“In the classroom I would avoid the chaos, sit in the back and just draw,” says illustrator and photographer Bonga Ntuli, whose interest in graphic design was sparked back in 7th grade. After buying his first Blunt Magazine, he was drawn to the features on local graffiti artists and illustrators, referring to their work as “eye candy”.
Being the quiet and indoorsey type that he is, it’s no surprise that Bonga was pleased with the idea of spending all day drawing and working on his PC as a career. He now takes inspiration from Saturday morning cartoons, jazz music, and 80s and 90s pop culture. His work is predominantly made up of striking 2D character portraits with a strongly emphasised, signature style of shading and distinguished colours. “I’ve learnt a lot from former classmates and colleagues,” says Bonga, who endeavours to pick up new techniques and observe new illustrators all the time. When asked what the best advice he’s received this year is, he said, “To stop second guessing myself and take ownership of my craft”. Bonga is currently working on a coffee table book that showcases his skills as both a photographer and designer.