Bold pair bring creativity to life with magazine
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.