Young Houghmordeen Jansen better known as Holmes started life in the tough neighborhood of Smutsville a township in Sedgefield, with what most people would acknowledge as the odds stacked against him. However, a special talent revealed itself to him in primary school. As time went by his art gave him the encouragement to strive for a better life and the self-belief to persevere despite the hard times he experienced at home and the poverty and joblessness he witnessed in his community.
Early on he showed his resourcefulness when he drew sketches of people then badgered them to buy their portraits off him for a small fee. In junior school, he raised funds to go on a school trip by drawing cartoons of clowns that people were willing to pay R2-00 for. He won prizes throughout his school-life for his art that culminated in winning a medal for “best artist” in the school. He also won 3rd prize in a Cape Schools’ contest for his picture of AIDS sufferer, Nkosi Johnson.
Holmes would later go on to meet Sue Watson, a self-taught artist from Sedgefield, who gave him painting lessons and held two exhibitions of his work in 2007 and 2008. After school in 2011 Holmes would embark on various creative ventures such as doing murals and signwriting for businesses and taking part in the Oudtshoorn KKNK Festival, where he and four other artists from the region created a series of 3D pavement art.
The young artist gained international exposure when he moved to Cape Town to further his studies and pursue a career in fine art. After his first year of studying graphic design in 2015, Holmes started working as an in-house artist at Knext Gallery during this time he was a part of a silent auction, two group exhibitions and had his work on display at the Waterfront’s Watershed. After gaining valuable experience in the art industry as an in house artist Holmes decided to work independently. During 2016 and 2017 Holmes organized and marketed his first solo exhibition in the city center he also had multiple pop up exhibition which include First Thursdays and Woodstock’s Palms Feastival. Holmes also collaborated with a clothing design company from the Netherlands called Rhumaa to create his very first artist clothing line which was used for their winter range. Later Holmes returned to university, completed his diploma in graphic design and graduated in December 2018. He then started working as an apprentice to Mark Hilltout, a former global Executive Creative Director for Ogilvy (international media company).
Through hard work and desire, passionate Holmes has become a professional artist well-versed in mural painting, fine art and design.