Yogi Sip Young Creators’ Network Top 15: Meet Nompumelelo Mdluli

If there is one thing I know for sure – it is that South Africa does not lack creativity – in fact, we reek of it, and this is evident in just about everything we do. When Yogi Sip called on creatives to submit their work for the Young Creators’ Network, I reckoned that finding great work wouldn’t be much of a struggle.

Take Nompumelelo Mdluli, a 25-year-old digital designer who showcases how immensely talented we are as a people. Although many are gifted, her distinctive style makes her stand out from the rest.

We chat to her about her creative journey and being part of this year’s Young Creators’ Network:

Please tell us about yourself, as well as your creative background. How did you first start making art? Was your passion for art encouraged?

My name is Nompumelelo Mdluli, also known as Mpume. I’m a Digital Designer by profession, a children’s book illustrator by passion, and an author by chance.

I started making art during my pre-school days, I had nothing else to do, so my mother started teaching me how to draw and sew. I started selling my artwork in grade two, which I believe inspired and enabled an entrepreneurial spirit that I still foster today. You could say I secured the bag before I even knew it was a thing.

Most of my drawings had poems or a short story penciled somewhere in them. Pen, paper, and pencil [my 3Ps as I referred to them] were the only friends I had after school. My parents have always supported my craft and I can recall times when my dad would try to draw with me. My older brother would give me tasks and tips from time-to-time. All of this motivated me to do and be my best.

Tell us about the type of work you do. What themes do you explore in your work? Where do draw inspiration from?

Most of my work explores spirituality, most of my pieces feature females figures.

Who do you admire in South African’s creative industry? Is there a particular creative who has been a big influence on you and your work?

I would have to say Rich Mnisi. He is quite reserved in his work but you get the passion behind each garment. The second is Karabo Poppy. This would be because of how she has managed to position herself in the industry, both locally and internationally. Her work can be spotted from a mile, and that’s what I’m trying to build as an illustrator.

Why did you decide to enter the Yogi Sip Young Creators Network competition?

I’ve always been scared to enter competitions – for the longest time and I guess it’s because of my fear of rejection, but I believe it’s time I showcase my talents.

What does being a part of the top 15 mean to you? 

I feel like I’ve already won, even if it’s not the actual prize but space in the top 15 is a win.

Connect with Mdluli on IG.

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