If you don’t know this about me by now, I LOVE finding South African artists and discovering new styles of art. There is nothing more special to me than receiving personalised gifts, and really seeing the time, effort, and love in the choice of spoiling.
Katy-Jane has such a unique style of art that is full of soft colours, happy memories, and absolute inner beauty. Her art evokes such joy whenever I see a new piece, and I often see that these are used to capture very special moments. I am thrilled to bring you an interview with this talented #GirlBoss below.
Tell me a bit more about yourself: Currently I’m in the process of building my own sustainable Fashion Label. Sustainability within the fashion industry sits extremely close to my heart and if I can make a slight difference to our ever so growing world; why not? Local is lekker.
I have two years experience working as a Freelance Fashion Designer/Creator in Cape Town. I’ve done work for brands such as Woolworths and Markhams, creating CAD’s, Techpacks and Prints. I’ve also done my fair share of Internships… Truworths, Crystal Birch and Aisha Baker.
At present, I am a short course Digital Design Lecturer at Design Academy of Fashion. Teaching to both part-time students and industry workers. I help people fall in love with the digital fashion world. Before venturing into the design world I spent four years of my life in the hospitality industry, owning and managing my own coffee shop, Blonde&Beard.
I have a love for people, I have a love for serving people and a huge soft spot for coffee.
Have you always been artistic: YES – I grew up in a very creative and artistic household. My Mom and Sister inspire me daily – I actually send through every illustration to Mom to get her approval before sending off to it’s new home (she’s my bestie and biggest inspiration).
How would you describe your style of art: Quirky and unique? I guess I find describing my art very difficult, I’m not someone to boast 😉
What makes your art different to others: The amount of love that I pour into each illustration, this is my magical remedy 💛
How can people place an order with you: Placing an order is super easy and user friendly; one could just hop onto my Facebook or Instagram page and pop me a message OR they can also mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What emotion do you hope people feel when they see your creations: HAPPINESS | I strive to portray happiness and emotion throughout all my illustrations.
Which is your personal favourite piece of art that you have done: A personal favourite of mine is pretty much anything animal / pet related. I LOVE drawing up Pet Portraits – who doesn’t love staring at a cheerful doggy or beautiful kitty all day? There’s an innocence about them that tends to bring me peace & calmness.
How did lockdown affect your business: Lockdown actually enabled me to start my illustration business so I’d 100% give lockdown a thumbs up from my side.
Why do you encourage people to support local: I think by supporting local you are supporting your country or better yet even your home town; there’s just something so special about this. To me it brings a community together, makes us stronger as a ‘whole’ and allows small businesses to grow and get the recognition they deserve!
Quote you live by: “So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring your flowers.”
Anything else you want to add: I’m a HUGE coffee Lover!
Are you not completely and utterly obsessed over this art? I am crushing hard on her artwork, and absolutely loved chatting to Katy-Jane. You can feel her positivity and happiness bubbling out of every pore, and she was an absolute joy to get to know.
I’m definitely going to be placing an order for a piece of work for our home soon. An anniversary gift, wedding present, birthday surprise, or something to celebrate a special occasion – it would suit any of these. Please tag me in your pic if you get one done! I would love to see how they turn out.
I am part of groups of inspirational women on Facebook, and I have learnt so much from each of them. I have learnt business hints and tips, social media hacks, and most of all I have seen a community of women who don’t really know one another band together and show their support throughout lockdown.
Recently there was a positive post on one of these groups from a lady called Sarah, who said that lockdown has reminded her of her true passion – creating and making art. Isn’t that wonderful? It’s it great to hear that something so positive could come out of a time that was filled with uncertainty and so much negativity?
I popped over to Sarah’s website and couldn’t believe her talent, as well as everything that she has achieved and been involved in. Jeepers – if there is ever a #BossBabe that I want to learn from, it’s Sarah. She has so many accolades under her belt, and is very well-known, yet she was gracious enough to spend time answering questions for my little blog. SO without further ado, meet Sarah…
Tell me a bit more about yourself: I’m a graphic designer and art director based in Cape Town. I spent about 6 years working in various agencies in the advertising industry, after realising that I no longer got up in the mornings excited for work I realised that I needed to make a change. So I resigned from my 9-5, went back to study for a year and in 2019 I decided to take a stab at freelancing full-time. The beginning was tough, filled with some tears, stress and anxiety about how I was going to pay the bills. But I persevered and always tried to be positive. Then everything changed for me when one person picked up the phone and gave me an opportunity that I’d been dreaming of since I started in this industry. 2019 was one of the best years of my life career wise and I have been so fortunate to work on some amazing campaigns that have taken me to Madrid, Nice and more recently Tokyo.
