Talented illustrator Siyamthemba Bobotyana conjures a beautiful dream world based on his visions of everyday life:
I’m a 24-year-old illustrator and photographer who’s based in Johannesburg, though I’m originally from Whittlesea in the Eastern Cape. The creative bug hit me when I was four years old, after my father gave me a pen and paper with a sketch of a bus and said: “Son, draw this.” I drew it exactly as it was and have never stopped drawing since. Growing up, we moved to different locations around the country, depending on my father’s employment. These travels enabled me to observe how different and similar people are. I bring these observations and details into my work.
After briefly studying multimedia design, I was exposed to different forms of creative media, my favourite ones being illustration and photography. An initial interest in comic books, Japanese manga and, later, illustration tutorials also helped me strengthen my illustration skills. People like my father, Mr Tladi (a former teacher at Chita Kekana SS School in Zebediela) and Sawubona Art Director Shaun Mallett have played a huge role in mentoring me and developing my craft.
Communicating ideas and stories visually, while giving each artwork a life of its own, is what I always aim to do. I use a mixture of different media and techniques, as each piece I do takes me on a unique journey. I’ve drawn inspiration from illustrators Nate Kitch, Vania Zouravliov, Sindiso Nyoni and Patrick Latimer, among others.
See more of Siya’s work in the latest issue of Sawubona. Download free of charge.