Thulisizwe Mamba interprets pop culture with cheeky illustrations

What would a text from Kim K look like?

Thulisizwe Mamba uses his craft to interpret the subtle nuances of everyday pop culture. We got to know the South African illustrator when he made his mark as part of the Emerging Creatives programme 2015. He has since been featured in numerous publications with colourful, clean-lined illustrations that rely on a quick wit and a comfortability with the music, style and culture of today’s youth.

Here’s a look at the latest Mamba has to offer:

Mamba describes his work as being “punny”, silly and delightful. “I would like to think of them as being 'so extra' in the lingo of the youthful. They have my personality on them,” he explains.
At the start of his career, Mamba’s studio was named Less Studio + Co, a name he later realised was an unfortunate choice. “People thought I was a creative agency with a team of checked shirts and bearded dudes that sipped on Seattle Coffee Co. beverages. It was a lot. Dark times on naming and branding gone south. So being the petty illustrator that I am, I formulated the change overnight when I couldn't sleep because I didn't have data for the gram. Incase You Get Bored was born in the absence of the internet. What a time to be alive.”
Mamba’s latest illustrations are informed by the same framework used to create previous works, such as Forever Emojinal. The difference is that this time, his style is informed by communication. “It's all based on correctness now, over suitability,” he says. However, that can be tricky when trying to create a constant look with illustration work.”
“Overall, my illustrations are a reaction and a documentation of culture. But they have involved from my former work. They have more of my personality in them, my interests and dry humour that those close to me have to endure. Also, they're not deep. My previous work had a lot of underscores (thank the internet for ruining people's attention to detail).”
The Durban-born creative has also relocated to Cape Town to work as an art director at Ogilvy Geometry Global. “I felt I should be a different Drake. I mean, it's 2017. But I'm on this wave of not necessarily having a visual style, but a visual voice. But that can get messy. Ah, so is life. I'll live.”

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