By Lindelwa R
SoulProviders recently added a new designer to the team; Mahlohonolo Tshangela. The other day last week I stole him from his busy day to have a chat about designer things and his bad movie-watching habits.
What do you like to watch?
First of all, he does not like to watch movies (you will find out in Q3 why), he watches a lot of music videos, and TV shows “…old stuff.” he says, like Scrubs & Supernatural. He spends most of his TV-time watching tutorials, about things.
His favourite books are “Screw it, Let’s do it” by Sir Richard Branson & “The Soul Connection” by Anne Jones. I had to Google the latter publication, and just as I suspected it’s a one of those ‘get in touch with your higher self’ guides. Lo walks around the office with an air of calm around him, no surprise he’s about meditation authors.
Do you like eBooks or paper backs?
“As a designer you’re facing a computer screen all day…” – I expected that he would be a digital reader, that as a digital designer he is immune to the computer screen-induced nausea and headaches. It’s nice to know there are still people who love the smell of paper along with the words. “Print is different”
Does being a designer influence your choice of magazines, books and/or the types of movies you watch?
T’was a definite yes on the magazines, he reads magazines which are informative and relevant to his interests in respect to what he does. On book choices he said he is “…directed by the heart and soul of the book.”
“I don’t watch movies ‘cause I have an eye for these things
Do you enjoy being a [graphic] designer?
“I find that the term ‘designer’ is [a limited label] just another one of the boxes we’ve been put into. To me it’s just another hat on my head. I prefer to be [referred to as] an artist who delivers his work through design. It’s the hate which keeps my tummy full,” and then he whispers “…Can I say that?”
“Being an artist is one of the greatest things ever; your mind is constantly growing. There are things which influence [me] and I become excited to try them in my next design. You burn passion always looking for new ways to do things. Get inspired. It’s really nice seeing great art things and it motivates [me] to look for greater solutions.”
He said to me, artists are like onions – they have so many layers – and as you peel away at each of them, you will find a layer which blows you away. “It’s good to design things that hit home.”
How would you describe your style and your influence(r)s?
I don’t really have a design/illustration style as yet. I would like to believe that it’s still developing ‘cause from time to time I experiment with styles and techniques… If they really work out, I tend to incorporate them into the way I do things thus contributing the growth and developing of “my style”
I’m inspired by every day life, the everyday human adventures we go on every day, the every day human basically; but what really pressing my buttons is the everyday humans pushing out their passion and making something out of it. To name a few David Tshabalala, a brilliant mind that’s really making a mark in changing the design scene, as well as Sindiso Nyoni… wow. Aamazing work and a humble soul, I hear. And the guys from “I See A Different You”. They are really an example of young people making a difference.
So, what do you want for yourself in the future? Are there any particular types of projects you would like to work on?
He is from Welkom in the Free State where he says it is quite bland and lacking in creatves. “I would like to see more commissioning of work to influence an increase in [the number of] creatives and artists back home”
And personal goals?
To have a family, and raise open-minded artistic little people of his own. “Open minds are brilliant and I want to do that for my kids.”
You can find him online: