For the past few weeks we’ve been spending time with local creatives who #MakeItHappen, using our Lumia devices to snap a series of behind the scenes photographs showing exactly how they do what they do. To kick things off we tagged along with The Thursdays’ Gareth Pearson and Michael Tymbios ahead of April’s First Thursdays. More recently we documented visual artist Unathi Mkonto as he set up the exhibition for Volume 2 of his ongoing illustration series, Boys of South Africa.
This weekend we visited Alphabet Zoo’s Isaac Zavale and Minenkulu Ngoyi during day 1 of their silkscreen postcard/publication workshop at Assemblage Studios in Newtown. Not only making things happen for themselves but passionate about equipping others to do the same, printmaking artists and “zinesters” Isaac and Mini host workshops at their newly opened studio Prints on Paper to share the skills and knowledge they’ve gained over the years. Each of them studied at Artist Proof Studios and while they make up the entirety of Alphabet Zoo now, the duo originally started it in 2010 with a group of young artists who shared a vision for a Johannesburg-based collective that would focus on art as well as culture and community. In addition to the workshops, one of the facets of this is a street culture zine (also called Alphabet Zoo) through which they invite collaboration with other emerging artists, illustrators, publishers and designers.
Since they began working together Isaac and Mini have exhibited their personal work in various group shows and are actively involved in art-related initiatives outside of their own. During September and October last year Alphabet Zoo worked with the Goethe-Institut to run Johannesburg Street, which aimed to recreate the city of Johannesburg as one long street through mediums such as printmaking, painting, photography, videography and publications by putting on a string of free workshops and exhibitions. In the not so distant future, Isaac and Mini hope to host Johannesburg’s first ever zine fest.
We used the Lumia Camera to capture these photographs and the Adobe Photoshop Express app for easy on-the-go photo editing. Besides basics like the crop tool to get the best composition, the app includes tools to adjust brightness, contrast, exposure, shadows, clarity and vibrance which you can tweak manually. Alternatively, the app also offers over 20 one-touch filters. As an in-app purchase, the noise reduction pack minimises unwanted grain and speckling in your photos.
Inspired to #MakeItHappen yourself? For more tips to help you along your Lumia photography journey, follow @LumiaRSA.