Andrew Odoch joins us today for our Extraordinaire series.he is an artist whose heart and mind speaks God’s language of creation. Learn more about Andrew and his DrewTete story.
1.Who is Andrew Odoch?
I wad born in 1984 to Mr. & Mrs. Umah Tete in Nsambya a Kampala suburb. I am a son, brother, friend, relative, mentor, father and husband.
2.What is your vision for Drew Tete?
Drew Tete is crafted from my two names An(Drew) and Umah (Tete)
The Drew Tete vision states,” created by the Creator to create works of art that inspire people to achieve their purpose in life.”
3.Share any childhood memory in regards to art?
My mother’s old diary which I used to draw “stick figures” in around age 3 or 4. In primary school it was all about drawing comic book characters; Spiderman, fantastic 4, x-men, etc when I got to secondary school at St. Mary’s college Kisubi ,I was introduced to painting by Mr. Katabulawo my then art teacher who gave me my first chance to exhibit in a school exhibition, from then on I fell in love with painting and continued to grow and learn from water color to oil paint and now acrylic paint and digital painting with a drawing tablet.
4.When did you start selling your artwork?
I started selling my artwork in my S.4 when I realized people liked my work and were willing to pay for it. I remember selling some paintings for 40,000/= about 8 USD.
5.Did you go to art school to grow the skill?
I didn’t get any education in art outside my secondary school education. When it came to university I was convinced by my family to study something else since I already had the art thing held down. Eventually I graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance from Kyambogo University in 2009. I don’t regret the decision, it gave me a business mindset, which I realized many artists don’t have.
6.When did you register Drew Tete?
In 2011, I registered Drew Tete Ltd as a company, our vision is to produce all manner of artwork as inspired by Bezelel who God annointed to produce all manner of artwork. We do graphics design, branding, signage, animation, invitation cards, commercial printing and photocopy services, interior and event décor.
We target institutions, individuals and the international market. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder; to make art is to create something that is pleasing to the eye that has never existed before.
7.Whats your take on Ugandans and art?Do they appreciate it?
Ugandans have an eye for beautiful things but the question is whether they are willing to part with their hard earned cash to acquire a piece of art and do they understand art? Initially I only used to sell actual (original) paintings but with time I realized that not many people are able to purchase expensive pieces of art, with my design skills I started to put photos of my paintings on greeting cards and also selling prints of the actual paintings at a lower price point while generating income and waiting for the right buyer and price for the originals. I also diversified my art portfolio to things like graphics design, which is an art form that people will easily pay money for because they see the immediate impact of the artwork.
8.How important is social media when running a business?
Social media has really come alive over the last 10 years and it’s not going to go away, it is only going to grow and adapt with trends and times. Top organizations and individuals now as a must, have presence on these platforms. Social media can be of huge importance to any business because it gives the business what every business needs, an audience. Now what you feed that audience is what gets you results.
In 2009, when I decided to go professional as an artist, there were two options, to have galleries sell my work or to sell it myself. I went to one of the leading galleries in Kampala ( I won’t mention the name here) and they said no, “ we don’t appreciate your style.” I didn’t quit, thank God at that time facebook was really on the rise, I started putting my work on social media to cause awareness and I also started working with a mentor Mr. Taga Nuwagaba. I have since landed some great business off facebook. This year I joined Twitter and Instagram and next year I will be on YouTube @drewtete.
I have exhibited my work at the Nommo gallery, Fireworks Exhibitions, Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Trade Show, Bayimba International Festival of the Arts and most recently at the Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting held in Uganda. My paintings hang on walls in Uganda, Kenya, UK, USA and all over the world. My company and I have done work for notable brands like; Parliament of Uganda, American Chamber of Commerce, Non Profit organizations, churches, etc. In 2011, I was commissioned by the Central Bank of Uganda to produce painting for their 2012 calendar. We have employed over 10 people since we were registered as a company 8 years ago.
Together with a team of young people who I mentor, we are working on a comic book called Valor coming out before the end of the year. I am working on having my first solo exhibition this December 2017. I desire to exhibit my work all over the world and perfect my craft till I harness all the potential in me and die completely empty. Lessons to sustain a start up………let’s leave that for another day
Catch me on: Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @ drew_tete
Call:+256 704211864 &Whatsapp: +256 782639282
©Racheal Kizza 2017