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WATCH | In the face of tragic loss, this artist rediscovered his purpose

When Cheslyn Brandt was a child, he could always be found with a crayon or paintbrush in hand.

He’d create works of art without any trace of self-doubt or judgement. But as he grew up, the world tainted his dreams, and he put the brakes on his goal of becoming an artist.

Then, tragedy struck. Brandt lost his life partner, Carlo. The months that followed were a relentless cycle of mourning.

But in his grief, Brandt discovered an old passion – art. “It took losing someone I love to get back to something that gave me a purpose,” he says.

Carlo recognised Brandt’s talents and always encouraged him to pursue painting.

But Brandt grew up in a household of manual laborers where a career in the arts seemed unreliable and too ambitious.

The self-taught artist picked up a paintbrush again after Carlo’s passing, this time fully immersing himself in his art for the first time in his life.

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“Sometimes it takes the faith of others for us to believe in ourselves,” Brandt says. “He always believed in me even though I didn’t believe in myself.”

In a whirlwind of emotions, Brandt found healing through the creative process.

His work has sparked praise and support from art lovers who have purchased several of his pieces.

By channelling his sorrow into inspiration, Brandt stumbled upon a revelation. “I fell in love with me, and I fell in love with art,” he says.