|Artist Onesmus Okamar, Nairobi, Kenya||
, Nairobi, Kenya
My mother tells me I started drawing when I was 2 years old... I have never stopped. I'm a twenty year old boy who grew up in Busia County in the Western region of Kenya. My parents separated when I was seven months and still in my mother's womb, I grew up under the care of my grandparents. I now live with my mother in Nairobi with my three siblings.
In 2003, when I was nine years old, I began playing with crayons and paints. I had a relative who is also an established Kenyan artist (Peter Elungat) and whenever I saw him doing his art I could feel it in my heart. To me it was more than creation: I felt that the paintings that he painted could become real people.
In 2013 I met with my mentor and one of Kenya's established fine artists, Maina Boniface, who introduced me to the art scene and the art market. Maina Boniface, David Thuku and Michael Musyoka have been my advisors and mentors. In 2014 I won the Mask Prize, second prize overall, and first prize in painting category. The Mask Prize then organised an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. That same year I participated in the Kenya creative week exhibition, organized by the Nairobi University in collaboration with the Ibuka Community. This year I participated in the Untold Exhibition in Nairobi. My paintings have been sold both locally, and internationally, in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the USA.
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