My art and illustration has always been a passion and love of mine and mostly something that I’ve done on the side. My Instagram handle started off as being a collection of little doodles that I doodled here and there documenting my insights into real-life in an honest and light-hearted way. Now seeing as how my business has been affected by the current times I’m looking and hoping to grow this passion of illustration and art into something more tangible.
The name of my business pays homage to my dog Meeka, who I rescued as a puppy from Woodstock in 2008 and shortly after became my creative muse. We aren’t quite sure what she is, but she’s white, fluffy and kinda looks like a poodle although my father is convinced that she’s a Coton de Tulear, which is basically a fancy name for a poodle.
Why does art and creativity make you so happy: It is the one place that I feel that I can totally be free. It brings me so much joy to create and share with others. Looking back it has always been a form of therapy for me. As a child I was always drawing and creating, I kept detailed visual diaries and in them I would document my world, thoughts and experiences. This has always been my way of dealing and processing things that I sometimes find difficult to verbalise.
How would you describe your style of art:
I struggle to describe the style of my work in words as for me it’s much more about emoting a feeling.
I don’t feel attached to a certain style but I would say that it’s more expressive and emotive. I’m still exploring different mediums and don’t want to be put into a specific category. Sometimes my work is playful, loose and light other times it’s more considered and crafted with layers and textures.
I work mainly digitally but for my hand initiated work I use a mixture of pencil, gouache and watercolour.
Has lockdown affected you personally and as a business: Oh gosh yes! I feel like B.C (before COVID) I was on a roll and feeling good about how my career was progressing. I had some amazing work lined up and I was so excited about it. Then BOOM… A lot of it ‘disappeared’ or was ‘put on hold’ in a flash. Some smaller jobs have trickled in here and there which have been keeping me going and distracted. But overall things have been a lot quieter than usual for me. In the beginning I was really down about it but I looked for the positive in the situation and tried to be pro-active with all the ‘down-time’ I now have. I turned back to my first love of creation which has always been drawing and painting. I started doing Illustration tutorials on Domestika and really stretching my imagination and reflecting on things that were happening around me. My work during this time has been helping me reflect, understand and be at peace with what is happening inside and out.
The positive of this crappy situation is that it’s made me realise how much I have missed and have neglected this part of creative heart. I’ve always wanted to be an illustrator (but have always been held back by self-doubt) maybe now is the time to really give it a go.
Do you do custom pieces: Yes! I’m always open to commissions and would love to create more work, specifically for others – whether that be a piece for your own walls, a gift for someone else or an editorial piece for a magazine.
What emotion do you want to evoke through your art: I guess in my personal work I like to explore themes of femininity, vulnerability, self-acceptance, caring and the inner-peace and tranquillity that comes when we stop and observe things around us. I’ve always been drawn to capturing portraits and the physical body as these are things that we associate with our own identity and something that I’ve personally struggled with.
My aim with my more playful work is to always bring some sort of joy to others, to make someone’s heart do a little jiggle. I hope that my more reflective work resonates with people on a more deeper, emotive level and helps others to process and accept similar experiences. I always want to have a sense of honesty about my work that is relatable to all.
What is one of your favourite pieces you have created:
Oh, that’s a tough one.. it would have to be The Girl & The Whale. I feel this piece really special to me because it was created in a time in my life where I felt so at peace and at ease with myself and the world around me.
How can people order a piece from you, or contact you to work with you:
Either through e-mail or my social media handles – Instagram/Facebook
What is your favourite part of the day: Jumping into bed at the end of a long day.
Quote you live by:
“One day at a time.”
Anything else you want to add:
If you’d like to see more of my art work, illustration and personal doodles please go check out my website and follow my Instagram. I do have some pieces available as well as prints, so if there’s something that you’d like please don’t hesitate to enquire about it.
Isn’t Sarah wonderful?
Please, if you are looking to work with her give her a shout – or let others know about her stunning work by sharing her page or pieces of art that truly speak to you.
Her doodles make me giggle so much, and the “Love Yourself” art is something that I think we could all learn from. Do you have a favourite? Let me know below.
And Sarah, thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for your love, passion, excitement and kindness – you are one in a million and I am so glad to have “met” you during one of the most difficult times the world is experiencing.
I love beautiful art. I love pictures that make you think, pictures that you can spend hours looking at, and images that evoke emotions in you that you may not have been experiencing initially. I love hand-drawn art, that you can see the skill and time put into it. But most of all I love seeing people’s creativity coming through in their own special way.
