Roselle’s art – a magnet of success

Roselle Thuynsma.

Roselle Thuynsma, of Milneron, claimed first prize in a talent competition promoting Cape Town artists.

Ms Thuynsma makes fridge magnets from recycled bottle tops. Inside each magnet is a unique hand-painted image of things unique to South Africa.

The Cape Point Concession, part of Thebe Tourism Group, joined forces with Tourvest, the company running the curio stores at Cape Point, to run the competition, #CapePointCreates, and Ms Thuynsma walked away with R10 000 as well as the opportunity to sell her wares at the Cape Point stores – a tourist hotspot.

She studied theatre crafts/technology at Pretoria Technikon in the 1990s but said the “real training” had started when she became a full-time artist.

When sales of her paintings dropped because of “the economic strain” she looked for a new approach.

“I needed to come up with something more affordable but still original and reflecting my art,” she said.

About two years ago, she was inspired by the idea of fridge magnets when she saw a bottle-top magnet on a friend’s fridge.

“I realised that it was the perfect souvenir or gift,” said Ms Thuynsma.

Also passionate about recycling, the bottle tops are the perfect “feel-good memory” visitors can take home.

She makes each magnet herself without any help and sells them on weekends at the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay.

Being an artist is a tough route to follow, admits Ms Thuynsma, who says passion is an important key to keep going.

“It is important to create something original and of good quality. The main problem for creative people is that they don’t know how to market and sell their products. I speak out of my own experience – it does not come naturally.

“It is not enough to receive funding if you don’t have the knowledge and guidance to apply it correctly.

“I would like to see that basic business and marketing skills be taught to creative people more. It will empower them to survive in the marketplace.

“There are fantastic creative people out there, but their talents aren’t used to their full potential because of a lack of business skills and confidence,” she said.

She hopes with more exposure her magnets will sell better and she will be able to employ an assistant.

“This way I can help someone else in return with the opportunity I have been given,” she said.