I go by the name Antony Alvin Omondi though most of my friends call me Chamu am a 21 year old second year Economics student at Kenyatta University. Currently I practice digital artistry under my media company XVO crew which is at times referred to as Chamu_Toonz which is my nickname.It focuses on creative design,animation,digital artistry,photography and video editing.
A virtual company which operates online and relies on referrals from friends and social media users who bump into some of my art work on my Instagram wall. To me my office revolves around my camera,mobile phone and laptop which are my tools of trade. My daily hustle involves turning images into toons an activity that takes between 45 minutes to an hour to be finalized.
I was influenced to venture into this field by my older brother who owns a creative studio in Kasarani, Nairobi known as Pixova Studio 8 months ago. He taught me how to use Photoshop which is the most popular creative design software in the adobe creative suite. After polishing my skills in Photoshop I embarked on You-tube tutorials where i learnt how to do digital artistry ‘Cartooning’ which is the company’s trademark and mainstay venture. Though we are in the same field we specialize of different aspects.
When I tell people I have never stepped inside a graphics design or fine art class they say am lying to them since my skills are refined to be self taught. Those who know I have never stepped in class say am talented though I know it takes the 3P’s patience,prayer and persistence to nurture ones talent, talent without hard work is nothing as talent needs to be constantly put into practice for perfection to be attained.
I have never thought of pursuing creative design as a full time career due to the limited opportunities in the country as most organizations prefer to outsource most of the creative design services from well established multinationals at the expense of local talent thus contributing to the slumber experienced in matters art and creative designs. For a long time people haven’t paid keen attention on the industry as most players rely on handouts and good will since it isn’t viewed as a career. No parent in our generation in his or her right mind could allow one to venture in the creative industry due to uncertainties experienced.
The question of balancing my studies and art has never come up anywhere, the two operate on different timelines as I engage in digital artistry when am free. I have never and will never forfeit academic activities for my hustle unless big money is involved,yes big money worth the sacrifice.
Economics is what I am pursuing in school and hopefully I will be pursuing it in future as a career whereas digital artistry and creative design are what I am pursuing at the moment to supplement my pocket money. In the current work environment you have to be dynamic to survive, you have to not only think outside the box but also live outside the box. As different as the two trades are they are being undertaken by one person a classic example of not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Social media has played a major role in driving the demand for such artistic impressions with everyone striving to be unique. Platforms such as Facebook,Whatsapp and Instagram are the driving forces in this industry, the more they gain popularity amongst the youthful population the better.
I charge Ksh 1000 for 4 photographs of digital artistry though I give discounts when one requests for more than 10 photographs. My greatest challenge is the number of potential clients has remained low though it is slowly picking up.People who assume this job is a walk in the park expect me to toon them for free not knowing it is a job like any other requiring one to invest both time and intellectual abilities.I have managed to come up with illustrations of celebrities such as songstress Avril, Hip Hop maestro Octopizzo and socialite Vera Sidika.
My greatest support has come from my friends who always advertise my work through their social media handles. Through this form of advertisement have been able to get new clients through referrals from friends and friends of friends.The proceeds I get from this hustle is invested in my photography venture which is capital intensive. You can contact me via whatsapp on 07258871490 or Chamu-Toonz on Instagram if you are interested in getting tooned.