I was drawn to Ilse through her yoga mats initially, and then I discovered there was so much more than “just” these mats. I saw her posts about her art special she is currently running (believe me, you will want to check these out), and I got totally sucked into her website and the wide array of art that she offers. I felt like I had walked through a portal into a whole new world, and that night I even dreamt about some of the pieces I had seen. That’s when I knew I needed to reach out to Ilse and find out more about NovaWoolf, and get to know the creator.
Tell me a bit more about Nova Woolf:
NovaWoolf is the result of the creative and idealistic part of myself merging with the pragmatic, strategic part. It’s my sacred space to dream and to do, and to share it all with you. It started as only an Instagram page, where I could post my drawings and thoughts. This quickly grew into my own creative studio where I had been offering my design & illustrations services, selling my artwork, and I’ve participated in art exhibitions, locally and internationally. A lot has happened very quickly in the last couple of years and my business is constantly evolving. One day, I was looking for a fresh canvas for my artwork & posted a mockup of one of my paintings called “MoonMagic” onto a yoga mat! It made so much sense, since I practice yoga and my choices for yoga mats at the time were essentially limited to pink plastic or purple plastic!! I really wanted to create something magical that is kind to our bodies and to our planet – something I would actually use every day. The yoga mat mockup post received an overwhelming response, so it only made sense that I pursue this further & create my own conscious luxury yoga lifestyle brand. There are so many things in the pipeline for NovaWoolf Art and NovaWoolf Yoga & I’m beyond excited to see where this all goes!!
I see you have stunning yoga mats – please tell me about them: NovaWoolf yoga mats (and soon-to-be released yoga props!!!) reflect an equal measure of scientific engineering, and thoughtfully curated art, to create a magical product that will become a treasured part of your yoga story. I believe this type of integration between body & mind, emotional value & physical performance, ecological consciousness & personal satisfaction are key to living a balanced, healthy, abundant life. I believe in quality over quantity, consciously curating your life and only owning items that add value to your life.
Our products are truly exceptional! Each NovaWoolf yoga mat is created from hand-painted designs, and all our mats are extra-large and extra thick to support all bodies and to cushion the joints. They are also biodegradable, vegan, and made from natural and recycled materials. They are free from PVC and toxins often found in other yoga mats and are created to be kind to your body and our precious planet.
Our yoga mats are specially engineered and meticulously tested to offer you only the best-quality and performance features, to ensure that you are fully supported during any style of yoga practice and in any environment.
We are very excited that we will soon be releasing an extended range of yoga props (cork blocks and straps) and you are the first to know!! 😀 And there will be loads more to come in the future! We have a very long list of dreams, to say the least.
Why are your products so different to others:
NovaWoolf is not just another lifestyle, or fitness brand. It is borne from the values characteristic of an atelier. Each product is created with the utmost care and conscious intention to add magic and beauty to the world. Each product is thoughtfully created, meticulously tested, refined, refined some more, and then lovingly handed over to the wonderful community we have come to love and authentically connect with. We do not simply aim to ‘sell’, but to share our story with the world. I still cannot get over how incredibly wonderful it is that something I painted one late night while processing my thoughts in the privacy of my home and listening to my favourite artists in the background, can end up on a product that someone else, someone anywhere on the planet, uses every day! This to me is extremely special and is one of the main motivations that lies behind everything I do, and now that NovaWoolf as a company does. The other primary motivation that keeps us centred on creating what we do, is that the world is in desperate need of more light, more beauty, more conscious creators, more kindness in every way possible. We are simply doing our part to create the world that we would like to live in : one where humans live in harmony with nature, practice compassion and non-violence to all creatures, where connection is more important than competition, and where holistic wellness and balance are prioritised.
What would you call the style of art that you do:
I suppose my visual style is a bit ambiguous. It has oscillated between contemporary minimalist illustrations with a monochromatic colour palette, vs. colourful, layered, more abstract expressive, ink and watercolour works. The overarching, or connecting, qualities of my work is usually expressive, loopy lines, and emotive subject matter that explores themes of healing, growth, transformation, and integration.
I suppose it’s worth mentioning that I studied design at Vega and went on to work as an art director, then strategist, designer / illustrator, stylist… you name it, I’ve done it! My design background has been hugely influential, since I was always comfortable working digitally. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve started returning to my traditional art supplies. I’ve fallen in love with painting again and as a result I will be very hesitant to return to digital illustrations in the future, as I have been doing previously. I also studied psychology and completed my MA in social & psychological research, so this theoretical background, combined with my own lived experience, is the reason behind my emotive subject matter.
