I was born and raised on the Cape Flats suburb of Heideveld as a kid and true to the typical artist’s cliche, I was never found without a crayon, paintbrush or pencil in hand scribbling, doodling and painting for hours at a time.
My love affair with comic books was kick-started at a young age by my gran who used to buy me stacks of comic books whenever I was sick and I fondly remember sitting crossed-legged on the bed with a mountain of comic books spread around me in a circle as I greedily devoured every single panel whilst donning my Spiderman pyjamas. I especially loved the old-school horror comics from Gold Key comics even though they weren’t meant for kids…but hey, I turned out alright…I think.
I never had any formal art training as a kid and I was mostly self-taught until studying graphic design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, where I completed my National Diploma in graphic design and later my Btech qualification. I am currently working as a graphic designer but illustration is first and foremost my passion, so I continue doing what I love by learning as much as I can in order to improve what I do. My medium of choice at the moment is digital painting in Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter, which helps me to quickly put what I see down onto a digital canvas and I especially love the freedom painting digitally gives me. I’m also a keen dabbler in 3D modeling and enjoy working in a program called Zbrush.
While I’ve always loved comics, it wasn’t until late last year, after being invited to contribute to the Velocity Graphic Novel Anthology, a collaboration between South African and Australian illustrators and writers, that I tried my hand at creating sequential art in a short story written by Moray Rhoda called Requiem. This experience has forced me to work outside of my comfort zone but I have really learnt a great deal and have an even greater respect for all the talented illustrators and comic book artists out there as I now know first hand how much work goes into making comics. The exposure Velocity has given me has also led to an invitation to contribute art to the Australian horror comic anthology called Decay as well as exhibiting my art as part of Co-Mix 2011 (Comic and Mixed Media exhibition) at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.
Besides my love for comic books, I am a big movie, animation, undergroung Hip Hop and gaming fan so I have a keen interest in concept art and I am pretty excited to have been asked to contribute concept art for an upcoming video game and a movie project so I have my hands full running my fledgling studio called BlkOps Creative.
My artistic influences are too many too mention but off the top of my head I love concept artists – Micheal Kutsche, Daniel Dociu, Craig Mullins, Ryan Church, Stanley Lau and illustrators – Ben Templesmith, Ashley Woods and Dave McKean.
Requiem – a short story written by Moray Rhoda featured in the Velocity Graphic Novel Anthology – July 2011
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