From a tender age, I was raised in a vibrant fabric shop. Owned by my gran and grandfather, we called them “nona” and “nono” respectively – as we are half-Croatian and half-Portuguese. Named the melting pot of Africa; multi-ethnic backgrounds in South Africaare mandatory and almost as colourful as the many bolts of material I would run past on a daily basis. The exposed rolls of fabric would jut out unevenly from the shelves, begging me to touch them. The colours and patterns inspired me. The shop was situated in Yeoville, on Rocky Street, which at the time, was the place to be in Jo’burg. The suburb was a variable hustle and bustle – much akin to any thriving and popular city of the times. Growing up in South Africa, it has always been the norm to be bombarded by colours. A simple test: Have you seen our national flag? We are certainly not lacking in colours nor a choice in fabrics. Our fashion takes to the streets in Joburg and you can find South African style everywhere you look. From African people wearing there traditional outfits, to brightly painted street buildings – the African sky is our canvas.
My grandfather taught me how to touch each fabric delicately and rub it between my fingers. He would then help me to memorise its name, based on its individual texture and unique weight. I found the colours and textures so stimulating and at the same time, so calming. I would watch my mom methodically: pull out a bolt of fabric from the shelf; pull material off the roll; lay it out and cut the required number of metres. Then the magic would unfold as she cut the fabric into shapes, pinned it, sewed it – and there before my very eyes – it took its true intended and creative form. It was mind-boggling and so inspiring to me, that one could transform a one-dimensional piece of material into a creation that could be worn to showcase its beauty a hundred fold.
Even though I was born into a family of fashion designers; I did not wish to follow in the footsteps of my gran and mother. Being exposed to design as a subject, I fell in love. As a result, I love meeting a new client and listening to their passions regarding his / her particular product or service. I adore interpreting what their company means to them and appreciate how they have entrusted me to ‘design’ an image that speaks to all these concepts of their brand. A logo that my client can be proud of at the end of the day, and one which he / she can utilise fully in building brand awareness and consumer loyalty.
I have worked as a graphic designer for over 10 years, and I am never bored by my work. Meeting new clients every day, investigating their different businesses and translating their individual design needs, is an ongoing creative challenge.
I draw my inspiration from driving around; gazing upon beautiful buildings and the Gautrain, as well as all the signage of a multitude of different companies and retail outlets.
I enjoy walking in off the street and viewing the shop owners’ colourful spaces or the wallpaper they have selected.
Driving along the streets of Jo’burg, you will be amazed by the local street vendors who earn their living by producing the most magnificent art with wire and their two bare hands. Residing in a city that is ablaze and bursting with colour, art and uniquely different people – is what re-energises me each and every day to do what I love, and to give it all back through my work.
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