L’Atelier: Blood, Sweat and Tears PAINT – Literally!

20131107-230705.jpgL’Atelier: Blood, Sweat and Tears. It really does take blood, sweat and tears to be an artist. After performing and working in the entertainment industry for most of my life, I totally understand the sacrifice it takes to keep afloat in a tough industry. But people are probably sick of hearing that, “It’s so competitive!” as if sports isn’t, psychology isn’t, etc. But what they don’t tell you is that 99% of the time the people that you work for do not care in the LEAST about you. That’s the REAL truth about why it’s “competitive” and a tough industry. Your passion is a currency that they’ll ride on because they know you’ll work for peanuts “Just to get a foot in the door.” They trade on the fact that you’ll work bad hours for bad money (much like these unpaid, 6 months internships you see on Bizcommunity all the time >.<) simply because you have a dream.


With this in mind and heart (I know all this all too well) I was intrigued when I was told about the ABSA Blood, Sweat and Tears paint project. I thought, “Surely not. I mean, that’s taking art a BIT far. And in a country like ours when bodily fluids are not to be shared to easily for EVERYONE’S safety, this can’t be real.” But I was wrong.

Three amazing artists, Diane Victor, Bambo Sibiya and Willem Boshoff, have literally given their blood, sweat and tears to create paints. It’s for the ABSA L’Atelier competition which runs yearly. I haven’t heard of it before but the aim is for young artists (21 – 35) to promote their art. About 100 trained and self taught artists deliver their works (anonymously) which are then collected and adjudicated. The pieces are then sent to the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg where the final art works are selected to be shown.


Both Victor and Sibiya previously won the L’Atelier competition in 1988 and 2012 respectively. Combined with Willem Boshoff I suppose the purpose was to lead by example. They all say innovation, pain, sacrifice are characteristics of what they do. This project allowed them to show these values again, to live and walk to walk of an artist.

I used to do art in school and have always dabbled here and there. Some how I feel if I use these paints all my talent and skill will suddenly rush back and I’ll create my own brilliant piece of art! On the other side, I feel they should never be used and kept sacred. Actually specimens of the spirit of art in a physical form. If I get around to actually using them, I’ll be sure to post about it 😉

If you’re an artist and would like to know more about entering. Read more on the L’Atelier About Page. Please watch the overview video below but then also the artists’ actual interviews. They’re really beautiful and totally worth your 3:30 minutes each.

P.S If you’re reading this via e-mail you will not receive the video links. Pls click on the Bit.Ly link below to view.


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