Last year, well-known and loved coffee retailer vida e caffè, alongside Discovery Vitality and Between 10and5 called on illustrators from across the country to conceptualise and create an innovative limited edition design for vida’s reusable bamboo cups, which will be sold in vida stores nationwide and made available as a redemption on Vitality Active Rewards. The competition aims to support and celebrate the South African creative industry; including emerging artists and illustrators. 

Following a rigorous evaluation of the extensive number of portfolio submissions we received from highly talented artists, we are excited to share that three illustrators have been chosen as winners. Amy-Leigh Braaf, Ruramai Musekiwa, and Carli Badenhorst. We got to catch up with the winners in a 3 part feature. Up next, we have Carli Badenhorst. 

Tell us about yourself and your creative background – when did your love for art and creativity begin?

To create and be creative has always been a big part of who I am and I believe I am created to make beautiful things. I grew up in a very creative household – my dad has his own art & framing company and my sister is also a graphic designer.

I remember from a very young age I loved to express myself with my clothing and doing creative things. I think in high school when I had art as a main subject and my sister started with her graphic design studies, it inspired me to pursue a creative career.

A year has gone by since vida launched their Illustrator Competition and called on artists to enter. Tell us about why you chose to enter the competition?

Well I think when I saw the post about the competition I thought – why not? I love to enter design competitions because it always challenges me in a new way and is an opportunity to be creative. I love the brands involved and I loove coffee!

A year later, you’ve been chosen as one of the winners; what does this mean to you?

I am stoked to be one of the 3 winners of the bamboo cup design competition! It is an honor to be associated with brands like vida e caffè, Discovery and Between 10and5. This experience drives / motivates me to take chances, to put myself out there and to believe in myself. Sometimes as a creative you do not always feel good enough – this gives me a boost to believe in what I can do when I put my mind to it.

What are you hoping to achieve beyond designing vida’s sustainable takeaway coffee cups?

What I hope for is to help people/businesses to build their brand and to make their dreams come to life. I would be very happy if I could create beautiful designs/products that can give people/businesses hope and to inspire them.

Talk us through the type of work you create, your artistic style and what influenced this style. 

I am a graphic designer and I specialize in print design: branding, packaging & illustration. I work with various brands and try to experiment with different styles to fit each client/project. I would say my experience in branding and working in vector influenced my style to be simplistic, clean yet bold and a little bit quirky.

What are some of the themes you explore within your work and through these themes, what message do you intend to communicate?

I think nature and creation as a whole is definitely a ‘theme’ that inspires me. I realized that everything that is beautiful in this life all traces back to the Creator who created each one of us and every detail around us. I can be creative because He created.

Art is a mirror of society; how does your work respond to some of the issues that we are faced with today?

I work with a lot of small start-up companies and my hope is to help them flourish by using my design skills. I would also love to create more content that gives people hope and colour in a dark world.

Fast forward to five years from now – where do you see yourself

I see myself with a family, still being creative and working on amazing projects. I would love to grow in my skill set in digital illustration and content creation.

I would also love to explore other creative avenues like product development, fashion design and textile design. One of my dreams is to have my designs printed on fabric which can be used to make clothes or decor items.

vida e caffè and Discovery Vitality are homegrown, proudly South African brands that celebrate African life and culture with people at their core, and represent our diverse country internationally. Both brands believe in spreading the message of health and wellness – actively playing their part in encouraging people to live better lives. The winners were tasked to create designs that reflect both brands’ core values and celebrate South African culture and diversity by incorporating elements such as people, street culture, music, fashion, athletes/sports etc. within their work.

Between 10 and 5