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 eight illustrators have been chosen to participate in the design competition, and have each been rewarded a R1,000 vida app voucher for their submitted designs.
As part of the competition, the top 8 will be entered in a voting poll on our Instagram story, where our audience and community of artists and art lovers will be given the chance to vote for their favourite design. From this Instagram voting poll and a judging session held based on the results we receive, three artists will be selected as the winning artists who will have their artworks produced on the bamboo cups and receive a cash prize of R5,000.
vida 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 top 8 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. The illustrators who were chosen to depict this concept include Amy-Leigh Braaf, Ruramai Musekiwa, Zama Makhoba, Mangaliso Afrika Nomvungu, Carli Badenhorst, Agrippa Mncedisi Hlophe, Hannah Smith, and Simphiwe Mangole.
Braaf is a Joburg-based illustrator, UX designer and photographer who describes her style as “vivid, story-telling, inventive, surreal, magic realism, captivating, cinematic, pop art, and proudly South African.”
“I am heavily inspired by surrealism and the idea of exploring the world with fresh eyes as if it’s the first time you’re seeing things (every time). My biggest inspiration for this design was Johannesburg and Cape Town – the two cities I’ve lived in for years at a time. Both have dynamic nature and create a sense of ambition and creativity,” Braaf explained.
Ruramai Musekiwa’s contemporary and Afrocentric style of work landed her a spot in the top 8 of vida’s Bamboo Cup Design Competition. Musekiwa’s biggest inspiration for her designs is the cosmopolitan energy of the inner city – the busyness of daily life.
When asked about what winning the vida illustrators’ competition would mean to her, Musekiwa shared: “I have always wanted to see my artwork live in everyday spaces – in varying shapes and forms. I love the idea of people interacting with art in moments that are a part daily life / routine. Coffee breaks are great for reflection and contemplation; I think engaging with an illustrated artwork as you sip on your favourite beverage enhances that experience.”
“I feel that what makes my style unique is the simplicity and contemporary feel i bring to it while bringing out the local african feel through the colours, shapes and patterns. The main inspiration for my design is people, without people there is no culture. I was focusing on how in the core or everything we do in our everyday lives we are blended at the centre of it all, us the people of Africa,” says junior graphic designer, Zamajoko Makhoba.
Makhoba shares that winning the competition will help her build more confidence as a young creative and will give her the push to learn, grow and create greater, and more inspiring work.
Mangaliso Afrika Nomvungu, also known as Afrique Designs, is an Eastern Cape-born graphic designer and illustrator largely influenced by hip hop culture, and translates this into his work through the use of vibrant colours – which has become his signature.
“Winning this competition will make a huge impact in my career because I will get some exposure and more people are going to want to do business with me, and in this pandemic I can really use R5K winning price,” he adds.
Badenhorst is a graphic designer specialising in branding and packaging who describes her work as minimalistic, modern and bold.
“Since I am a Graphic Designer (specialising in branding and packaging) – I try to experiment with different styles to fit each brand/client. With that said, I can describe my overall style as a combination of clean and modern, but also fun, bold and quirky. For this design [design submitted for the competition], I was inspired by vida’s pattern design (used on their current bamboo cups) to use basic geometric shapes in combination with lines and patterns to create an energetic outdoor scene of people on the go in a pattern-like grid.”
She shares that if she wins, it will be an honour to be associated with brands like vida e caffè, Discovery and Between 10and5. “To have the opportunity to be exposed to a broader audience can possibly open up exciting doors in the future. And also, to be honest – because I love coffee (probably more of an addiction) – it will be epic to drink out of a cup that I designed!”
Hannah Smith is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator, visual artist, creative problem solver and storyteller. She creates colourful, fun and playful work that often links back to nature or people. Smith’s illustration style aims to embody our people and culture through the South African ‘visual language’ of shapes and patterns. “I was influenced by the vast range of creative, cultural and physical differences of people in our country to create a soulful four-colour representation of what it means to be an active, healthy South African.”
She shares that winning the competition will give her an opportunity to network, support and work with other South African illustrators who also entered the competition, as well as the potential of collaborating with them in future.
“[ I would feel] honoured and proud to have my illustration printed on a bamboo cup as it reinforces my love for the environment (and for people) through the projects and brands I choose to work on and with,” she added.
Mangole’s art style is a bold, colourful and energetic approach to digital illustration. He makes use of strong angular outlines along with textures and dynamic patterning to add real-life characteristics to digital illustrations. His work aims to uplift people and solve design problems while maintaining an authentic African aesthetic.
Mangole believes the experiences he has as an African contribute to making his style of work unique. “I always strive to create work that is people-centred and a true reflection of South African culture,” he explains.
Agrippa is a Durban-based visual communicator who specialises in design, illustration and pattern design. For his detailed illustrations and designs, he draws inspiration from South African culture and design trends in the country. He includes music, street culture and ‘everyday life in the city’ as additional inspiration.
Now part of vida’s illustrator competition, he shares that winning will give him a good amount of exposure in the design world and will strengthen his portfolio.
Stay tuned to our Instagram to take part in the poll. Keep a lookout on our website and social media, as well as vida’s website and Instagram to find out the three best designs selected to be printed onto the reusable bamboo cups.