See pop culture and old-school design come together in these illustrated characters by Saint Rose

Johannesburg-based graphic designer Kgabo Mametja, who goes by the creative moniker Saint Rose, creates cartoon-like illustrations that are full of charisma. She describes her personal aesthetic as “bold and unapologetic.” Her artworks are simple, yet carefully composed, making use of thick, wavy lines, solid defined shapes and punchy colours. 

For subject matter, the presence of women in her pieces is intentional. Kgabo is interested in femininity and its representation.

“I think I’ve always been into creating strong portrayals of women. I want to combat all negative depictions of women and have a little fun doing it. I’m an observer, so I draw my inspiration from everywhere really, but to be more specific, pop culture, art and old-school design really influence my work.” 

Kgabo uses digital and graphic techniques, working on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop when she wants to add texture. “I’m a digital artist and I’m obsessed with perfection when it comes to my work. I think that the pursuit of perfection is the only consistent element in my process. Sometimes I’ll start by drawing the idea out on paper, and sometimes I’ll head straight to illustrator and draw from my head (I’m not big on tracing) but yeah, agonising over perfect lines and obsessing over colour choices is a big part of it,” she explains. 

Keep up to date with Kgabo’s work on her blog and on Instagram.





Between 10 and 5