The Heat is On | Artist Interviews

Bruce Mackay
Bruce Mackay - Campfire

 

The Econo-Heat The Heat is On‘ group exhibition is currently on at The Street concept store in Joburg. The show includes pieces by 13 local artists/illustrators. These are their artworks and a Q&A with some of them.

 

First up is Bruce Mackay

 


Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

It was the only thing I was good at. My biggest influences were the punk-rock album covers from my youth.

 


What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

I’m writing a children’s book and doing some more shows near the end of the year.

 


Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

It’s a pile of sticks.

 


What or who inspires you?

Nature mostly. And also being a bit of an obsessive compulsive hypochondriac.

 


Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Make art for yourself and not for other people.

 

Senyol
Senyol - Heaterbird

 

Paul Senyol

 


Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

Shapes, colors, forms.

 


What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

A few group exhibitions, personal projects, and a 2 person show.

 


Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

Very simple, something striking and eye-catching which I hope will work well as an artwork and decor piece to compliment a home.

 


What or who inspires you?

The heavens and the firmament.

 


Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Learn to work hard and persevere.

 

Mzwandile Buthelezi
Mzwandile Buthelezi

 

Mzwandile Buthelezi (HacOne)

 

Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?


I have been drawing since a young age, it was just a natural progression that I took it up when I got older. The only thing I ever knew myself to be good at was drawing. I was much inspired by hip hop music, but I draw inspiration from a lot of things, people, nature, culture, design and just things I come across on a daily basis.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

To keep doing what I do and getting better at it…there’re a few interesting projects on the line-up but as always tomorrow will take care of itself. For now I’ll keep hush.

 



Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?


Well this piece is inspired by a desperate need for warmth in these cold times.

 

What or who inspires you?

Nature plays a huge part in my work as a form of inspiration, traveling, just people I meet on a day to day, and the constant search for balance in everything I do or come across

.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Don’t talk about it, be about it!

 

Mr Alpha
Mr Alpha - Hot Property

 

Mr Alpha

 

Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

I became an artist because I hated maths, and I loved to draw.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?


Make some loot, have an exhibition, go on a holiday, not die!

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

My design for the exhibition was Owl inspired. It’s almost like a shady 
Disney character selling contraband to kids, usually found in eerie settings in dark cold woods, 
and the fact that my canvas is a heater makes those items “Hot Property”.

 

What or who inspires you?

I see things every day that inspire me and many times it’s my friends. Words and phrases do that too. But I think at the end of the day people should try and inspire themselves
 and try not get to overwhelmed by what the world shoves in your face.

 

Marija van Rensburg
Marija van Rensburg - Hedgehog Love

 

Marija van Rensburg

 

Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

I’m passionate about drawing and creating pretty things, creativity definitely runs in our family and was always encouraged in our family. As kids, my sisters and I would often come up with little drawing challenges and competitions to keep us busy. I guess that passion led to studying graphic design and now to launching my own little illustration & design company, Kitty Stretch. My main influence would probably be my faith and the desire to create and bring hope and a sense of happiness through my work.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

To focus on growing Kitty Stretch, staying creative and continually challenging myself with new projects coming up.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

I really wanted the end result to bring a sense of warmth and love. The banner title “this will keep you warm” represents both the hot chocolate that will keep the little hedgehog warm, as well as the heater that will keep whoever uses it warm.

 

What or who inspires you?

Margaret Kilgallen. Sandra Dieckmann. Gemma Correll.Andrew van Rensburg.Wesley van Eeden.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Enjoy what you do, work hard and don’t get consumed in too much reference. Reference is good but if you keep focusing on other people’s styles, you’ll struggle to develop your own. Also, try hard not to procrastinate.

 

Kevin Love
Kevin Love - Contradictory to popular belief

 

Kevin Love

 

Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

I don’t think I had a choice.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

Stay alive.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

It’s something out of my head.

 

What or who inspires you?

Life and Love

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Don’t do it.

