She loved drawing since being a child, became involved in art in secondary school and joined a college where she studied fashion design. Now she is a second-year student studying for her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design.
Puseletso Cecilia Tsilo told Voice how she used to sketch in front of their house at Meqheleng location in Ficksburg while she was growing up. “I remember when I was in Grade 4 at Qhowaneng Primary School in Ficksburg, I did drawings in my books and my friends and I used to entertain ourselves by drawing cartoons. That is how my love for art started developing.
“At Boitumelo Secondary School, also in Ficksburg, I used to do pencil sketches of women in different forms. I had not discovered different mediums of art, but the use of pencils and coloured pencils ignited my love for drawing. I had pictures in my imagination that I wanted to draw. Drawing used to make me feel that the whole world was within my reach. And the love I had for drawing, is the love still driving me to the specific path I have taken in life. During my secondary school years I noticed that there were no subjects designed to groom artists. I continued developing my skills even though I was studying science subjects at the time.”
Tsilo never used to share her art with other students at Boitumelo Secondary School. “In Meqheleng location, where I am from, art was not something that most people embraced and understood. You could say it is because of how we have trained ourselves to think, ‘art is for the upper class’, and also that ‘art is a useless skill because it will never generate any income for a person to survive’. These are some of the reasons why I never shared my art with anybody at the school or in the location. For me it was something that my whole life revolved around and the more I grew, the more experience I gained, and the more I had to say through my art.”
Puseletso added: “I illustrate women. Through my drawings I describe different women from all walks of life. My art describes their emotions, their characters and their persona. This is how I have discovered my fashion illustrations. I combine the love I have for fashion and art to give life to my drawings. Designs are born, not only in my drawings, but also in my fashion illustrations. They go hand in hand and, in turn, give life to my art. I used to be fascinated by how women carry themselves when dressed in different clothes and what clothes make them feel like. How do they use their clothes to create powerful personalities that made them feel strong even when they feel weak inside.
“Since these women form the centre of my art, I like to use water colours. They have a soothing effect of calmness that pulls you in. You never really know what your work is going to look like until the painting is dry. I use copic markers to execute deep finishes and graphite pencils for outlines.”
After matriculating, Tsilo joined Maluti FET College in Qwaqwa from 2011– 2012. She then transferred to the Motheo FET College in Thaba Nchu in 2014 where she completed N6 in fashion designing. In 2015 she joined the London International School of Fashion (L.I.S.F.) in Pretoria-South, Gauteng, studying for her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design. – Flaxman Qoopane