#Loeries2022: Head art director Sinenhlanhla Chauke on not being afraid of rejection
The 23-year-old founder of Studio 99Perspective says he plans to use his interest in culture, identity politics and history to bring this year’s Loeries creative week to life.
A different flavour
“This was the first time working with the Loeries. I've always been such a fan of them and enjoyed reading up about the different agencies that are at the top, and people who are at the top of their game in terms of illustration and graphic design, which is what I'm passionate about. But I never really dreamed of being the head art director for this year,” says Chauke.
“They really loved the way that I expressed a lot of different ideas that I've done in the past for different brands and campaigns and they wanted me to bring in that flavour that I have.”
Chauke said in his role he wanted to create a look and feel that is relatable and colourful through their #CreateMagic campaign.
“We wanted to focus on everybody who went through a hard time during Covid-19 so we wanted to create a brand identity that brings together and makes people smile and evokes emotions that are positive instead of negative,” he says.
“We wanted to hone in on South Africa and the West African countries that they normally invite to participate. We wanted to focus on that theme of unity and bringing people together and also juxtapositioning career and culture, so if you take a look at the posters it's something that is culturally mixed with a career-driven theme. For the first one we wanted to have the Zulu culture mixing in with elements of graphic design,” says Chauke.
Chauke says his work is inspired by things he would love to see in media and finds it important to consciously represent black and people of colour in his work.
“I express things that I have not seen in media before or that I would have loved to see in media when I was growing up, for example having representation in characters. I also draw inspiration from where I come from which is Nelspruit and the people I come from and the buildings there. I love to draw inspiration from things that I have seen and felt," he says.
Chauke started working for himself during the pandemic and worked with brands like Superbalist and beauty brands in the US.
“In 2020, I did collaborations with Superbalist I did collaborations with a lot of different businesses in the US as well. So one of the companies was good lights, they are like a makeup brand company that we're trying to highlight Black History Month, and I did work with Jeannie. It's also a makeup brand from the US. And they were trying to create a brand identity around blackness and just black female empowerment, and they were trying to get black female owners to join into their business because their business is sort of like a platform that allows people to sell their products," he says.
Do not be afraid of no
How has Chauke become so successful at a young age? He is not afraid of being told no.
“Put yourself out there. That is the one thing that has helped me, just do not be afraid of no because it does not hurt to hear a no because at least you got a response and you tried your best. You can move on and try again. Somebody is always going to see your work and someone is always going to appreciate it,” he says.
Plans for future
“I would love to create a space where I am getting a lot of work that speaks to the culture and speaks to where we are in the moment and represents the times as well. I also want to get work that brings people together to collaborate and brings in community and always having conversation and dialogue,” he says.