My story | Free State artist explains how his grandparents are the inspiration behind his world-famous paintings

Vuyisile Adoons is a Free State based artist who sells his work around the world.

He grew up in a small town on a street called Rockville and drawing old people is his favorite thing to do. This brings him closer to his late paternal grandparents who raised him.

Free State artist Vuyisile Adoons (33) has been drawing since he was a child, while other children were playing outside, he was inside, making sketches of his grandparents.

Throughout high school he nurtured his love for the arts and after graduation he left the Free State to study in Johannesburg where he obtained a degree in art and design.

“After college I worked at KFC for about 11 months, but even then I didn’t stop drawing and painting. I used my breaks to do illustrations. I knew that no matter what life had in store for me, one day I could make my art my job and make a living from it, ”he says.

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He does oil painting on canvas and the most expensive piece of art he sold was a painting worth R30,000.

“I have noticed that white people recommend you to others. Once you sell something to a white person and they are happy with it, they are more than willing to share your details with their friends. This is how I was able to connect to online galleries and online auctions.

“Thanks to the connections I made online, I was able to get international clients and investors,” he adds.

His paintings are sold in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

He left Johannesburg in 2014 to return to the Free State and although his grandparents have since passed away, he still has a very deep connection to them.

“I like to paint old people and children, they remind me of my childhood,” he explains.

“My general theme in my work is to paint things that people can relate to. No matter where you are in life or how successful you are, there was a time when you were a child and a mother or grandmother would feed you or do your hair. That’s why I think my art resonates with people, they can be seen in my work, ”he says.

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He carries a camera which he uses to capture inspiring moments and then paints them. It also carries out commissioning work. Social media has also helped him reach people everywhere.

“I know there are people who don’t like social media, but I have found them very useful in my job. I would also like to encourage other young people to use their talents and skills and build successful careers around it.

“Right now, I can build my family home with the money I earn doing what I love most, art. ”

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