Joshua Behrens has received a bursary from The Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School in Orlando, Florida in America to study there next year, following the receipt of 100% for his final art project in matric last year.
His abstract work was first discovered at the age of 16 when he won Collect-a-Can's annual CAN Craze Competition in 2011. He created a magnificent art piece of former President Nelson Mandela from recycled cans, titled 'True Greatness'.
Representatives from Nampak Bevcan, partners of Collect-a-Can, were present at the CAN Craze awards ceremony and instantly saw the true creative genius within Behrens.
"A special young man who touches the lives of everyone and anyone he comes into contact with - Joshua Behrens has a true CAN DO! attitude when it comes to achieving his dreams," says Alexandra Bouwer, marketing manager for Nampak Bevcan's CAN DO! brand.
"We are excited to welcome Behrens to both the US and to The DAVE School in Orlando, Florida to study animation and visual effects production. It was clear from our very first communication just how talented, driven and inspiring this young man is. He is exactly the type of student that the school hopes to find and I believe that the skills he learns with our curriculum and faculty staff will be exactly what he needs to soar in his career," says Andrea Clemens, director of admissions at The DAVE School.
Founder and school director, Jeff Scheetz adds, "This is an exciting pilot program and we will be watching Josh's progress very carefully. We hope that should it prove successful, we will be able to offer it to other students in the future."
Behrens has had his heart set on becoming an animator for many years. When asked why he was interested in pursuing a career in animation, he explains that he finds that there are very few limits when it comes to creativity in the animation industry. "I like animation because it is so creative; it's not just one work of art. It's like a whole gallery in one. There is a wonderful combination of music, sculptures, video... it's a multidimensional industry."
His advice to entrants to this year's CAN Craze competition is, "Don't hold back. Think of something big, something challenging and don't be lazy. Think of the coolest thing and make it happen through hard work. With the can medium - don't over complicate your ideas, just make sure that you have a powerful message and something we can all relate to as South African citizens."
Current project to raise funds
When asked about a current project that most excites him, Behrens says, "It's going to be epic. It's a large scale rhino piece that will incorporate the number of rhinos that have been killed due to poaching in the last 10 years."
He has started his own campaign to enable him to travel to America and to cover his living expenses for the year in 2015 by producing art on commission before he leaves in December 2014. His mother, Genevieve Black, is offering recent can portrait of Ghandi for R12,000. For more information, email her at or call +27 (0) 82 498 6827.
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