Carl Lewis Ayieko started painting at a very young age, basically not so long ago.  He always knew that he was going to be an artist, especially with a mother that filled their home in Meru with her own illustrations. He is a true testament to the fact that we learn many things from our parents. Some of these things we grasp at the time of the teachable moment and others don’t reveal themselves until we’re further down the road of life.

Carl would seem like your typical 22 year old but he really isn’t. He is not afraid to do what he loves no matter the outcome. He submitted his favorite piece with no intention of making it onto the Safaricom calendar. For him, he was doing it because he loves his art and to some extend, it was due to peer pressure something that has changed the way he views his own talents. He has a confidence in his ability and a young, fresh new way of distributing it. He lives by the words of one John Dewey, “To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.”

While in School, Carl was so nervous his father wouldn’t let him pursue art so he worked extra hard on his studies. He was quietly sketching on anything he could get his hands on, practicing by drawing portraits of his friends. He believes determination is the essences of increasing your chances of being successful in a particular thing or achieving a particular goal, and it can also help you to stay motivated and continue striving towards the one thing you want to achieve.

Soft spoken, with a talent that is so bold, Carl does not limit himself to just one medium of art. He is ready to experiment, push himself to learn new ways of bringing life to his art. It is important for you to discover your gifts – both those that you are already aware of and those that you would like to explore.

Carl used to ask his dad “Why aren’t my drawing moving like the ones on T.V?”

He went on to teach himself animation,  practicing what he learnt on you tube, asking friends that knew what they were doing until he was proud enough to call himself an animator. “I bring my friends stories to life, we have them on my you tube channel.”

Carl wants to make a huge difference in the society, breaking the perception that you need a lot of money to not only make art but purchase it as well.

“Why can’t someone in the slums have art in their home? Why can’t they also see what the rich see? I want to get to the point where my art will be free for anyone to experience art. ”

Carl has big plans for his future. After a friend went through a very tough time, he and his friends decided to take action and use their talents to make life a little happier. “My friend overcame cancer and I used to draw her and it brought her joy.” Now he and his friends want to go to hospitals and draw with the children. Getting the project started has been difficult due to certain government officials taking advantage but Carl is hopeful. Donation for materials and materials are always welcome.

Safaricom’s goal has always been to impact communities in direct ways through support for community projects like Art. This is how the annual This Is My Kenya campaign and 2019 calendar came about. The campaign has been held every year since 2014, and brings together the country’s best talents in photography, painting and storytelling to showcase Kenya’s beauty and diversity through art. Each year, these works are then featured in Safaricom’s calendar, which has become a collectible and a platform through which some of the country’s finest creative talents can showcase their work to wider audiences.

Carl was so grateful for the confirmation that his art made it to this list. When you cheer for yourself for so long you tend to forget how good you actually are, what direction you are going and that turns to fear and disappointment.

This Is My Kenya seeks to celebrate local creative talent in writing, photography, film, illustration and painting and art, and has evolved into an award-winning campaign that not only offers valuable exposure to local creatives; it showcases Kenya’s wildlife, landscapes and cultures through powerful imagery and storytelling.

Last year’s This Is My Kenya campaign also saw a selection of some of Kenya’s most talented 2D illustrators and painters also offer their work up for sale on, where collectors and art enthusiasts can still purchase the one of a kind original pieces.

Carl is the youngest artist in a catalogue of brilliant artists, but his talent will age gracefully. We will forever cheer him on, on his journey.


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