The Cartist

In The Press - Netwerk24

Media24's national online news website



PE artist now member of British guild


by Odette Parfitt, Journalist - Published 6 November 2016


"As a child in South Africa's 'motor city', Clive Botha discovered his love of cars early on - and now he is one of only two recognised artists in Africa who can live out that love with paper and pencil."

Botha, originally from Uitenhage, has just been accepted as a member of the British Guild of Motor Artists - which currently consists of only 60 members around the world.

"I am proud to represent Nelson Mandela Bay and my country on this distinguished platform," said Botha. "When I did research on it, I realised that South Africa does not have such a body itself, but it is an honor to now belong to the British Guild."

He also owns his own marketing agency (MotorMedia Communications) for the automotive industry, but his drawings do form part of it. "The drawing board has always been my first love," he says. "That's why I set up 'The Cartist', a car illustration division, as part of the agency, and currently it handles 30% to 40% of my work." He draws with graphite, pencils and markers, but does not want to limit himself to one style, he says.

"The most fun to draw are of course old classic cars or exotic sports cars. However, older cars can also be difficult, if there are more details on the wheels, for example. The more curves and fine details, the harder it becomes to reproduce.”

The task can also become very complicated because the dimensions of the car must be accurate. "I'm a perfectionist, and although I enjoy the drawing process, it's more design than finer artwork," he says. "This is an existing product that must be reproduced visually. For example, you can draw a tree in different ways and no one can really say it is right or wrong, but if you have to draw a car, you will quickly be able to see if you did it wrong.”

If he gets his way, he will one day want to focus all his attention on drawing cars.

"There are many possibilities in the field, especially if I can conclude some agreements with local dealers. It could even be offered as a service at national level.”

However, his love for cars is not limited to the drawing board. When his wife, a lecturer and researcher at Nelson Mandela University, has to attend conferences overseas, he likes to go along for "car-related outings", he says.

"In 2013 I was able to visit the Las Vegas racetrack and test out Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren cars there. This experience was incredibly exciting. Just thinking about it makes my blood gush again. When you change gears and increase speed, it feels like the recoil from a gunshot that pushes you against the seat. You also sit so low that it feels like you are roaring right above the earth.”

To see more of Botha's work, visit his website at


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