How did your unique illustrating style come about?
With regards to the visual execution – the colours I use, shading techniques, effects and overall look of my work – it was intensely influenced by my long-term, serious relationship with pop style and 90s cartoon, as well as using Adobe Photoshop and exploring the effects, brushes, etc. I pretty much never draw on paper, which isn’t great, but damn impressive, if you ask me.
What influences the subject matter that your artwork depicts?
The narratives and stories behind my illustrations have been influenced by my experiences on Earth as Khanya. The experiences within my existence as a young, black, queer transman and my relationship with the lack of representation, and complete erasure, of those like myself in the art scene; my experiences with my blackness and masculinity, my two years of homelessness and my relationship with the Earth, to name a few.
Take us through the process of creating one of your pieces, from inspiration and idea to the Instagram post.
I usually either create a quote or phrase for myself or read through text messages, blogs or articles on specific topics to get the inspiration flowing. Thereafter, it’s a matter of looking at lots, I mean lots and lots, of pictures and videos, ranging from tattoo designs, avant-garde photography, portrait photography, memes; ranging from explicit content to make-up tutorials. Once I have an idea of at least three somewhat correlating artworks (because you can only post three artworks per row on Instagram), it’s a matter of setting up the document on Photoshop. I usually go for an A2 size page, 300dpi and I make the page an off-white colour. From that point, it’s doing the linework, or ‘the skeleton’ of the artwork as I call it. After linework, it’s the base colours for each element, and after the base colours, I add shading and highlights where necessary. After shading and highlights are incorporated, then it’s the final effects, like lens flares, patterns on clothing, piercings, text, tribal paints or any other markings. The final touch is my artist’s tag. It all takes me anything from two-and-a-half to four hours per artwork.