Emerging graphic designer Chelsea Tamim is based in Newlands, East Durban, and creates illustrations that consist of mostly self-portraits, which draw on personal experiences to explore modern-day issues that we can all relate to, such as love in the digital age.
Chelsea recently completed her national diploma in graphic design at the Durban University of Technology. And has had an interest in art since high school when she would create spray painted murals. Nowadays she focuses on the medium of illustration.
Her work consists of themes such as love, and she tells stories of “fuck boys”, heartbreak and even self love through her vivid illustrations.
The visual and audible language of R&B inspires her creative process, according to her. “I usually listen to ’90s and 2000s R&B. I enjoy reading song lyrics. I enjoy hearing people’s thoughts. I love Tupac and the Notorious BIG as well as Chance the Rapper, SZA and Sade Adu.”
She continues, “I suffer from anxiety so these artists lighten my mood and focus my thoughts.”
Working completely digitally, she creates her own brushes and textures on Illustrator and Photoshop. “I usually do vector-based illustrations, which consist of me creating different shapes and layering them. I layer my vectors to create shading and different tones. I use digital brushes to add textures and highlights,” she says.
With December holidays and long stretches of free time ahead, she plans to explore more traditional methods of illustration such as line drawing.