Jepchumba Reveals The Truth About Artists | 30 Days Unchained: Day 24 Saturday 02 February, 2013

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30 Days Unchained/#30Unchained | Day 24 2/2/13 | Inspiration: Jepchumba When Jepchumba, a Kenyan digital artist, found a general dearth of African productions in the digital media industry, she created African Digital Art, a virtual community for African visual artists to connect and cooperate. She believed in the power of the collective and utilized modern […]

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30 Days Unchained/#30Unchained | Day 24 2/2/13 | Inspiration: Jepchumba

Jepchumba

When Jepchumba, a Kenyan digital artist, found a general dearth of African productions in the digital media industry, she created African Digital Art, a virtual community for African visual artists to connect and cooperate. She believed in the power of the collective and utilized modern digital tools to link African artists across time and space. African Digital Art showcases work by current artists as well as serves as a platform for those aspiring to share and improve their work. In addition to the online magazine, Jepchumba describes African Digital Art as “ a network that is bringing artists and professionals together to really synthesize the digital media industry.”

As much as art is a medium of individual expression, it can also be a tool of social empowerment and mobilization. For Jepchumba, tells Live Unchained that the artist’s social responsibility is: “… to continue to be truthful and honest in their art and be true to themselves first above anything else.” Jepchumba’s  commitment to truthfulness is the inspiration for today’s challenge… 

Challenge (Find, Create, or Remix an image that answers the question): What is your truth?

Share your image(s) on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained and use the hashtag #30unchained so we can shout you out! Be sure to follow us on FacebookPinterest and Twitter to keep up with the latest #30unchained news. 

“Attack of Jepchumba” by Jepchumba

Live Unchained: How did you become interested in digital art?

J: My journey into digital art was a reluctant one. Since I could remember I was always interested in graphic art, I think I get it from my Mom, she is the creative one in my family. However, I never considered myself an artist mainly because I didn’t recognize that I had any talent in it. When I went to college for my undergrad, I majored in Criticial Social Thought and we were always required to write long long papers, I found that I always ended up doing some sort of creative project to express my ideas rather than just using words. I soon found out that I had successfully completed a large amount of digital projects from films, animations, web design projects, games and more. I recognized that I actually loved combining technology and art and pursuing digital art would only be a natural progression.

Digital Art by Jepchumba

LU: You’ve linked your appreciation for digital art with your love of Africa on African Digital Art. Can you tell us about the African Digital Art website? Why do you think it is so important to curate this space online and bring together African artists?

J: African Digital Art Network really came out of a real need to showcase Africa’s talent. For too long the digital media industry had largely ignored Africa as a source for digital art, even though Africa has along and strong visual artistic culture. African digital art is not merely an online magazine it is a network that is bringing artists and professionals together to really synthesize the digital media industry. This network is comprised also of a social networking component which we are calling the community where you can upload your profile and communicate with fellow artists, professionals and enthusiasts.

African Digital Art Network is crucial because it not only fosters the creative community it also helps strengthen and develop a creative economy that is much needed in Africa.

LU:  Do you think artists have certain social responsibilities?

J: Artists are no different than any other group of people and with that does come social responsibilities. For centuries, artists have often been looked at as the truthful voice of society, which is why many of them have been persecuted in the ages. I would say their main charge is to continue to be truthful and honest in their art and be true to themselves first above anything else.

However, we as consumers of art should also take responsibility in preserving our culture and appreciating the great work that artists do as well. This is especially true in Africa where we don’t take much interest in the art world. It is unfortunate that most of our cultural houses are supported by outside, and often, foreign entities, rather than our own. The world certainly appreciates African art and we need to do the same by supporting local artists and institutions.

LU: Finally, what does living unchained mean to you?

J: Oh wow, that is such a great question. I think living unchained means being unchained from conformity.

This interview is excerpted from a full feature with the artist. View the original article here.

30 Days Unchained/#30unchained is an interactive creative countdown to the Live Unchained Anniversary Celebration . Everyday for 30 days, we’ll share some of our most popular interviews with Live Unchained featured artists. They include women creatives of various disciplines from across the African diaspora. Her creative journey will be the inspiration for your challenge. To participate simply respond to the challenge question with images (not words). Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained so we can shout you out – it’s that simple. Learn more about 30 Days Unchained, including rules and prizes hereGet your daily challenge from Thursday, January 10th through the day of the big bash on Friday, February 8th at www.liveunchained.com.

Written by Kathryn Buford and Nesrien Hamid 

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