Thuthukani Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean upcoming digital artist who currently resides in Bloemfontein, where he is studying an Honours Degree in Marketing and working for the Vrystaat Literature festival as an assistant coordinator. In spite of dropping Art as a subject in high school due to academic pressure from other subjects, he has decided to reignite and peruse his passion for Art, but through the digital field. Most of his work is a combination of what he learnt as a visual artist, self-taught graphic designer and photo enthusiast. On this same note, he also gets inspired to create work from poems that he writes or has been exposed to. He’s still very new to the Art industry, but he’s eager to learn and continue to be inspired by artists such as Loyiso Mkhize and Leigh LeRoux.
The choice to mostly work with photographed images comes from his interest in Realism, and in spite of the convenience that digital art provides in creating art, he still appreciates visual art that’s drawn or painted from scratch (Inclusive of Photorealism Art). With regards to creating digital artworks inspired by poems, Thuthukani first held a workshop with poets and digital artists (mostly illustrators) in 2018 at the Creativate Digital Art festival (part of the National Art Festival in Makhanda, South Africa). This was a part of an initiative he started called “Giving Poetry Wings”, and from then on decided to create his own work using the same process that was implemented by the participants who took part in the initiative.
As a digital artist, I design artworks that express a feeling or idea that I can relate to, or have been exposed to and feel the need to share. There are 2 creation processes that I tend to follow when it comes to designing work: the first one is capturing different images in line with a specific theme, then manipulating/ editing the image to make it speak more vividly to the viewer; the second process is first writing a poem, then either designing an artwork from scratch that resonates with the poem, or searching/capturing different images that in one way or the other emulate the poem, of which I then edit. Canvas is a great platform to print the artworks, however, I also will soon provide people with the opportunity to experience my Art printed on metal, as this gives a different feel to the artwork as a whole.
When it comes to portraits, I normally like to add a cartoon effect to the image and hopefully make them stand out with the saturated colours in order to catch one’s eye, even from a distance. Artworks that have been inspired by poems would be ideally exhibited with the poem next to the artwork, to give the viewer a chance to get a glimpse of the journey that I travelled in terms of creating the artwork. On the other hand, other artworks are more focused on the beauty of nature, or just trying to share a peculiar idea/perspective, especially one that speaks to my poetry. Not all artworks are intended to be vivid, so the brightness and choice of colours captured/used depend on the feeling or perspective of the poem it was inspired by.
He's the founder and creative director of www.theradioactiveblog.com, a platform which he uses to promote his work and other work from creatives around the world.