Moving forward, my monochromatic illustrations are something of the past as I am focusing now more on colour, traditional media, saying my goodbyes to thinking in black and white, and embracing a much more intuitive, richer, more joyously complex, divinely connected, layered and joyful existence 🙂
What inspires you to create these:
My art is just an expression of whatever it is that is moving through me. I know that sounds extremely contrived, but it’s the only way I can authentically describe it. It used to be quite an intensely anxious, heavy experience, but it has recently become a much more enjoyable and light, yet much more complex, experience. So, to answer your question – it all comes from within myself, or through myself, I’m not even 100% sure… It’s an almost mystical process for me – I generally don’t plan ahead too much and I create intuitively and almost while in a bit of a trance. Generally, I set up my favourite music, create a comfy safe space, and just kind of see what needs to be expressed.
What Emotions do you want these art pieces to evoke in people:
I can’t say that I have an agenda or an expectation of the outcome, of how other people receive or perceive anything I do, to be honest. I create what I want /need to, I share it freely, and I’m super grateful that others seem to find value in it.
Have you always been creative:
Yeah, as a child I did a lot of competitive dancing, singing, poetry performances, I played piano, guitar for a little while as well, and just basically participated in any creative pursuits I could at school. I was never really much into sports, although I did play netball and hockey – not particularly well, but I did it hehe. Thank goodness I’ve found yoga, hiking, and more recently, rock climbing, as an adult! Then of course pursuing creative studies at Vega and working in the creative world has also been a huge part of my life. I’ve kind of come full circle after pursuing psychological research as well, as I now lecture research to creative students at Vega , where I started 🙂 I love that I have finally found a way to balance my creative side with my scientific, strategic side and that I’m able to finally satisfy all the different parts of myself – by being an artist /designer, researcher and lecturer, and business owner & director! I always knew a 9-5 was not going to do it for me, so I’ve had to create my own path and I’m finally starting to see the fruits of all the struggle, self-doubt, feelings of misdirection, and isolation. This is what I think conscious, intentional, creative living is all about.
Do you do custom pieces:
Absolutely! I’ve done many commissions for clients locally, and globally.
How can people order from you:
Either via my online store, or by getting in touch via email, or simply via social media messaging.
How has this lockdown affected your business:
Gosh – it’s been terrible, but then its been ok again. Naturally, not being able to trade at all for so many weeks in lockdown has had a major impact financially. However, the silver lining is that now, more than ever, South Africans are finally awakening to E-commerce, after quite a slow uptake in previous years. I’m extremely grateful that E-commerce has been given the green light again and that we are back in business!
Why do you encourage people to support local:
So many reasons! The preservation of local businesses support the preservation of communities and causes; it ensures that macro-scale policies support the communities most affected by them; it ensures the recycling of revenue back into the local economy instead of flighting profits from local pockets abroad to support external structures; it also supports more job creation and improved protection of individual livelihoods and wellbeing; and it supports sustainable living as local businesses are more invested in living in harmony with the resources in their immediate environment that they depend on.
Beyond all this – its true that when you purchase from a small local business, someone does a little happy dance! At NovaWoolf, that someone is me & I 1000% make sure those dances actually happen!
Quote you live by:
Oh gosh, there are SO many. If I absolutely had to choose one, it would be this:
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
It always reminds me that magic happens when you can successfully balance creativity with strategy, planning with letting go, light with dark, yin with yang, art with science. The ancient teachings of yoga, and the science of contemporary psychology both echo this idea of integration and wholeness, rather than the way of individuation, separation and disconnection we have been immersed in in the modern world.
Isn’t Ilse an absolute treat? And doesn’t her art speak to your very essence? I am SO glad that I stumbled across more of her talent, and could definitely picture a whole wall in our house being adorned with different pieces from her.
And let’s take a moment to appreciate her yoga mats… Imagine the talking point they would be? And being able to practice yoga in your backyard and truly feel connected to the earth with a beautiful mat at your feet. Now THAT would get me out and doing it more often.
Please continue to support local wherever possible. And pop over to Ilse’s social media pages to see more of what she has been up to.
When these pictures popped up on my Facebook timeline, I was immediately attracted to them. I loved her style, & thought this was such a beautiful idea for Christmas gifts. You could sense the emotion behind the illustration & it just immediately made me smile.
I reached out to Nicci straight away & asked if we could have a little chat & I could show all of you her beautiful work.
Christmas is coming soon, & I always think that something personalised is the best kind of gift there is – it is unlike anything else that person will receive & it shows the thought & love that has gone into it.
