The Complex Allure of Inspiration and Afro-Surrealism with Artist Rabatho Laka

“I am inspired by storytelling as a whole. For me, art is the fire at the camp where we all gather around and interact with each other under one common narrative. I am passionate about creating what you would like to see in the world. We all wish that something existed that would make the world a better place, making more of that is what drives me.” this is one of the very first things you will read about Rabatho Laka. 

Rabatho is a storyteller dedicated to forming connections with people by creating art that captures his audience’s imagination. His work creates a new afro-surrealist reality that beautifully captures the modern black identity and opens a world of possibilities that filter through and are relatable to what we have in common within the real world. Using real people, he draws his audience in using their curiosity as his greatest asset.

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“connect the complex allure of everyday life with the simplicity of a semi-realistic aesthetic.”

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We got to speak to the multi-talented Digital Art Director, Creative Consultant, and Visual Artist about his journey, life, and process, this is what he had to say. 

Tell us more about who you are as an artist. 

I am an artist who loves to tell a story by making illustrations that are often amusing. I enjoy enticing a sense of commonality and relatability into my work that we may share as individuals.

How did you conceptualise your current style? What inspired it? 

My current art style is inspired by 2D illustration and minimalistic ideals that connect the complex allure of everyday life with the simplicity of a semi-realistic aesthetic.

I enjoy making use of line, flat shapes and colours as building blocks that lay the foundation of my pieces.

The shapes that I use are often geometric circles and organic formations that allow me to be expressive and depict abstract elements in the settings I create.

What are your main thematic preoccupations? 

I often embrace modern black identity and afro-surrealism (which is focused on what is happening in culture right now) while staying deeply rooted to the history of blackness.

What message are you trying to convey?

I believe in forming a connection with people by making art that captures the essence of individualism. I like to convey a message that there is much more to the world than what meets the eye. Think beyond the conventional rules of what we have been taught to accept and suddenly you will not rely on just your eyes to see.

How would you introduce your body of work?

My pieces are a reflection of a boundless world — where the creative freedom to express oneself encourages the need to be bold, colourful and intentional. It represents a personified sense of enthusiasm to inspire others.

My work tells the story of a world of possibilities through the harmony of self-love and appreciation.

What do you hope audiences will take away from your work? 

I want people to feel engaged about topics that represent their ideals while simultaneously challenging their own perceptions in the interest of encouraging new thought.

How do you hope your voice will change the local arts landscape? What impact do you want to have? 

I hope I can use my journey to continue to inspire others to express themselves and to use my platform as a voice to connect to other creators, brands and the community.

I would like to inspire others to be the difference and to live out their ambitions in 4k.

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connection with people by making art that captures the essence of individualism

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Whose work has influenced and inspired you?

Locally, I am inspired by artists such as Yay Abe, Lady Skollie & Nelson Makamo (to name a few). They are always open-minded and abstract in their approach.

I am also inspired by creatives and individuals outside of my craft who have a passion to live out their desires and dare to dream.

Where do you go from here? / What can we look forward to? 

I am currently focused on building my brand and I am working towards showcasing my work more in new spaces and to wider audiences. 

I look forward to telling more stories in interesting ways and collaborating on platforms where we can create something new and solve problems using creativity.

Follow your new favourite artist below:

Instagram: rabatholaka

Facebook: rabatholaka

Twitter: rabatholaka

Portfolio: behance.net/rabatholaka

Website: rabatholaka.com



Between 10 and 5