 

Justice Mukheli
Justice Mukheli

 

Jason Bronkhorst
Jason Bronkhorst - Lie to Me

 

Jason Bronkhorst

 

Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

I wanted to be a cartoonist forever, and as such my primary inspiration came from every cartoonist I could find. The list is ever-growing and seemingly endless: Growing up it was all about Mad magazine, Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Paul Coker. Then finding stuff in the library, like The Baron von Munchausen illustrated by Ronald Searle, old Punch magazines, with guys like Norman Thelwell, Russell Brockbank, Larry, W. Heath Robinson (I remember wanting to draw like H.M. Bateman), Gerald Scarfe, Honeysett, Steadman, man, I could keep going forever.

 

I spent my time feverishly searching out any and every cartoonist I could find, spent hours trying to draw like they did: Victor Ambrus, Caran d’Ache, EH Shepard, Fougasse (naming himself after a landmine), John Tenniel (who, like me, had only one eye). Masters of the Craft, who all did incredible things without Photoshop.

 

South African artists I always wanted to emulate were Dov Fedler, Richard Smith, Mark Wiggett, Rico, Dr Jack, Derek Bauer, T.O. Honiball, Fred Mouton, D.C Boonzaaier. I spent my time trying to meet each of them, and have a few of them as friends now.

 

Right now I can tell you I saturate myself daily, trawling the internet to find old and new treasures – there’s an astounding level of talent, humbling and inspiring all at once. To a larger degree I’m inspired by this beautiful country, by people with a passion for design and illustration, painters, writers, rubbish collectors, carpenters. Old cars, buildings, objects – I think I have a romantic notion of what life was like a century ago. Cars of the 50s through to the 80s. Old telephones, where you stuck your finger in the holes and dialled, pencils, crowquill pens, watercolour brushes, well-made paper.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

Many exciting projects on the horizon – watch this space.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

I find myself exploring themes of loss, ennui and disillusion through layers of drawings, using often humorous symbols and characters based on my professional output – painting and repainting the surface as the ideas manifest during the course of the process.

 

What or who inspires you?

My wife and my young son! It seems I’m experiencing the world again from the start – intimidating, beautiful.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

It’s hard not to follow trends, or copy a style when you’re just starting out, but I’d suggest trying to make images your own, infused with the way you see things, ie information filtered through you, your experiences and personal outlook. We all borrow from other artists, but I appreciate a piece of work, although influenced by a thousand other artists, has a certain personality entirely unique. People aren’t interested in what I say I can do, they want to see what I have done.

 

Jade Klara
Jade Klara - Cold Blood

 

Jade Klara Apteker

 

Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

It just happened, or it’s still happening I guess. It’s a label one never feels worthy of. All I know is that if I didn’t draw and make things I would be unhappy like a sloth at a gym. I’m influenced by low brow pop surrealism, by kawaii and by anything interesting and different.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

I have a few projects at the moment. I’m doing a surfboard for the Wavescape board exhibition with Cassandra Leigh which is going to NYC, I’m also participating in Wolves’ Alphabet exhibition in August. I’m really excited for a show Candice Jezek and I are working on at Salon 91 early next year.
So excited.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

I wanted to play with concepts of love, eternity, duality and heat I guess. And snakes. I’m full of snakes.

 

What or who inspires you?

Many things inspire me, nature, ghosts, idiosyncrasies, old myths and stories, love, heartbreak. I am also blessed with knowing really inspiring people. I work from a studio in Woodstock with Emma Cook, Jordan Metcalf, Adam Hill, Daniel Ting Chong and Lauren Buekes, who all inspire my face off.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Be honest

 

Ivana Raguz
Ivana Raguz - Cold feet, warm boots

 

Ivana Raguz

 

Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

I have always had quite a creative mind. As a child I definitely knew I’d follow a career path that would require me to be creative and use my artistic abilities. I decided to focus on illustration because it’s not only where my heart lies as a designer but also because it is so versatile. I’ve seen my style grow and change into something quite lovely and I have so many talented creatives to thank for that.

 

Being inspired on a daily basis is my creative fuel to go on and generate new fresh design work to hopefully inspire others as I have been inspired time and time again. I frequently look to illustrators who work well with lines, detail and texture to show me new styles. I try to mimic their approach a bit and then build on that.

