The Jozi-Deep team has the pleasure of introducing diversely talented and creatively gifted artists born and raised in our beautiful city. Calypso Abstract Distortion Illustration photography creative, she’s grown adapted and enhanced her unique style to a level of wonder with in every project she dedicates herself too. When we asked her about how she might define her style she said “I am still till this day growing, building and trying to find my own style. In my final year at varsity I didn’t even have a style, it was more just pleasing my lecturers, but now that I have left that world I have had time to focus on what I really love. I usually love working with models, coming up with conceptual ways of taking pictures of them, from there I would play around with editorial design on Photoshop, and add abstract and illustrated patterns of shapes and color that do not make sense in placement. To stand back and look at something – to think it was random and a complete mess, but somehow all the elements just fall into place and look good together. Seems to me like organized chaos.”
“some how all the elements just fall into place and look good together” is beautiful way to describe calypso’s work as her designs and illustrations are sometimes so complex but still find balance in contrast, her work certainly inspires all of us here at the Jozi-Deep team as well as I’m sure anyone else who’s been lucky enough to come across her work will tell you her work is incredibly captivating and engaging.
One project I’m thinking of is an African cartoon illustration she had done, colors that truly resonates Africa in every picture with cartoon painting styled illustrations of two Giraffes, a zebra, a rhino and an elephant designed with tribal patterns indigenous to our local culture certainly one of her projects where you can feel her inspiration took flight.
When we had asked her where she draws inspiration from she revealed that…
“At other times I love to illustrate over rasterized images I have taken – usually of bands or other things I like to photograph and to make them vector and perhaps add more aesthetic elements. It’s fun because it can be like a guessing game; you can’t see the shapes as clearly as you make them. I also have a major love for typography work – where I usually make double page spreads for magazine editorials consisting of layout and format.
I got interested in what I do by seeing all the other design workers and how intricate and beautiful digital art works can get – to me other designers are my inspiration and the reason I design, so my peers, and designers from all over the world. I don’t see competition like most designers feel.
Kandinsky is one of my main inspirations, his style is mesmerizing, I want to take his artistic flow of thought of shape and pattern and incorporate it into design. Some inspirational designers include Paul Kremer, Manzel Bowman, Giovanni Forlino, Hannah Yata, Kerby Rosanes, Vinci Button, Alain Francoeur and of course
飛行山丘 Hill Tattoo from Taipei Taiwan. “
With such inspirations at her finger tips it’s no wonder she’s able to create such beauty from the strangest of places, so we had to ask what her creative process is and how did she get started?
“I started designing digitally only in my second year at varsity, so 2 years ago. I was mainly painting and scanning artworks through and not really allowing myself to transform from an artist into a digital designer. I didn’t want to accept this new digital age of art, but as I started I realized how much I could actually do, the opportunities that I could see were endless.
My creative process is in a circle of Referencing, Research, Experiences and Empathy, they are all tools for me to get inspired and make my visions a reality.”
“I like to illustrate animals, instruments, nature, characters and anything that fascinates me, I also love using shapes in a geometric form and I also create illustrations of things I dream about.”
Towards the end of our time with Calypso we asked if she had any advice for designers coming through Jozi’s industry.
“Advice I have for Junior Designers – you are going to get rejected. Take action, take in the criticism until you feel like you can’t breathe, but also make sure you, yourself give yourself credit for the amount of effort you put in. Everyone around you will never think it is enough but to really understand your place is to understand self worth, without a superior attitude. Practice, go to art galleries exhibitions and performances, go to areas you usually wouldn’t to experience culture and communities just to gain different or other perspectives, art comes from the world not necessarily from you, so get out there and make it happen!”
“So get out there and make it happen!” You couldn’t ask for more motivation then! We look forward to publishing one of Calypso’s upcoming projects soon. So stay tuned!!
You can find more of Calypso’s work at below or on..