Bold pair bring cre­ativ­ity to life with mag­a­zine

CityPress - - News - S’THEMBILE CELE sthem­bile.cele@city­

Nine months ago, two friends with a thirst for cre­ativ­ity left their jobs as graphic de­sign in­terns to ven­ture into the world of dig­i­tal il­lus­tra­tion. Now they have their own mag­a­zine.

Amanda Sibiya is 22 years old. Her busi­ness part­ner, Khen­sani Ngob­eni, is 26. To­gether they own Conté Cre­atives, an agency that de­signs lo­gos and builds cor­po­rate iden­ti­ties for com­pa­nies. Ev­ery four months, they also print Conté Mag­a­zine, a show­case for young cre­atives in writ­ing, art, ar­chi­tec­ture and mu­sic.

Sibiya stud­ied mul­ti­me­dia with fine art, graphic de­sign and an­i­ma­tion, but her “first love” was an­i­ma­tion – not some­thing her fam­ily ap­proved of as a sen­si­ble ca­reer.

“I just wanted to draw car­toons and that’s it. My mother was like: ‘You want to draw all your life? I think not.’”

Ngob­eni fell in love with dig­i­tal il­lus­tra­tion when she stud­ied de­sign in New York.

The two ad­mit that run­ning their own agency is tricky and that print­ing a mag­a­zine is a risky “roll of the dice”, given that print seems to be on its way out. But they are adamant that they’re do­ing the right thing by com­bin­ing their dig­i­tal skills with old-fash­ioned pro­duc­tion val­ues.

“It is art and it is pas­sion, and I want to feel it,” says Ngob­eni. “It’s so ir­ri­tat­ing to look at stunning pieces on­line, but the de­tail is gone – you can see that it is not crisp and clear. We wanted to keep close to the tra­di­tional art that we grew up know­ing. It’s what we love.”

Sibiya and Ngob­eni be­lieve that the South African land­scape is get­ting used to dig­i­tal de­sign and il­lus­tra­tion, and say the de­mand for it is grow­ing.

“In the be­gin­ning, it was dif­fi­cult to get peo­ple to buy into the agency. But now we have peo­ple call­ing us and of­fer­ing us work,” says Sibiya.

New jobs like th­ese can, they warn, be hard to get. Sibiya and Ngob­eni rec­om­mend young peo­ple in­ter­ested in the field start by teach­ing them­selves to use soft­ware like Pho­to­shop and Illustrator.

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