Jotam Schoeman is an audio-visual artist and dreamer from Pretoria. He was born in Baberton, Mpumalanga in 1987 and moved to the Capital City with his family in 1990 when his dominie-father was appointed minister at a church in Faerie Glen.
His initial excitement was to become a musician like his brothers, but in 2007 Jotam decided to study visual communication. His reasoning was that it would enable him to produce album covers, videos and posters for all their musical endeavours. The world of graphic design, film and animation interested him more than he thought it would, however, and he became an avid student of the respective fields of photography, typography and illustration. Nine years later he graduated Cum Laude at the Open Window School of Visual Communication with an Honours degree in Film Art. Since 2012 Jotam has been partaking in group exhibitions throughout the country.
“My work is neat, but raw and mostly pen and ink, watercolour or charcoal on paper. I never learned to paint in oils because I have known I wanted to do animation. In animation you want to understand forms, so drawing is the fastest way to communicate that. I want to master this art and then use it to tell stories.”
Currently, Jotam’s enthusiasm lies in conveying narratives through combining songwriting and poetry with experimental animation. Drawing from and appropriating a wide range of influences he has formed a band of musicians who are presently working together, writing and creating a comic-book trilogy of tales. This production, Bedoelende: Bied Lied, follows another multi-media production by Jotam in collaboration with the spoken-word artist, Modise Sekgothe. Metropolar is an acclaimed film meets music and poetry project and live performance that was showed at among other places Grahamstown National Arts Festival in 2016. Metropolar presents a look at dual perspectives on the inner city of Johannesburg and features drawings from Jotam’s debut solo art exhibition in 2014 at the Rubixcube Gallery in Maboneng.
He aspires to establish an animation studio and with a team of talented storytellers and creatives create full feature, imaginative stories from a South African landscape.