Artist sees potential in Lesotho arts

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By Neo Kolane

Self-taught graphic designer, illustrator, motion graphics artist and enthusiast, Molupe Motśoehli believes that artists in Lesotho have a lot of potential, but also need commitment.

Twenty-nine-year old Motśoehli, who hails from Naleli in Berea, is the brains behind Doops Art and Design – a digital platform he created for myself which serves as an online portfolio where he can upload some of his work to attract potential clients in 2016.

Motśoehli told theReporter: “to break the name down, the name Doops comes from my real name Molupe and the Art and Design extension came from the realization that what I do is just not art and also at the same time it’s not just design; even though one would say there is no difference between the two, design is art and art is design.

“I use the name art and design to draw people to my services, maybe it was just a skeptical way of thinking, but it is now serving its purpose.

“I see very committed people in their crafts and I hope we can keep it up because in my opinion it’s like the era where art in Lesotho is highly appreciated and considered in many aspects and people are beginning to understand and sympathize with artists on the time and efforts they put into their craft.”

Motśoehli first fell in love with the digital arts as a pupil at Leseli Community Centre, and the love grew stronger as he grew older.

In 2011, during his high school days, he was introduced to designing softwares by his sister ‘Moipone Motśoehli who studied television and film production. Motśoehli says his sister saw his eagerness to learn because he used to download free open source software’s and manipulated his photos.

“In 2014 I took a gap year and I started learning on my own about graphics but not in depth.”

Despite his love for graphics and art in general, Molupe studied construction management and got his diploma in 2018.

In 2015, he met Tokelo Mofokeng and came up with the prominent brand called Sqo and an online pop up store called shipa, which trades and showcases up and coming lifestyle brands coming out of Lesotho.

“I am currently working with Tśeliso Thamae, the founder of Insyct Media. We both came up with a concept called The Hotspot Cypher, where we put different artists who wouldn’t likely end up on a song together; we had our first episode then and this year, in early July we released our second episode of the cypher, still featuring various artists.

“One of my biggest achievements is being invited to a Hub talk last year at the Hub Morija and that actually taught me how far I had come because I had to share my story and guide other people on what to do to become better at visual arts. I am still learning, though.”

Motśoehli looks up to Mosakeng Monaheng – ‘Tjotji’ the cartoonist – and 2D artist Lehlohonolo ‘Proph 214’ Tlhaole.

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