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Grad Guide 2020: India Tyers

India Tyers honed her natural, playful style of mixed media illustration at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography. Stepping out of the world of studies in 2020 with a major in applied illustration, she graduated with a BA in visual communication. We caught up with Tyers for our annual graduate series to learn more.

India Tyres

What do you love about illustration?  

Illustration gives me the freedom to communicate social and environmental issues, without spoken words. Not only does it hold a space for me but for others; I am able to use a wide variety of mediums to communicate stories shared with me and create them into images which then speak for themselves.  

Tell us about the work you created during your final year. Any projects that stand out for you?  

In my third year I found my social and environmental voice. I used mixed media to create my imagery, specifically gravitating towards ink, charcoal, collage and photography. A project I felt emotionally connected to in my final year was a poster brief on a stereotype of your choice. Being a woman in South Africa I decided to choose a stereotype most of us heard when we were growing up: “rapists are all strangers”. I remember being so sheltered when I was a little girl, thinking rape only happened in dark alleyways. Sadly myself and many women around me had to learn otherwise. We are safe nowhere. I used the symbolism of a crow (death) wearing the mask of a dove (peace) to visually comment on how rapists can also be the people you trust the most.

How would you describe your style to someone who’d never seen your work before?  

I would say my style, if you can even call it that, is a mash up of photography, illustration, print making and mark making, which I use together to create a layered effect which bridges imagination with reality. It is often perceived as a fine art interpretation.  

What would you like to be known for in the local creative industry? 

I would like to be known for creating content which talks to social and environmental issues. On the other hand I would also like to be known for my more humorous side through commentary on everyday life.  

What are your plans for 2021?  

Currently I am working on my own creative project, a clothing range called Yobro. Yobro focuses on textile design with a narrative, using the fabric as storytelling mechanism, and, as I like to call it, “moving art”. I am also lucky enough to have been offered an internship in a prominent textile house, which will give me commercial experience.

What are some personal projects (not necessarily linked to studying), that you’re passionate about?  

I am passionate about informative storytelling. In my second year I somehow managed to turn a children’s book brief into a book about periods! Yes you read correctly, PERIODS. I love collecting stories from people around me in order to create informative yet humorous short story books. I am really fascinated by all the stigmas around mensuration, why it is so ‘hush hush’, and would like to dive into this again this year with the creative input of two extremely talented friends of mine. 

Follow @indiatyers on Instagram.

Grad Guide is an annual series from Between 10and5, profiling some of South Africa’s most exciting creative graduates across the fields of fashion, art, photography and design. Find the full 2020 Grad Guide here.

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