Artist Spotlight w/ Musonda Kabwe
Feb 1, 2023
First, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Musonda Kabwe, I’m an illustrator from Johannesburg, South Africa.
I was born in Zambia and relocated when I was seven. I spent most of my childhood filling textbooks with random doodles and cartoon characters to most of my teacher's disapproval.
Luckily I had one teacher who encouraged me to explore my talent. Thanks to her, I went to the National School of The Arts where my career began. I studied Graphic Design and worked at the Cape Peninsula university of technology in Cape Town.
I started freelancing while studying as a way to make extra cash to go out with my friends and upgrade my wardrobe.
Seven years later I’m grateful that I’m still getting regular work.
I spent most of my childhood filling textbooks with random doodles and cartoon characters to most of my teacher's disapproval.
Luckily I had one teacher who encouraged me to explore my talent. Thanks to her, I went to the National School of The Arts where my career began.
Can you tell us about your experience and the role you are primarily filling?
I’ve been freelancing for the last seven years and have worked across various industries including Tech, Advertising, Book Publishing, Editorial & Fashion.
Some of my clients include Adobe, Prime Video, Britannica, H&M & KFC.
If you could speak directly to the resourcing gods and powers that be, what would be your ideal project?
In my style, I would love to create a loading screen for Apex Legends.
Do you have any dream clients?
I have a few. I’d love to work with EA games, The New Yorker, and Nike.
Lastly, do you have any memorable stories, life lessons, or tall tales you can share from your adventures as a freelancer?
This one comes from my days in branding & design. I was feeling really blocked creatively because I was working on a lot of projects that I didn’t enjoy.
I’d sulk that I wasn't lucky enough to work on the more interesting jobs that were floating around the office. For some reason, I always got really boring projects.
Needless to say, I wasn’t creating my best work either, so it felt like a catch-22.
I asked my creative director for some advice and I’ll never forget what he said:
"Find a way to make the process enjoyable".
Since then I’ve tried my best to make my creative process something I look forward to.
The moral of the story is that at times work will be incredibly boring, so your attitude will go a long way in determining the kind of work you produce. I think it’s important to bring a little joy into every project no matter how mind-numbing the task may be.
I failed to make the process enjoyable at the agency so I quit after about two years, but I try and inject a bit of fun into every job I do.
I started drawing because it was fun.
Now that’s the main reason why I do this, to have fun.
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