Who is Luthando Mfabe and what do you do?
I’m an illustrator, designer, and developer. I have a passion for illustration, design, UI, UX, app development and games. Basically, I’m interested in anything that has something to do with new age technology. I’ve built some of the first Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality apps in South Africa for Mercedes and MTN while I was a designer and developer for a small startup in Maboneng. I then moved to one of the biggest digital agencies in South Africa, AquaOnline, where I worked as a web developer on some of the biggest brands like Coca-Cola, Mercedes, ShowMaxx and MTN.
How would you define your style or art?
My style is influenced by Afrofuturism, I look into African history to tell modern and futuristic African stories. I strive to educate Africans about their history through my artwork, I use colors to communicate my mood. I also use neon colors to give my artwork a futuristic feel. I’m influenced by African culture, I use different elements from different parts of Africa to create my characters. Like the African mask and the body paint from the Dogon tribe, the Fez from the Moors in Morocco. I also add a modern twist to my artwork by adding polka dot shorts and hoodies to my characters. I strive to capture African spirituality in my artworks.
What inspires your work?
I’m inspired by Africa, it’s people and it’s history. Do some research on African culture and history, I mean precolonial history. I’m sure you will be inspired too. Look at civilizations like Kemet and Mutapa, look at what they achieved. So what’s stopping us as modern Africans from achieving greatness?
What are you currently working on?
I recently started my own creative agency called WAR,warinnovation.co.za, which I plan to grow. My company is currently working on some illustration, branding, UX and development for a small startup. On the side, I’m creating my own lifestyle brand that combines design and technology, for now, it’s still a prototype. I can’t reveal too much but I plan to launch the brand this year and sell it online through an eCommerce platform I will build. The main focus is becoming the best creative agency in Africa.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Watch this ted talk by Saki Mafundikwa https://youtu.be/gIbIewxHQrk, after watching this I became a better illustrator and designer. Just be curious and don’t stop learning. Look inwards, what’s your purpose in life? and don’t try to copy other people’s styles. Do some research on Africa and learn more about your culture. Practice, practice, and practice. Listen, listen, listen and read, read read. Spend time on your own and think.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Starting my own company and working with the best clients.
Winning awards, including a Loerie, in different fields as a designer and developer.
Getting love from the illustration community in South Africa and abroad.