TJ Hooker - My very first portrait sketch

How I started selling portrait art during my school years

The first time I realized I loved sketching, was when we visited my grandparents who lived in a small town in the Free State. I was still in Primary School and about 12 years old. While reading a magazine, I found a photo of William Shatner. He was the lead character of a TV series, T.J. Hooker. My family and I loved watching this series about an American 15-year veteran police sergeant and his partner, Officer Vince Romano. I borrowed a piece of scrap paper and a pencil from my grandmother and drew a quick sketch of T.J. Hooker. Later, when I showed it to my mother, she immediately recognized him! I felt very proud of myself and wanted to draw even more. At first, I never even knew that pencils were made in different grades from hard (light gray) to soft (dark gray), but I learned fast.

Very early on during my High School years, my friend asked me to draw her a portrait sketch of her idol, singer George Michael. After that, many kids wanted portrait sketches, so I started selling these to fellow school mates.

When I was in Standard 9 (Grade 11), Ontdekkers High was shut down because a special needs school was to move into the school premises. My parents decided I had to do my Standard 10 (Grade 12) year at Florida High. Florida High offered Art as a subject, so I decided to drop Typing and take Art as a subject in its place. This was very difficult as I had to catch up on 4 years of Art History, but I still managed to get good marks for Art.

Please feel free to comment on how you experience my blog and what you would like to read more about. If you are an artist, I would love to hear how you started out.

“Every artist was first an amateur.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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