My definition #iKasiOriginal refers to one who can be true to themselves and their art, speak their truth and use their art as a voice to influence society in a positive way.
The title of my blog post is dear to my heart because it took me a long time to finally accept my style and be comfortable with it. I believe that one should be honest to their art and let their art be a reflection of themselves, their views, and their identity. I also firmly believe that as artists we have a role to play, one which often involves us to step out of our comfort zone and step into places that are unfamiliar to us and use our art as an approach to make a difference in other people’s lives. As artists and illustrators, we can always draw inspiration from our own personal narratives and those of others to create dialogue on issues that still need deconstructing.
All of my illustrations are hand drawn with fine liners followed coloured in with Photoshop. As a graphic designer, I am always faced with the challenge to always create the perfect marriage of text and image to visually communicate something whilst solving a problem. I apply this very principle in my own personal illustration. The unity between the words and images are to communicate a message and both elements work hand in hand to tell the story which I am telling. I always find that poetry as an art form, when united with hand-drawn drawings, come together so perfectly and add a whole other element to the art.
I am often asked why I always draw women and the reason for that is that I love the dichotomy of how simultaneously vulnerable and strong women can be. I also strongly believe that there is a need for the positive representation of women in the media, especially black women. I am drawn to illustrating women also because women are so beautiful and often go through so much but get very little recognition in their everyday lives. Women need to be celebrated through art and in every way humanly possible.
I am inspired by Sindiso Nyoni, who is an illustrator and graphic designer. He goes by the alias of Studio Riot. The last time we spoke we had an interesting conversation and he told me the importance of having a tough skin in this industry and standing firm in what you believe in. Sindiso Nyoni has done exceptionally well for himself and has built his brand from humble beginnings. He recently collaborated with SA Mint to create a limited edition of commemorative coins. He has worked with well-known brands locally and internationally. He continues to inspire African creatives and creatives in the diaspora. I will end this by his advice to creatives: “Be secure in your expression, avoid desperation and regrets, and keep creating”
Written by Sinomonde Ngwane