Tell me a bit more about what you do: I am an illustrator specialising in children’s book illustration. I also love doing character illustrations, surface pattern design, educational illustration and I have just started giving illustration workshops.
Have you always enjoyed art: I grew up in a small mining town and always escaped into my imagination so I started drawing in Primary school and at the age of 12 I started taking art classes and the art grew from there.
How is your style unique to others: I draw everything by hand and then scan my images in and usually colour them in digitally, so I find the hand-drawn element creates it’s own unique feel just as a signature would. I then use my wacom to colour in my images in Illustrator and Photoshop. I think my style is a bit quirky, colourful and hopefully expressive so I try and capture what my content is thinking. I also love adding texture to my drawings.
Do you do custom orders: All my orders are custom but I also do small orders. It’s always fun to do character portraits which make great gifts from a pet portrait to a family portraits.
How can people place an order with you: They can email me (email@example.com), it’s always lovely to hear people’s ideas and create something truly special.
I see you have also done a few books – where can people buy these from: I am currently busy with two books, the one is a book for Penguin which will be out later this year.
I have illustrated 7 books and have done many other educational books and covers. Some of them are out of print already but you can find these books here:
Why are you so passionate about what you do: I think illustrating is a bit like magic because you are taking an idea in your mind and turning it into something you can see, it’s a conversation and like visual candy. It’s also like creating for your inner child.
Quote you live by: Creativity takes courage – Henri Matisse
Anything else you want to add: I believe that everyone has creativity in them, it just manifests in different ways and is a language that needs to be spoken.
Don’t you adore these illustrations? And don’t they leave you with the biggest smile ever?
Hmmm… Methinks it’s time for an updated pic of husband & myself to add to our collection!
When it comes to art, there are so many different, unique styles & whenever I seem to think I have discovered that which I love the most I seem to discover another. Have you ever heard of “one line drawing”? It is as the name says, & coming across Olive & Arrow introduced me to this gorgeous way of capturing moments & I have fallen head over heels for her work!
I started following her on Instagram after she was mentioned in a post I saw, & couldn’t believe the emotion & how much detail she could capture through her one line drawings. Look at the pics above & below, & you can see what I mean!
This was taken from her website, & when I saw this I knew I had to reach out immediately. “One often comes across somebody with exceptional talent – but lacking professional and interpersonal skills. Or, one finds that likable personality – but without creativity and a sense of business ethics.”
Your name: Charise Steyn
Business name: Olive & Arrow Design, named after my daughter Olivia and son Hunter. Based in Hermanus, Overberg.
A bit more about what you do: I do a bit of everything, from logos to restaurant menus. I also do illustrations and my favourite – one line drawings. My one line drawings started out with me playing around and has grown into something I would love to do on a daily basis. I don’t see myself having a unique style of art, it all just comes naturally (from the heart) when it needs to. I also like playing around with different styles, so I never know what’ll be next.
When did I start: Olive & Arrow started slowly after my daughter was born and grew more and more after my son’s birth. Now its my third baby!
What did I do before this: What did I not do haha. Tried it all, art won!
Have you always been artistic: Yes, it’s in my blood. I’ve only now discovered that I can make a living from it.
Do you do custom pieces? Price range? My one line drawings are based on a photo you send me, but I’m always up for trying something new and different. One line drawings start from R900.
Favourite pieces to date: I don’t really have favourites, each piece is different. I am mostly proud of myself as I grow and get better and do things I haven’t done before.
Can people still order for Christmas: Yes, there is still a chance to place orders for Christmas.
How to place an order: To place an order just send me an email of your favourite photo(s) and I do the rest. It takes about a week to finish up the drawing, have it printed and then sent to its new home.
Why do you encourage people to support local: Supporting local really makes the owner do a little happy dance, it helps to build a dream and you really get a piece of the owners heart with each item you buy.
Quotes to live by: I’ve got two favourite quotes from Morgan Harper Nichols:
“Through all that bends and breaks, you are still wrapped in grace”
“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same, you have grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living. You are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.”
You’ve made me think why I adore these quotes…
you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. (this is just SO beautiful to me, constant reminder)
I think this sentence should just be my favourite quote, I’m making it a quote on its own.
Charise is currently busy with my pic – I sent her a few of my favourite photos of husband & me, & she is creating a surprise for me. I can’t wait to own a piece of this magic in my home & will always treasure this talent!
This is another one of my favourite pieces of her art, & probably the one that got me hooked into following her! We all know unicorns are my spirit animal & I love the freedom portrayed in this image.
