African Renaissance artist Kadi Sabi talks us about His craft


Who is Kadi Sabi and what do you do?

Kadi Sabi is an African Renaissance artist from a label called ICONiX SA (

The term African Renaissace was derived from Renaissance man: ” used for a very clever person who is good at many different things. The idea comes from a time of history called the Renaissance which lasted from about 1400 to about 1600. One of the most famous people alive during this time was Leonardo da Vinci.

What I do: I draw, Illustrate, paint, design-visuals, amateur-animator, amateur-video-editor  (but the focus is on: Illustrating and painting)

Tell us about your work


My illustrations are all about creating an alternative-reality, the inspiration is from different things; things I feel/felt, things I’ve heard and things I’ve seen. I read somewhere that when we recall/remember things our minds don’t have folders of different memories, our minds actually create a picture of a certain memory the same way you would put together a puzzle. That’s how I come up with concepts for illustrations; my mind re-puzzles “things I feel/felt, things I’ve heard and things I’ve seen” into one picture. And most images my mind re-puzzles, I revisit them where I saw them to reference them.


I feel like South African cultural people are not portrait enough in the art world and we live in a modern world (the youth) some of us don’t really know much about our cultures. So what I am trying to do with my paintings is document South African cultural people with still-visuals; similar to the way that there are ancient artifacts in museums, similar to the same way History books were written. I want the art of South African cultural people (and all South Africans in general) to live on forever the same way that Leonardo da Vinci’s, Pablo Picasso’s, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s and Irma Stern’s Art/Paintings live on till this day.

What inspires your work?

Well.. a lot of things inspire my work. I try keep an open mind when it comes to inspiration, so most of the time I don’t really choose inspiration, what ever inspires me-inspires me. What I do is try creatively to link what ever sort of inspiration to the topic of my art.

What are you currently working on?

  • I’m currently working on a painting that is part of a series I have already released, the UNTLD series. and I’m conceptualising the next painting series after UNTLD.
  • I’m posting Illustrations I have done on social media platforms that I haven’t released them on yet.
  • I’m re-branding ICONiX SA (graphics).
  • I’m editing a lyric-video for a song titled “No Rules” by Derah III from ICONiX SA.
  • And I’m working on an animation music video for a song tiltled
  • “Past Life Imagination” by Lord Kenn from ICONiX SA.

 What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?

I know that (not all) but most of us procrastinate a lot, so my advice would be these two quotes: ” Yesterday you said tomorrow, just do it!” and “Today is the day!”.

What has been the highlight of your career thus far?

This year when I reflected back on the art I’ve done I realized that I’ve done a lot (not all but most of the art I did is really good) and that inspires me to do more.

Where can our readers follow your work?

Facebook: @kadisabii (2 i’s at the end)

Instagram & Twitter : @kadi_sabi

Dribbble & DeviantArt:  @kadi_sabi



Amateur short animations:



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