I am pretty sure there will be people mad at me for grouping digital with graphic illustrators here. Please let me know your views on this (be polite!)
But to the general public (that’s me!) what I see when I look at all these artists’ work is Africa’s equivalent to my all time favourite animation studio – Ghibli. And I think more people should appreciate the imagination and artistry that goes into creating all of these characters and alternate universes.
I just know there are more fantastic illustrators in Africa – send me your own tips so that I can turn this 3 into a Big 5.
1 NomesDee, Zambia
I love the surreal romantic pastel shades of Naomi Doras’ African-futuristic work. She addresses ideas of romance, female sexuality and feminism in her work – challenging African societal norms.
(Image from NomesDee Facebook page)
2 Loyiso Mkize, South Africa
The young South African artist Loyiso Mkize seems to me to be some kind of force of nature. I love his hyper-real portraits in traditional oil on canvas but it is his graphic bildungsroman comic Kwezi that is creating a storm. The superhero Kwezi, a narcissistic young man, learns that along with his great new-found superpower comes great responsibility.
3 Terence ‘Tako’ Maluleke, South Africa
Another South African artist, Tako created his own “big 5” series. These were images of powerful African woman standing with the Big 5 animals. He draws inspiration from the world of fashion as well as classic animated films such as Toy Story. Tako is also working on a top secret comic book project – so watch this space.