Charise, thank you so much for your time & love. I am so glad we are in contact now, & thank you for sharing your skills with all of us! I truly hope that your gorgeous business will continue to thrive, & that I will see more of your art in some of my favourite places.
As I’m sure you know by now, I am trying to collect family portraits from different South African artists/illustrators & hope to one day have a whole feature wall with different interpretations of our lives. We may not be your usual family (what with our children being four-legged & furry), but we are a family nonetheless. And I hope that my discoveries will help you as well – perhaps you will find your ideal “style” & want to join me in a quest in getting all different pictures done!
I was browsing one of the Facebook community groups that I am part of, & saw SLDV Illustration recommended by a few people & knew I had to immediately jump on this. Sarah responded to my message so quickly, & was so friendly that I knew I had found a gem. Read on to find out more…
Tell me a bit more about what you do & your unique style of art: Together with my fabulous assistant Anastasia, we create personalised illustrations that represent our clients’ families and loved ones.
When did you start: I have been creating these illustrations for myself and friends for around two years, but only started offering them commercially in June this year.
What did you do before this: I have a photography and publishing studio. My publishing website is here and my photography website is here.
At Typostudio we do mostly PowerPoint presentations and documents for our corporate clients, but also venture into more traditional print products like brochures, magazines, etc.
In contrast, at SLDV Portrait our photography is aimed at giving the everyday older woman a make-over and magazine-style photoshoot experience, followed by archival products that can be passed down for generations. This is a high-end offering and quite different from the so-called “shoot and burn” typical South African model, where clients do a quick photoshoot and get a disk of digitals afterwards.
SLDV Illustration has been an extension of SLDV Portrait; I wanted to create an affordable and fun (but equally bespoke) product to compliment my more exclusive portraiture brand.
Have you always been artistic: I have always been creative, but didn’t explore this side of me until relatively recently. I originally qualified as a psychologist but didn’t enjoy the profession so slowly kept searching until I found my soul in art. Incidentally, I have just started a Facebook group for women who, like me, are finding a “second life” or profession after having children, and are re-evaluating what they want to do for a living. It’s called “DIY Branding for Moms” and women can join our group at this link. It’s a safe space for those of us who want to ask questions and learn and share about the amazing online tools available to create one’s own logo, corporate identity and website, etc. It’s also a space for like-minded women to support each other in this often intimidating journey of finding oneself again after dedicating years of our lives to raising toddlers.
Obviously it’s always going to be preferable to go to a professional graphic and web designer to create your brand, but many of us don’t have the funds and – in any case – would enjoy playing around with our ideas ourselves.
Do you do custom pieces, & what price range do these start from: All our work is bespoke. Before we start we send a questionnaire to the client in which s/he indicates which people and pets they would like to include in the illustration, as well as the general style or theme. We then provide a draft and the client can send through edits until they are happy.
It should be noted that we are not the original illustrators of these characters, we work with a Photoshop programme which allows set options to choose from. Once we’ve created the characters using the programme, we then create a “scene” according to the client brief which is 100% bespoke and created by us.
What have been some of your favourite pieces to date: We have created so many stunning illustrations for our clients that we can’t share as we respect their privacy. But I think my favourite so far is an organogram that Anastasia made for me of my family.
Can people still order from you for Christmas: Yes, absolutely. We are super busy creating orders at the moment so there may be a slight delay, however we will still add orders to the waiting list up to and including 30 November. We will then open and take orders again from Thursday the 3rd of January 2019.
How do people place an order with you: We don’t have a website, so clients can have a look at our Facebook page, which has a “Shop” section. They could send a Facebook message from there, or alternatively they should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anastasia will confirm the order and send through a brief questionnaire. Together with the completed questionnaire the client will then send us some photos of the people and pets that they would like to include.
Why do you encourage people to support local: I think there’s a wonderful sense of creativity and community in South Africa. Despite all its issues we do live in a stunning and vibrant country, with so much to offer.
But more than this – as a business owner I know how tough some days are and always do my best to support the women around me who, too, have found their joy in creating their own brands. I read a quote the other day that said when you buy from a small business there is someone doing a little ‘jig’. That really is true. Anastasia and I still get excited about every order that comes in.
Quote you live by:
I have so many quotes that I love, I have collected them since I was a teenager. But my favourite passage of all time is Love after Love, by Derek Walcott.
The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
This poem represents, for me, the woman who has dedicated a good decade or two of her life to raising children and prioritising their needs before her own. She now has more time again, and a renewed yearning to learn who she is and how she wants to spend the rest of her life. More importantly, it’s about loving and appreciating yourself again, despite wrinkles and shortcomings and the detours that life throws at us.
