Multidisciplinary designer and art director Sphelele Gumede (@ellsphee on Instagram and Twitter) shares some of his favourite work as well as the story behind each of these creations. His personal illustration project titled ‘/52.177 (of 52.177)’ started off as a personal one intended as a reminder to himself about the reasons he got into the creative field.
“This is where it all began. Before creating this, I hadn’t drawn anything in a very long time, so this one is very special to me. I remember wanting to create something that would accurately deﬁne the state I was in when I began this journey, and I think this image came very close. I wanted her face to have some sort of contradicting features like the widely painted smile over her gaze.”
“What does happiness mean to you? Where does it reside? What does it look like? If you were to ﬁnd it and it was not as how you’d imagined it, would you turn it away? These are questions that continuously came to my mind when creating this piece.”
“Sight has become one of the central themes in all of my works. The ability to ‘see’ at a deeper level has, over time, become important to me. This is something that I will always work towards portraying in the work that I create.”
“This is yet another piece that is very close to my heart- everything from the ‘I ❤ MOM’ label on the main character’s shirt & pants, to our old house number (F927) is a very close part of me. It is a bit of a departure from the close-up portraits that I usually create, but I think it still manages to ﬁt well in the series.”
“This was an incredibly challenging one to finish. There were instances where I’d continuously hit creative blocks for days on end. I’d sit thinking ‘man, maybe I should just bomb this one’. I worked on it for days and still couldn’t crack it (but the) response to (it) has been overwhelming.”