The artists known as, Yegonizer got an early start when it came to expressing his creative prowess. Originally inspired by his father who was a drawing and design teacher, the Yegonizer wanted to be an architect during his early years. However, Evans Yegon, (known in art circles as Yegonizer) was very disappointed when art was struck off from the 8-4-4 syllabus. This disruption, saw many of his friends too, who loved Art, struggling to find a clear avenue to express themselves. Art was his first love. Art was his only love.
Somewhere between five siblings, The Yegonizer went on to choose an even closer path to that of his father; putting Kenya on Canvas.
Throughout this series, it is evident to note the high level of education and art that has come out of this talented Buru Buru Institute of fine arts alumni. It is here at this renowned institution, that he finally found home- home to Art in 2006. Passion is a crucial ingredient to success in any field and if you can find out what you’re most enthusiastic about, you can often turn those passions into a fantastic career or business idea. With this in mind, every day after class hours, Yegonizer would visit museums and art studios to learn more and build on what he was already learning in school.
Today, The Yegonizer uses vibrant contrasting colors in order to highlight a “supernatural” illusion to his images. The semi abstract feel of the painting allows the audience to have a clear understanding of the painting even though the colors aren’t so ‘natural.’ This form of art is often seen as carrying a moral dimension, in that it can be seen to stand for virtues such as order, purity, simplicity and spirituality.
The Yegonizer admits “initially, [he] did not imagine that [he] could pursue art in a professionally way,” he even went as far as to say he “would simply get over it and get something else to do over time.” It was only after he realized that this was his calling in life, a path that he was meant to be on. That’s when he decided to take art seriously. He started to actively look out for and create opportunities where he could learn about art and improve his skills. A key note to take away is “improve, improve, improve.” Just like improving your fitness level requires practice and a regular workout routine, improving your artistic skills requires regular exercise as well.
Born in Bomet, he opened up about the fact that “artists really struggle when it comes to a 9-5, but in Kenya it’s the financial struggle that really, really hurts Kenyan artists.” While talking about the biggest struggles up and coming artist go through, The Yegonizer recognizes the fact that it is money that has really held back younger artists. Some even unable to own canvas, paint or even text books. He also points out that in this industry, it is very important for the younger artists to get help from the established older artists in terms of direction and mentor-ship. The older generation has paved the way and willing to lend them help to see them grow and become better at their trade. Sometimes without direction, one can easily give up.
The Project, #KenyaOnCanvas is celebrating the amazing work and stories of Kenyan artists through the Safaricom 2019 calendar. This project has not only explored Kenya’s beauty but also given the artists a platform to showcase the way they see Kenya and exposes the reality of different artists within Kenya and how they are able to earn a living from their passion.
For Yegon, Kenya on canvas means his narrative has become more accessible to Kenyans. A Kenyan story being shown by fellow Kenyans, as a way to preserve Kenya’s own narrative. From landscape to portraits and even a few bible verses. The Yegonizer has a broad range of artwork he presents, but one thing he made very clear is the fact that nothing can kill the spirit of art. When you love something, it projects itself loud and clear.
As art is evolving, a magnitude of artists feel as though the invention of instruments like the camera have broken art. That is simply not the case, as Yegon reminds us that “even if robots were to start painting today, even they wouldn’t be able to ruin art.”
Art has a future, so what is in store for The Yegonizer? He wants to continue painting. He wants to create a space where tranquility and the African narrative, especially that of Kenya can shine, reminding us the more you broaden your horizons, “the more you create, the work speaks for you.”
You can find Yegon’s and all the other fantastic artists on: This Is My Kenya