Anything else you want to add: Thank you so much for the opportunity to be featured on your blog, we are completely honoured to introduce ourselves to your readers.
How much do you love Sarah & her beautiful heart? Gosh, just reading over this once again before I press “post” makes me smile so much & I am so grateful that I stumbled upon her & her stunning creations. I am already deciding what I want to order from her & can’t wait to see what she comes up with!
Can you believe that 2019 is almost upon us? When I realised that we are now in OCTOBER my mind went to all sorts of places – it is time to start thinking of Christmas (am I allowed to put up my tree yet?); it is our sixth wedding anniversary this month; we are moving offices & home at the end of this month; & planning for 2019 needs to begin. Can you tell I’m Type A personality yet?
I knew I wanted to find a diary to keep track of all my meetings, plans & events – I have millions of notebooks & love finding something fun & pretty that makes work & meetings that much better. Then I came across Millamae & I knew that I had found the most perfect place to order these goodies!
Your name: Sarah & Tracy Business name: MILLAMAE Sweet Stationery
Social media handles:Facebook & Instagram What do you do: We create delicious designs in the form of functional, enviro-friendly, lovable stationery. All our products are proudly designed and produced in Durban. We have an online store and we attend local markets over the festive season.
Where did your love of stationary come from: We were born with it! Why do you wish more people would send handwritten letters rather than emails: To see someone’s handwriting feels very special these days. A letter is like receiving a thoughtful gift and feels so much more personal. My children were fascinated to see a few I kept from my schooldays, they’re lovely keepsakes. And of course, even better when written on beautiful stationery! Tell me more about your 2019 diary you are bringing out: We’ve gone bolder and brighter this year and focused on one size (A5) which has enabled us to bring our followers more designs in this size to choose from. What is your most popular product: Our diaries are a firm favourite, thank you to all our loyal followers who anticipate them annually. Quote you live by: “You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing” Anything else you want to add: Follow us on social media for updates on new product launches or just for inspiration.
Aren’t these just gorgeous? I can’t wait to see what else they come out with & I know I will be placing an order for one of their gorgeous diaries to help me navigate 2019 a whole lot better than I have this year!
What do you do: I am a freelance graphic designer and illustrator 🙂
Why do you love what you do: I have always been a creative person, and I have been drawing since I was 5. I now have the opportunity to do what I love to support my little family, and isn’t that the dream? I love being able to draw and create fantasy worlds, and I love it when clients give me a drawing challenge.
How can people order from you: either via my Instagram account or via email on email@example.com
How did you get into this, & what did you do before: I used to work in publication and started freelancing my my first daughter was born. I now get to work for a whole collection of awesome clients and everyday is new challenge.
What does being creative mean to you: Everything
Do you do custom orders: Absolutely!
What are some of your favourite things that you have worked on: I am currently helping to develop a kiddies stationary range and this year I have illustrated 3 children’s books, all different styles and all wonderful projects!
Quote you live by: Something I saw on Twitter last week: ‘If you could believe in Santa for 8 years, you can believe in yourself for 5 minutes.’
Anything else you want to add: Just that I am trying my hardest to get my first solo children’s book published at the moment, so keep an eye out for ‘Henry’ 🙂
Please contact Megan if you have any ideas you want brought to life, & make sure you follow her on social media. I’m trying to decide whether I want a unicorn or family portrait from this lovely lady – or if I should just do both! What do you think?
After my blog on Jislaaik Online Store, I decided to delve a bit deeper into some of their products that they feature as I was super interested in what they have on offer, as well as the different art & talent that was being shown off. The one page that really stood out to me is Kaatjie Produkte (Facebook & Instagram) & she recently posted that she was running a special on custom drawings & I have placed my order with her! I love seeing creativity & interpretation, & have decided that I am going to do a feature wall of our different “family portraits” I am having done & show off the different aspects of our family.
Malani also does does paintings & prints on shopping bags & cushions, & you can get gorgeous south african goodies added to these. Read on to find out more!
Kaatjie Produkte is still young in the business market and started in 2017 by me, Malani Venter, a journalist of an Afrikaans newspaper in Cape Town. So, by day I create with the written word and by night with ink, paint and a brush!
My love to create has always been there – after a Christmas gift from my mom to go to a screen printing course, the idea was mooted for a business. I work after hours and on weekends just outside Stellenbosch from my garage (great businesses started out in garages!) that is equipped for making the products.
The name comes from my cat, Kaatjie (“kat” is the Afrikaans word for “cat”, so when you pronounce it, just stretch the “a” out… Kaaaaaatjie!). This little fat black cat of mine sits very curious in the evenings with me in the garage and watches me work.
