Tsholofelo rakau is a graphic designer who properly kills it in terms of illustration but dabbles in graphic design photomanipulations as well.
He’s an oke i went to high school with and was charasmatic in his own way, like many in the year of 2011 in our art class he had a talent for painting and fine art(drawing)*insert jealous emoji here* and went on to study graphic design and score a degree for himself, thus he is now embarking on his personal brand “HOPE RAKAU” and trying to expand himself in this particular field, i met with the man who I’m inspired by to get to know him better, peak the interview/profile below.
Kanvhs: Where are you from and what was it like growing up there?
Rakau: I’m a suburb boy, i was raised here in crystal park but then half of my life i lived in Wattville, so then most of my life I’ve been here in crystal park, i grew up here as a “cheeseboy” so to speak.
It was really…..interesting, because most of my friends and most of the people i grew up with from ekasi so it was quite interesting.
I learn’t a lot of things from them and i suppose they learn’t a lot of things from me as well.
Kanvhs: Where are you based now?
Rakau: Currently I’m residing here in crystal park, last year i finished my final year in graphic design degree so from 2012-2015 i was in Midrand.
Kanvhs: How did being based here influence your work?
Rakau: It does negatively because crystal park is just crystal park, as a creative person i feel that you need to explore your environment.Not the one that you live in but to see what’s out there.So at times it restricts me but then at another time you need to be boxed in,in a sense of being pressured in the environment you are in to do better.
kanvhs: What cartoons did you enjoy as a kid?
Rakau: I enjoyed ed,edd and eddy, static shock, Spider-Man, batman, your…..marvel’s, ya that was it basically it’s marvel cartoons, ed,edd and eddy…ya.
Kanvhs: What are you working on currently?
Rakau: Currently i am pushing my brand, “Hope rakau“, it’s a brand where i explore the aspects of graphic design as a whole and what i enjoy doing, and another that I’m pushing is my illustrations, so what i’d used to do is get people who inspire me and do illustrations of them and then recently I’ve started illustrating people, my mutual friends i used to go to school with and illustrate them also so as to get them involved in what i actually do, and let them know how i do things.
Kanvhs: How did you develop your art style?
Rakau: I developed my art style last year, i don’t know…..i dont have an art style.
I was one of those students who knew a little about everything, but then developing it was challenging, but now that I’ve found my way of expressing my graphic design, i think it’s one of those things i need to push forth.
Kanvhs: You currently illustrate people in your work, why is that?
Rakau: I find human the human face and the human body very…..it’s an art form for me, honestly i find object’s boring.I used to do still lifes but i didn’t like that so then i excelled at drawing people and human figures and facial expressions. So i find them much more interesting than an object.
Kanvhs: What would win in a fight: adobe photoshop or illustrator?
Rakau: Photoshop hands down! Ok neh in a broader perspective it would be a draw, but then when i look at it from my perspective i feel that photoshop can win. Why….? Because that’s the one i express myself with and it doesn’t limit you cause then, with illustrator your only obliged to use, well this is how i feel personally, a mouse…..but then in photoshop you can use a mouse, a wacom tablet which I’m currently using, i think there’s more artistry in photoshop, where you can actually illustrate different things from the ground up.
Kanvhs: What tools do you use usually to illustrate?
Rakau: When i design i usually use a laptop, a mouse, a bamboo wacom tablet and a piece of paper and a pencil.
Kanvhs: What’s the best thing to ever happen to you, or the best thing you did in 2015?
Rakau: The best thing i did in 2015 was to finally get to grips with my art style and to appreciate what a personal brand is, and what it means to other people and also to oneself, that’s the thing i got out from 2015.
Kanvhs: Plans or goals for this year?
Rakau: Like i said i want to put more into my personal brand, i want it to be more than just a clothing brand.
I want it to be a graphic design brand, so when they see that brand, when it’s worn by someone else they can say “oh…ok, it’s not a clothing brand, but it represents an art style,more than what it looks like.” So that’s my goal for 2016, i want this brand to be known.
Kanvhs: Ok last question : what are the top 5 things to spend R20 on?
Rakau: – 1st of all I’d buy airtime, just keeping contact with people, especially me i like to keep in contact with people i used to go to varsity with, those people who inspire me and to see if we could do good.
– Oh cigarettes, but i don’t smoke, get this i don’t smoke, but then most people when they see a non-smoker, they……they feel like “nor let me ask….”, like abo “2bob” so,(Side note: this tactic is also known as an effective repellent.)
– i’d buy snacks, as in simba chips.
– I’d buy bread, because you have to eat…..and I’m always hungry.
– I’d buy an energy drink, Monster, i like Monster.
Follow Tsholofelo rakau on instagram : @hoperakau