Images courtesy of
Images courtesy of Lungile Mbokane

“Hipnotic” Art – An Interview with illustrator Lungile Mbokane

I interviewed illustrator Lungile Mbokane about where his artistic journey began and his experiences at the Design Indaba this year.

Tell our readers a bit about you and your journey as an illustrator?

My journey as an illustrator began in 2011 when I signed up for graphic design as a career that I wanted to pursue. It has been a journey filled with challenges, good and bad, but worth going through because they have resulted in who I have become as an illustrator. My first entrance to the field was in 2013 when I was designing a poster for a movie titled “Hear Me Move”. I made it all the way to the top 4 of the competition.

How do you like to describe your work?

My work is a series of thoughts, events and activities that I happen to experience in my daily life. I try to capture everything around me to feed my source of inspiration. I have always pursued abstract forms of illustrations. I try to translate the world from my point of view. Abstract concepts and forms tend to be best describe my work because when something is abstract it holds more than a single meaning.

Do you have particular themes that you enjoy working through?

Yes I do. Authentic art is the theme I enjoy working with. This means I can explore various concepts but with intentions of producing proudly African inspired art that has the ability to create and blend work that can be internationally recognized. My themes can range from music, culture, and many ideas that I collect daily that I can explore as an artist.

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Tell our readers about “Hipnotic” / “Hipnotic Art Movement”.

Hipnotic Art Movement came about when I had a feeling about using my art as a tool that heals me. The name comes from Hypnosis which is similar to how I perceive my art. It is a drug (medicine) that is prescribed by the doctor (artist). I added a hip feel to the name by spelling it out “Hipnotic” rather than “Hypnotic”. The first three letters ‘H-i-p’ define my work as relevant and current.

Tell our readers about your experience at the Design Indaba this year.

My experience at the Design Indaba Festival was something that helped me to grow as an artist. Being part of something that surrounds you with other types of artists had an impact on how I now view myself and my work. The platform helps you reach and meet a lot of young, inspiring creatives who have the ability to influence and change the world through their work. I was able to see the results of simple ideas made into something effective and the power of creativity on one stage. The series of events that took place during the festival became something that I can treasure for a lifetime. I’d say it’s something that can help you move to the next level in your career.

Tell our readers about some of the awards you have received and projects you have been involved in.

Last year I was part of the Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards and received an award for being identified as one of the top 100 exhibiting artists. I have been part of Conte Magazine, an amazing magazine that puts creatives together. I was featured in their second issue, Africa, and their third issue, Revolution. I will feature in their up coming issues titled The Raw and 20 Something, which are going to be released in April and May respectively. I was also part of the annually held SA Taxi Foundation Art Awards and was a top 30 finalist. I am ¬†currently part of Design Indaba’s emerging creatives class of 2017. I am also currently part of Fiercepop which is an online exhibition that has amazing artists and exhibits their work in places such as Amsterdam, New York, London, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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What are you working on at the moment? What can we expect from you this year?

At the moment I am working on expanding myself as an independent artist as well as the distribution and availability of my work to the public. What people can expect this year from Hipnotic as an artist is more work to being dished out. I have been compiling my work for years and I am slowly getting it out for people to receive. People are looking at a recent Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design graduate who is ready to put his qualification to good use.

Anything else you would like to mention about you and your work?

My work is forever evolving and changes just as much as the world turns. I aim to explore as much as I can with various concepts and ideas because I feel that all artists need to keep up with the times. Texture, loose ink brushstrokes and collage play a huge role into how I fuse digital art and traditional art.

To check out more of Lungile’s work follow him on Facebook and Instagram or check out his Behance.

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