In the pursuit of excellence with Lungile Mbokane
Award-winning graphic designer Lungile Mbokane’s eclectic style is the sign of a mind that is curious, exploring different techniques to show the many facets of his talent. A proud representant of the Johannesburg art scene, he shares with us his journey as an artist.
Your style is very eclectic. What inspires you to move from one series or technique to the next?
I do it first because I can and also because I want to learn and know more about how different techniques work to create different aesthetics.
How did you start as a graphic designer? Did you always know that you would pursue art and design as a career?
Growing up, I always had the ability to be creative though I didn't know where I was going to channel my creativity and ability. I explored design and drawing as hobby until I found out that there is a profession known as Graphic Designer!
You’ve received a few distinctions for your work: you were a Taxi Award finalist in 2016 and 2017, and also a Design Indaba creative in 2017, among other things. How did these awards come about and what has been their impact on your work/art?
These awards came about when I started exhibiting my work and working with galleries and curators. They’ve opened doors for me and led me to places in which my art can grow and be exposed more. They’ve helped me up my skills and increase the quality of my work by putting me in healthy competition with other talented artists
You’re very proud of your culture. Do you think there is a South-African aesthetic when it comes to illustration and graphic design?
I think the culture, music and lifestyle lived in South Africa automatically influences individuals to voice out what is happening around them and what they grew up seeing. For example, an artist from Johannesburg is influenced by the city lights and the diversity of individuals found in the city, therefore their work will tend to have those vibrant colors. Whereas an artist from Cape Town will have that graffiti look and feel. But overall both types of artists manage to put out something that says it is proudly South African.
What’s the art/design scene like in Johannesburg?
It is forever evolving and interesting for me because I constantly see new talent emerging and everyone is coming up with something fresh and new. There are always new artists that are making their mark in the city and we keep each other inspired, with lots of collaborations between artists happening.
What would you like people to feel when they look at your art?
I’d like them to feel joy. Joy because they are seeing something unique. I want people to ask themselves questions such as: How did he do that? How many techniques can he do? Who is he? Where is he from? I’d like people to try and find out more about my work and my journey as an artist.