If there is one thing that we have learnt from 2020, it is that in the midst of trying times, South Africans know how to band together. In the spirit of spreading light and hope, SA Home Owner, together with the V&A Waterfront, brings you our Meet the Makers series where we share the stories of local brands behind the Waterfront’s Joy from Africa to the World festive décor showcase.

Meet Nosipho Nxele, owner of Just Illustrats

Nxele is a young, self-taught iIllustrator, conceptual designer and founder of Just Illustrats. She has a great passion for fine lines and bright colours. Her work is mostly done in an expressionistic and surrealistic style. It tackles issues such as mental illness, religion, people and places.

A lot of mediums have been used to capture emotion in the use of colour, emphasis on line, shape, space and texture. All of these elements are found in illustration to influence the mind, heart and body of the viewer. In that way, illustration does more than please the eye, it also leaves a sense of emotion. 

I became a designer to tell my own story in the most visual way possible.

I am inspired by the cultural richness and diversity that we have in South Africa. There’s so much we have to celebrate as Africans, from the music, to clothes, to language, and I feel that as artists we have that opportunity to showcase that in our work.

South African design is unique, vibrant, young and engraved in culture.

My message to fellow South Africans is to embrace and celebrate our beautiful and authentic culture before other countries do it for us. 

Future plans include getting involved in more collaborative work.

Visit www.justillustrats.com