Check out this awesome illustrator we met at Comic Con

Cape Town - Comic Con Africa was a fantastic place to discover local artists and illustrators. One of them is Mahlohono Tshangela, whose energetic, edgy works are simply badass, writes Grethe Kemp.

Mahlohono “Lo” Tshangela, the founder and art director of Cookiemylo Studios, is one talented illustrator. We caught up with him and asked him about his work:

So, what were you doing at Comic Con?

Comic Con Africa was the first time I shared my work on a public platform. I’m a very personal person and I hardly shout about what I do. Comic Con was a chance to explore and share myself with Africa.

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What made you decide to start your own studio?

Cookiemylo Studios first started out as a passion project – a place where my goals and dreams lie separate from my demanding design career and life. Starting my own illustration agency has always been my aspiration – to create a studio that will give young black talent a chance to use their skills and abilities to make a living.

What does your work entail?

I’m a graphic designer and art director by profession, and an illustrator by passion. My work is focused on illustration, and also translates into design and animation – from data visualisation to album artwork, creative murals and corporate identity.

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Your work includes illustrations of a lot of strong women – is that something you like drawing?

Well, I’m honestly inspired and moved by everyday people. Be it a woman or man or the joy found in a child, they all contribute to my work.However, there are intense yet fragile emotions and movements that are found in a woman’s strength.

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Can one make a living as an illustrator in South Africa?

Yes, definitely. Lazi Mathebula is a beautiful example of that. This may sound overused, but Oscar Wilde’s quote is absolutely golden: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’ Focus on being the best illustrator you can be. The love and passion in your work will attract the right people to you.

Go to Instagram @cookiemylo for more of Tshangela’s work or contact hello@cookiemylostudios.com for commissions. 

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(Photo: City Press)

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