Paul du Toit
'I love the art of the untrained and unskilled. I love child art. Imagine drawing a line for the first time'. I am ... living proof that there is no distinction between work and play - it is all living. I was born in the '60s, raised in the '70s, survived the '80s, artist of the '90s.
How did you get into your career?
I read what Abraham Lincoln said: "The only way to predict your future is to create it yourself." Since then, I have worked myself to the point of exhaustion to achieve this goal.
Was it difficult to follow your passion?
I studied computers for a year, thinking I could work in the day and paint at night. It is difficult to support yourself as an independent artist. Luckily, I did not study art because I now feel uncorrupted. The desire to practice my art was so great that I decided to do it full time. My wife supported our family during the difficult start-up years.
A misconception about artists is ...
that they do not really work. Actually, artists work 24 hours a day and can never retire.
Art snobs are ..
What inspires your work?
The inner drive to create something that no one else has seen before and that even I have not seen. I am inspired by people, travelling, punk music, alternative thinking, rock art, street art, childlike art; a crack in the pavement can spark a whole series of works. I am open to all influences and I don't block anything out.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career?
I was invited by Nelson Mandela and the 46664 campaign to create a bronze replica of Mandela's right hand for his 90th birthday. I floated for days after the first meeting. It was an amazing experience that will be with me forever.
Where do you live?
Some say I live in my head or on "PlanetPaul". My base is Hout Bay.
What's your favourite building in Cape Town?
The Old Castle Brewery.
If you made a movie about Cape Town what would you call it?
Raw Beauty. I love the space above the ocean.
Have you ever taken public transport in Cape Town?
Yes, buses and taxis. There's great atmosphere and interesting people.
My Little Black Book
Willoughby & Co, V&A Waterfront 021 418 6115 - I remember meeting Sam 15 years ago behind his sushi counter in this once- tiny shop. He has transformed the way people think about sushi.
Calma, Hout Bay 021 790 6966, - I try to have flotation therapy once a week. Floating in a light- and sound- proof tank allows for a deep state of relaxation, helping the body recover from stress and pressure.
Deez, Mexican Bistro, Hout Bay 021 790 3602 - One of Cape Town's best-kept secrets is under Hout Bay's tallest pine tree. I remember going there at 4am for a cup of coffee many years ago. You meet people there from all over the world. It's great for midnight snacks, beer, margaritas, tequila and great company.
Mabu Vinyl, 2 Rheede Street, Gardens 021 423 7635 - Mabu buys, sells and trades vinyl LP records and CDs of all genres.
Icedream, Main Road, Hout Bay 021 790 2496 - At this authentic Italian gelateria, the ice cream is hand made by Liana Lazzarotto. The chocolate-chip Stracciatella is a winner.
Extracted from a Sunday Times article: My city Paul du Toit.Apr 24 2010