Mark Modimola | Illustrator Interview | Drawing From Observation
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Interview: Mark Modimola

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Interview: Gavin Wynford

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Getting to Know Mark Modimola

1. Tell DFO a little bit more about yourself

Well, I create because it is my duty as a creative. I believe most of my work has been initiated from observations, dreams, and response.

I started using my illustration as a response to my own identity as well as an observation of the world around me.

Most people may not know this but I am also a performer. I practice parkour which is a movement and expression discipline. I actually began my career as a performer and have toured around South Africa and appeared in several advertising campaigns.

2. From an art perspective: What are your biggest weaknesses?

Perhaps, it's my way of communication. I tend to be very involved and at the same time all over the place in my storytelling and so my work can sometimes be overwhelming or dense, which depending on the outcome can always be good or bad. I also see my weaknesses as opportunities for innovation.

3. Be bold – tell us: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

Japan, New York, Nigeria, and maybe I'll work with Nasa.

4. Out of thousands of artists in SA, why should people appreciate your art?

I am fortunate to have the gift of observation and the awareness to comment on those observations using visual mediums. I tell stories with abstract and realistic perspectives. My imagery shows people on physical as well as metaphysical dimension.

5. Why do you want to be an Artist?

I wanted to be a soldier before I wanted to be an artist actually. Being an artist is more of a way of communication, where I just speak about what I'm seeing, instead of fighting about it.

6. What do you consider to be your biggest creative achievement??

Trusting my imagination.

7. Tell us about the last time a client, family or friend questioned your art or creativity. Elaborate on what happened.

That happens daily with many projects, but I realised that opinions are opportunities for insight and that feedback is a projected feeling and synthesis of how your work makes someone feel. You should listen to that sort of thing, and park your ego.

8. When working on art "describe your definition of done."

After a deadline, it's done. (LOL)

9. When creating, what kind of work environment do you like best?

I've learned to work anywhere at almost any time.

I once worked in an airport all day, but I find working near nature is very helpful as I can always just leave and be in a different environment. My work feeds off nature and culture so being close to the city and drawing people from observation is always helpful.

10. Define your creative/drawing style?

I don't know if I have one to be honest. I create based on the desired outcome, or based on what I see. My work is quite line based and draws inspiration from African pottery, fabrics and Asian prints so I draw on those influences. My work was once described as afro-futurist, but we can drop the afro part, and look at the style as futurist, because of the thin line I tow between past/future, technology/human.

11. What can we expect from you in the near future?

More collaborations.

More exhibitions.

More love.

12. What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Focus on your growth. You are what You do, so create..