APEROL ‘TOGETHER WE JOY’ FINDS SANCTUARY IN SELF-LOVE AND ETHERAL PRIDE WITH KEAMOGESTWE 

 Keamogetswe Sediane, also known as Kamo, is a Cape Town-based visual artist. She completed her honours in Visual Design with a specialisation in Interaction Design at The University of Johannesburg. She describes herself as a full-life and vibrant person, which correlates on par with the deep and graceful allure found in her digital art. Figures of poised and elegant women in her work, ensures a depicted life of classical joy. What inspires Kamo’s work is the lived experiences of the women surrounding her – where joy, glee and gratitude overflow. She takes inspiration from societal commonalities experienced by most people of colour. Growing up in a single parent household with her mom and sister, she learnt all things Women empowerment. These lessons have acted as a catalyst for the beginnings of Kamo’s draw of inspiration. Her illustrations are vibrant, calming and give a sense of sanctuary. She tailors her style to a contemporary narrative where the representation of people of colour is important, creating a distinctive mood, typical of self-love or ethereal pride. 

1. What drew you to get into digital art and design? 

Initially I thought, maybe I should study medicine or something like that, which I was not really passionate about. Because, for me, I only ever would hear about ‘being a struggling artist’. And being a struggling artist is something I did not want. But it is really sad at the same time, you know, and especially in the context of South Africa. So I wanted to be pragmatic with my decision. I found out about Multimedia Design, which at the time was something I knew nothing about. So it was between Multimedia and Communication Design that I had to make a decision on. I honestly just applied for the Multimedia Design course, without necessarily knowing in full detail what it entailed. But I am glad I made this choice. I knew from the time I was young, something creative is what I really wanted to do. And this course ended up being extremely creative, which is what I wanted. 

2. How did you develop your personal style? 

I am really inspired by women. That is basically what I love and what I have grown up around – particularly with regards to my mom and my sister. In my work I touch on topics such as colourism, which I feel has been quite influential in my personal style. Because I am a dark skinned person, I have very specific lived experiences. In my work I wanted to be a form of representation, as well as showing what I see in my environment. I want to empower and uplift women, and all people of colour, showing what is beautiful and unique about us. This sense of representation was always important in my work. Incorporating positive warm colours helps with my message, these colours are complementary and vivid, but also very calming. I want to bring that vibrancy through. I focus on keeping the style as minimal as possible, while at the same time wanting everyone to be able to identify on every level. 

3. How do you interpret joy through your work? 

In my work, I interpret joy by having that representation come through and just trying to be inclusive of everyone. I actually do not think I only target black women, I focus on all people of color. Making everyone feel seen, heard and celebrated is what I focus on. So basically, I try to resemble joy in my work through flow – a serene energy – not something rigid or too hard. The colour palette in my work is usually full of brightness and then warmness. I feel this communicates joy, and which compliments the overall serene energy. I use a lot of your pastel, your warm tones, making it a bit funky. It is a ‘feel good’ feeling I go for, which is why I like to take time with the designs. 

4. What inspired the work for this ‘Together We Joy’ campaign

So I wanted to take it a bit further, and started to think about when I am most my happiest. I immediately think of when I am with my girls, I am in my element. This work was inspired by this feeling of enjoyment with friends, enjoying each other’s time, but also celebrating ourselves. I like to think that this work also highlights women in luxury, you know. I can think of a scene, for example, telling a story of a woman on vacation in France sipping on some Aperol spritz, with the hat and everything. She’s enjoying December time, after a long year, enjoying chilled vibes and chatting away with her friends. 

5. What does art mean to you, and would you say art makes you feel joy? 

I mean, art allows me to express myself. I feel my most self when I am creating. It is more or less like an expression of who you are, you know. When I have had a really tough day, or whatever the case may be, making something creative takes me out of that stress-filled feeling. So it is just like an extension of who I am. Art allows me to express myself, as well as allowing me to express what I am inspired by. Art is also just very challenging. But it is a good challenge, because then it allows me to not be hard on myself. I become more present, allowing for a level of empathy in the things that I create. 

The limited-edition silk scarves are available for purchase at Creator’s Depot at R450 each. 

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Between 10 and 5