I’ve started out with screen printing designs on material, making tea towels, tote, coin and stationary bags. In April 2018 I started with an acrylic painting range called #HowzitRosie (Rosie is the name of the Kaatjie’s little one). These paintings are mainly acrylic, mixed with print, watercolour and soft pastel. For a touch of South African nostalgic and having a sweet tooth, I’ve decided to draw groceries – think Royal Baking Powder, SteriStumpie flavoured milk, KitKat chocolate and Nutella chocolate spread.
I also draw custom illustrations of South African families. All you have to do is Whatsapp me the photo you want me to draw and I’ll courier it back to you as soon as I’m finished. The drawing is not a replica of the person/pet on the photo, but you’ll immediately recognise the quirky character with the big eyes! It is wonderful to be part of this creative outlet – although I don’t know the families I draw, for a brief moment it feels like we are friends and it is a privilege to be part of that.
I’ve been working for 14 years at Media24, and (almost!) see myself as a Stellenboscher, but at heart I’ll always be a girl from a small town in the Free State. My love for the written word keeps me busy through out the day, but at night I want to draw and create. I also have a deep love for South Africa and hope that my business will one day create jobs.
In the meanwhile, I hope that my products and paintings will make those buying it, smile!
What makes you different? I’ve got a unique style regarding my custom drawings. The very big eyes of the characters I love – they come to life when I draw those eyes and you just instantly fall in love with them.
My mix of print and acrylic paint of the groceries range is also something I haven’t seen before – when you draw something people can relate to (nostalgic, something they love to eat, etc.) you create something that it timeless.
Quote I live by: “Think left and think right and think low and thing high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!” – Dr. Seuss
You can contact Malani through her social media platforms, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or 083 532 5483. I will be updating this with our family portrait when it arrives!
Have you ever met someone & just clicked with them from the word go? They just get you, your craziness, & love you through/despite your ups & downs. To me, this person is Charlie – from Charlie Foxtrot Illustrations & Charlie and Beastie. She has the most AMAZING talent, & she found space in her heart to squeeze me in & love me for who I am.
When I saw that she was bringing out colouring pictures, I knew that I had to get in line to get it! And it is now available through Etsy, or you can contact her directly to place your order for the download of these. You can then print these off & spend your days coloring in & releasing some creativity – ideal for during my next hospital admission or treatment. She evens occasionally offers one-of-a-kind commissions & just wants to make the world a better place. She is my spirit sister!
Your business name: Charlie and Beastie
When did you start & why: We made it official this year but they were “born” in 2014.
What made you decide to make these colouring in pictures: More than anything was the requests that came in and all the people who kept saying I should create some, I finally gave in and actually loved it so much that we’ve done a colouring in book as well that will go live in November 🙂 and we’ll hopefully have a different set monthly.
What was your inspiration behind each pic: For most of these ones I played on my own interests and talents and the fact that it doesn’t matter what you decide to be you should go and do it. This particular set is more “realistic” but we’ll have a fantasty careers set out next 🙂
What do you hope to achieve through these: Personally drawing really helps with calming my brain and settling the anxiety though I know that most people think they can’t draw so this way I’m hoping to help other people calm down even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
Which one is your favourite: Tough one! I’m going to say the front page because it has a little bit of every page 😉
Where does Charlie & the Beastie come from/the story behind this: This is a long story, one I have yet to really put into proper words which is something I have been meaning to do for their website. In short I was going through a really tough period and working at a job where I was belittled daily, one day I started doodling this character and she just sort of grew from a few lines to the Charlie you know today. She helped me through it all and stuck around when I started freelancing, then last year I hit another rough patch and Beastie appeared. He’s pretty much taken on a life of his own now, they both have really. I just help them voice what they have to say which is that IT’S OKAY to not always be okay, to be a little weird, to be what you want to be, to be smart, to be afraid of the dark and to love who you need to.
What quote do you live by: IT’S OKAY to not always be okay
Where can people order these from: They are available via Etsy but they are also available directly from our Instagram page if you just send a DM because I know that not everyone has the ability to buy with a card.
Any other info you want to add: The reason they cost more on Etsy than when bought directly is because Etsy charges per listing as well as deducts from every sale you make.
Charlie, I am so grateful for you in my life & thank you for sharing your talent with the world. You are one in a million & you brighten my day with every message that you send. May your business flourish, & may it continue to bring joy to everyone who has the honour of being in contact with you! I still can’t believe I own one of these shirts from so long ago – it’s like this friendship was meant to be.