to another person I figured it was pointless and even a  bit inconsiderate to make him answer that... besides it is very rare for an artist to do a self portrait.

So I kept on walking and to my surprise the guy gestured and signaled that I follow him. By the time we got to where  the portraits were being done he had ended the call. 

He showed me the guy that had drawn him and within no time he disappeared into the vast Nyayo Stadium.So we exchanged greetings and  introduced ourselves. 

Swift is his name and he truly lived up to it.

He swiftly asked me if I wanted to have a portrait of myself done. Sure I said enthusiastically. After a long pause I asked, how much? 

I had seen how skilled he was and it came as a slight shock, a pleasant shock when he said it was free.

I had been on my way to the restroom and  had left a friend waiting inside the dome that rested in the middle of the Stadium, where the concert was taking place but I  forgot all that. I later had to apologize about the delay though.

In a few minutes the adventure began. I asked how long it would take and he said around 20 minutes. So he asked me to choose a spot I would focus on while he drew me. I chose to look at one of the BLAZE Youth Summit banners with the tagline Be your Own Boss engraved on it.

That had been the main reason I attended the Blaze Summit in the first place. We had just received a tonne of inspiration from many entrepreneurs in the morning.I had no idea I would meet visual artists too. 

So the 20 minutes begun.The longest 20 minutes ever. I was anxious to see the end result. Perhaps it's because I was used to being the one drawing not the one being drawn.

My body twitched a bit while my mouth dried up from smiling for too long. At some point I decided I would close my mouth when I stole a glance  and realized he was not working on my mouth yet.

At that very moment that I stopped smiling a guy passed by and asked Swift why I was so sad. Of course I was tired and all but I most definitely was not sad. See I had a plan but he din't know that. Who on earth would take such a grand opportunity with a frown on their face?

I would later turn back to my smiley face when he started working on my smile.It was amazing how quickly he sketched using a charcoal stick.

Swift applying the spray fixative to preserve my piece.

By the time he was half way some curious on lookers had passed by. They were all in awe by how much the piece he was working on resembled me.

Just like me they asked how much it was to get one done and when they found out it was free they started booking spots after me one by one.

By the time I left Swift had an eager long list of people waiting.

It was amazing how calm and excited he still seemed despite the increased requests for free pieces with the few chances he had to take a break He was the true embodiment of passion and being your own boss.

I later found out those pieces cost a fortune a price fit for the talent that goes into them. That is why I am even more grateful to Swift for his kindness. I cannot explain how happy I felt when I saw the final piece. He truly made my day and I know I was not the only one.

If you want to see more of Swifts work follow swift9graffiti on instagram Swift Graffiti on facebook and @swiftgraffiti on twitter. Cheers!

Wendi Mutisya.


Joy Ruguru said...

I learnt today that something free, is simply advertising.
Love how you told the story

Wendi Ndaki said...

Thanks Joy.Well I am the one that insisted on getting Swifts contacts he was simply enjoying doing what he does best.

Wendi Ndaki said...

As for the advertising. I was headed towards KNH and this guy came handing out Primary Math books for people who have kids in the bus he made people think they were free until he later convinced them to pay for them :). Now that's using the word free to manipulate.

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