UJ Student Creates Beautiful Realistic Artwork

In a bid to improve his craft Ntando tried looking for art classes in Johannesburg and Pretoria but he couldn’t find one he could afford.

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By Xiletelo Mabasa

Ntando Nkomo’s creative talents span from digital to artistic. The Open Journal sat down for a chat with this unconventional creative.

Computer Science student Ntando Nkomo has been in love with all things technical since 2006. He quickly became known as the go-to guy in his hometown of Tembisa. When your computer was broken Ntando would fix it.

But a much greater talent was brewing. Much earlier in his life, Nkomo had been dabbling in drawn art. “I’ve been drawing my whole life, since [I was in] crèche,” he said.

For Nkomo, art is an escape from life’s daily stresses. Art has become much more significant to Ntando over the years. “A few years back, I would have said yes it’s just a hobby.Now it’s more of a peace drug I take now and then to keep my mind at ease and relaxed,” he explained.

Ntando draws portraits of people using photos that he has of them, but he feels that he has not yet reached his potential as an artist because of his dependence on photos. “It’s like there’s something missing. It’s like you know how to drive but you’re not skillful at it,” he joked.


He says that he would like to capture real emotions in his work and communicate a message instead of just drawing pretty pictures. “I haven’t reached [the] point where I want to be when it comes to art,” he said. “A lot of people can do what I do so I want to do something different.”

Ntando may not think he can truly capture reality but one look at this artist’s work could lead you to think otherwise. The sheer detail in his work can be likened to a highly defined photograph.

In a bid to improve his craft Ntando tried looking for art classes in Johannesburg and Pretoria but he couldn’t find one he could afford. Even with this setback Nkomo is still determined to sharpen his skills.

Nkomo plans on doing his honours in Software development which involves creating apps. So we asked him if he would ever use an assisted programme to create his artwork. “If an app does most of the art for you then what are you going to learn from that?”

Nkomo feels that it is more useful to learn from watching an actual person doing their work. He said that, “You Tube for instance that’s a good way of learning.”

Nkomo also believes that being your own art teacher is the best way to learn. “Teaching myself, that’s what I’ve been doing all along,” he added.

Despite being incredibly talented and passionate about his artwork he doesn’t want to pursue a career in art. “I don’t do it for profit,” he said. “In this modern generation it’s kind of hard to make a future out of it.”

We asked Ntando if he could draw a picture of some of our team members. The artist admits that he has never attempted drawing a picture with more than two people in it but when presented with the challenge he faced it head on and the results were spectacular.

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