Social networking is an act or place many of us use to promote a product or service. But in my opinion, the majority of the networkers simply want to share a love or interest in something they have in common. For me, that interest is tennis and art. Double the pleasure, double the fun; especially with my newest cyber friend, the talented Miss Lebogang Poen, who shares an enormous appetite and skill for both.
I consider myself very lucky to have met a person halfway across the globe who shares a passion for both as I do. The two of us have been sharing tweets and articles now for a couple of months, and recently, we’ve even been facebooking, if I may use that term. In fact, my fiancé Kim, has stated that she would be very jealous if Lebo did not live across the globe. (LOL) At any rate, I soon discovered that Lebo, as she likes to be called, would be a fine candidate for a featured article. Here’s how the interview went…and I must say, it’s quite impressive.
Questions 1, 2, & 3: Firstly Lebo, I’d like for you to share some personal information about yourself (but not too personal). Maybe you could share your nationality and birthplace as well as where you earned your education (especially any art degrees or studies you may have completed in that field). Also, I’d like for you to share a bit about your tennis history. For example — Did you play competitive tennis as a junior or in school…perhaps college? If not, what is it about the game that drives you to be such a complete writer and blogger in that arena?
Answer: I am 26 years old and I reside and was born in South Africa. Growing up I had many things I loved and was passionate about. When I was a teenager I also discovered my God-given talents and since worked to pursue a Mosaic career where I can incorporate most if not all of them, (them being writing, drawing, painting, music composition). I studied Music straight after high school, trained as a Jazz Pianist. After 4 years of doing so, I studied Sound Engineering and completed a Diploma in Audio Engineering and Industry readiness. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Media. That was brought about due to my love for writing. My love for Tennis began around the ages 10/11, although I only picked up a racket a little later. I was fascinated by it and wanted to understand the rules and how the score is kept and so on. So both my parents taught me all there was to know about Tennis and growing up, I spent most of my time researching more that they may have not shared with me. To this day, I spend a lot of my time reading any article Tennis related. I played in high school and still play currently, but when I think about whether or not I wished to one day be a pro player, I doubt I would have chosen the path when younger. It’s a tough career and imposes much strain on the mind and body, plus you’re always on the road, hardly get to spend quality time with loved ones. Another thing is that, because of my other loves (writing, piano and art) I supposed if I followed a pro career in Tennis I’d miss out on employing them in my life in the business sense also. So I later found joy in writing anything Tennis related and covering matches and so on. I also launched my own Tennis website last Dec. (2012): www.ellpoen.com.
Question 4: I’ve also noticed that you have done personalized drawings for some of the players on the pro tour. Perhaps you could give us a little background on the art and players?
Answer: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dustin Brown, Lukas Lacko, Rik De Voest and a few others. I mention those off the top of my head because they were the first I’ve handed personalized portraits. They appreciated them and Dustin said he would put his (sketch) up on his wall.
Question 5: For my final question Lebo, I would like to ask “Where does tennis and art meet for you?”
Answer: Art and Tennis meet at a unique point for me. Different strokes, shots, and techniques (especially the serving technique) can all be manipulated towards being thought of artistically. All that Tennis comprises of when scrutinized can be appreciated as a beautifully crafted piece of artwork. I wanted to capture players in action by creating portraits of them and including other artists’ works on my website under the category (Art Meets Tennis) – to also lure other people still not familiar with the Sport.
In closing, I would like to attach another one of Lebo’s pieces to this article…
…a very good and unique likeness of Serena Williams.