Who is Donna Solovei what do you do and where are you based?
I have been trying to think of an animal that best describes me, and most friends have suggested a squirrel. An inquisitive and adventurous explorer. Although, in an ideal world I would like to be a squirrel with wings that can swim too. In reality, I use my creativity to help me explore the world, and known as an artist or Illustrator,how ever the lines are always blurred. I’m currently based in Cape Town after being brought up in Johannesburg and having studied in London.
How would you define your creative style?
My work has a ‘point of view’ and with sensitivity toward appreciating my surroundings, visual images are developed further using collage. By paying attention to detail, the use of printmaking allows me to capture the slightness as well as enlarge an observation. Drawing and painting with acrylics are some techniques I use to pull and layer extracted images together. Surface and texture become increasingly important, small details challenge the initial assumption, and meaning can be re-assessed and newly defined.
Tell us about your latest project.
I’m currently obsessed with shapes and colour, deconstructing the existing world and figuring out how it all fits together. Working on a larger scale and painting with acrylics onto wood. My love for screen-printing is finally becoming more apart of my work as I am building my own press and developing some screens to print. These are just the beginning stages toward a new body of work, and a group show in December in Cape Town. Below are some snippets of these newer, more graphic, bolder and extremely detailed works. Follow my blog for exhibition info.
What are you currently working on and whats in the future ?
I endeavor to observe all animals and entangled with imagination seek the newest, and create my own. Forming my own imaginative creatures by combining two existing species questions whether these creatures would have or could still exist. This project is continually developing into various dimensions, from original artworks to the images being pasted around Cape Town. Further development of applying imagery with product has been cushion covers, bags and more. Having developed a range of bespoke stationary with Letterpress earlier this year has now lead to further development into Letterpress posters and journals coming soon! I am also available for freelance illustration based work and commissioned art pieces. I am also continually working toward my own children’s book, so lots of projects always on the go!
What advice would you give to young South African creatives looking to do what you do.?
Just get yourselves out there in whatever way you can! Continually network, be it a chance meeting in a coffee shop or sitting next to someone on a plane, ‘cause you never know who they might be or how they could help! Be sure of what your work is worth and be confident. My most successful works are the ones I love, and I find that a good guideline, I also use social media for responses and feedback. I believe we should all take responsibility for our environment and encourage creative’s to be wise about subject matter and the materials they use. Mostly, have fun!
Where can our readers find your work?
facebook: Donna Solovei