Focus on Ndumiso Nyoni | Graphic Designer | Creative CornerVonani Ngomana
About Ndumiso Nyoni
The African narrative told by an African is a pertinent duty the award-winning illustrator and motion designer, Ndumiso Nyoni, took upon himself. Hailing from Zimbabwe and currently based in Johannesburg, Nyoni creates unique illustrations inspired by Africa and her people. It is his fusion of geometric shapes, traditional African themes, contemporary youth culture, and vibrant colors that offer an awe-inspiring rendition of Africa. We had a chat with Nyoni about his artwork and the inspiration behind it.
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
I’ve always loved drawing. I was part of an after-school art club and I even entered and won competitions in primary school, but I never thought I could make a living off art. Fortunately, my older brother is also an illustrator. He believed in my talent and convinced me to pursue it further.
What tools or apps do you use for your designs?
What hardware are you running these apps on?
I have a Gigabyte Aero 15x, which is great for the heavier work I do in After Effects and gaming when I need to take a break. I also swap between using a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet and a Logitech MX Master mouse.
How is your process of creating your artwork, do you have a routine?
I do a lot of research and thinking first. Someone once told me that good art is 80% preparation and 20% execution. So, I always try to approach each project this way.
Who in the creative industry would you like to work with?
I would really love to collaborate with Esther Mahlangu. As a Ndebele artist, I’m really inspired by what she has been able to do by being true to herself and her culture.
What has been your proudest moment as an artist?
Completing a children’s book for Book Dash is always such a humbling and proud feeling. I’ve completed 3 and the feeling is always great. It’s amazing to be able to be a part of a voluntary project that helps with children’s literacy and self-love and acceptance among African children.
Would you define your art as artistic activism?
To a certain extent, yes. We still have a long way to go regarding diversity in the creative space. With each artwork, I feel like I’m helping breakdown the walls that keep people of color out of that space. I’m also passionate about celebrating Africa and showing it in the same vibrant and colorful way we see it as Africans.
I understand that you get inspiration from different sources. How have the current social/political climate and world events inspired you?
As I mentioned before, my work has always tried to advocate for the beauty of African people and culture and I think it’s something I’ll keep pushing towards because there is just so much beauty and resilience on our Continent.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Although it was a while back, being chosen to be part of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives program was a huge step for me. It came at a time when I doubted my abilities as an artist. Getting that acknowledgment was a turning point in my career and I’ve never looked back since.
Ndumiso Nyoni continues to use his unique style of illustration and fusing African themes with contemporary youth culture and trends to explore and represent African women through art, and indelibly showcasing the notions of feminity, beauty, race, power and tradition. You can follow his work on the handles below.