13 Jul Bradley Naicker: The illustrator transforming pop icons into zombies and manga figures
Before every artwork, Bradley Naicker asks, “Does what I want to create already exist?”. Bradley’s creative grafting begins at 6am every morning by sketching and drafting ideas. They’re visual and verbal ideas that accumulate in the recess of the mind from scrolling through social media and daily life and for most part, lie dormant. For Bradley, social media places the world at his fingertips and provides effortless and endless inspiration.
Popular Japanese anime and manga like Dragon Ball Z, hip hop, rap and South African illustrator Russell Fatlip Abrahams also influence his work. After first meeting Russell at the 2014 Design Indaba, Bradley frequently talks to him about the ins and outs of illustrations and the creative process. “Having that sort of support from someone you look up to is inspiring on its own,” he says.
Bradley’s Paradox artworks are heavily influenced by the Grime illustration style which was was first pioneered by American digital artist, Richie Velazquez, who began “zombifying” pop culture figures. He says that, “As any artist has before, they would take certain characteristics from their ongoing art movement and embody it into their artworks, and this is something I have done too. The Grime style is a very modern interpretation of art and has many followers, however not many have been able to distinguish the style into their own unique creative approach and execution as I have”.