 


What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

I am getting my website up and running this year and will have new fresh work up every month or so. I am planning a few cool collaborations soon which will be documented on my website too. Overall my aim is to get my name out there and work on amazing projects with talented individuals.

 


Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

My illustration depicts a stylized fox sporting cool facial fair and a grandpa jersey with his feet firmly planted in a pair of boots. He’s a super cool fox trying to keep his feet warm in the winter, and accidentally ends up looking rather trendy. Some foxes have this kind of luck when it comes to fashion, some don’t.

 

What or who inspires you?

Every illustrator the world over who has his/her own style and owns it, inspires me. I am inspired daily by talented individuals who have their own approach to design. Most of the time I don’t have to look further than South Africa to get inspired.

 

I am a big fan of Am I Collective, which is a Cape Town based creative studio. The work of Irina Vinnik inspired me to explore different detail and texture styles in my work and I love Gemma Correll’s simple and innocent illustration work.

 

My favourite illustrator (and story teller) of all time has got to be Adam Ellis of Books Of Adam. His work is extraordinarily entertaining, funny and never fails to get me in a good mood.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

When it comes to illustration there really is no such thing as the right or wrong way of doing something. It really all comes down to your own preferred style. The only big factor you should avoid at all costs is laziness. Laziness leads to sloppy work and it is easy to tell if someone didn’t enjoy working on a design.

 

Also, don’t just stick to one form of design, explore. Network with creative individuals and don’t be scared to start collaborations.

 

Innocent Mukheli
Innocent Mukheli

 

Adriaan Jansen van Vuuren
Adriaan Jansen van Vuuren - 4 Down

 

Adriaan Jansen van Vuuren a.k.a. “Lord ZOLtan”

 

Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

Aesthetics and Performance Art have always been a major driving force in my life. A silly first moment back in Grade 1 on stage, singing a solo piece must’ve been the clincher. I guess it was the case of becoming addicted to putting something out there. For probably the last 20 years, I have involved myself in some form of creative outlet, ranging from illustrating, designing a logo or composing and performing music with fellow musicians.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

Tough question. To be honest, as I have only recently entered the world of self-employment, I’m in never-ending process of establishing a Design/illustration/promotion offering. I’m trading as “Design:lordzoltan”. Its a fledgling C.C. through which I have been doing a lot of promotion/design work, especially catering for the music scene with bands such as The City Bowl Mizers, The Death Valley Blues band and Jet Black Camaro. I’m planning to get this venture fully off the ground in the months to come.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

The format dictated my approach. It is a usable item in the form of a wall heater. “4 Down” plays with the idea of chalking up memories. Memories in this case, that flame up from time to time. The crossed cinder/chalking up deals with a back-story about bitter-sweet adieus to some of the great bands I was involved and performed with. All burnt bright, but none could burn forever.

 


What or who inspires you?

David Carson and Ryan Bolton. Adobe Illustrator. All the many diverse and phenomenal artists, designers and illustrators in South Africa. Original music. Ray Manzarek, Trent Reznor and my KORG CX3 Hammond Organ. Jamming with muso’s. Everything around me. Go-getter attitude. My folks. Missioning. My own spirituality and Darkness Dave.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Keep your eyes and mind open and craft your skill… work at it like it’s all you got, because it is. Take a business management course and stick to your guns.

 

Justus Kotze
Justus Kotze – Winter Blues


 

Justus Kotze

 


Why did you become and artist and what are your main influences?

I’ve always been an artist and I’m influenced by mostly everything.

 


What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

To keep busy and to experiment with different subjects and medias.

 


Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

I felt like trying something different, I usually do characters but
 for this exhibition I felt like doing a music inspired piece. “Winter
Blues” just popped into my head and I just went with it.

 


What or who inspires you?

I get inspired when I see other people doing interesting and exciting
 stuff, which makes me what to get out there and inspire other people.

 


Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Never think you suck, art is an expression and anyone can express
 themselves in any way they want.

 

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