Local Artists Comic Con Africa 2022 Raymond Minnaar TAO Art Dordan Draws KRASH!
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Local Artists at Comic Con Africa 2022 That Impressed Us

Comic Con Africa 2022 has come and gone. The massive convention delivered plenty of exciting stalls, showcases and events this year, but none impressed me more than Artist Alley. I found myself repeatedly visiting that section of the Pop Culture hall every day, excited at the prospect of discovering some awesome artwork and creations. This year, though, the spotlight was taken by a handful of local artists who brought some of the most creative art to the show.

While it would’ve been a gargantuan task to include every local artist that made an impact on me at Comic Con Africa, I decided to hone in on a select few that managed to grab my attention and truly stand out. I also had a chance to interview them for some perspective into their art, dreams, influences and words of encouragement for aspiring artists. Artist Alley was sponspored by Cricut this year, which gave local artists a stage to present on at Comic Con Africa.

MORE COMIC CON AFRICA – Comic Con Africa 2022 Was Coachella For Geeks

Raymond Minnaar

Local Artists Comic Con Africa 2022 Raymond Minnaar TAO Art Dordan Draws KRASH!

One of the more renowned illustrators at this year’s Comic Con Africa was Raymond Minnaar, a name that circled Artist Alley with plenty of praises. Raymond’s art adopts a strikingly detailed fantasy aesthetic and theme, with concept art that conjured up plenty of my own geek preferences like The Lord of the Rings or Dark Souls. Dragons soaring across battlefields, knights dressed in beautiful armour, it all effortlessly captured my imagination for epic medieval visuals.  However, as I’d come to find out, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Raymond explained that he aimed for a more realistic style, though was not entirely limited to realism as he listed Magic The Gathering as one of his influences. Aside from art, Raymond is also writing as a priority, taking on martial arts and planning ‘other bigger projects’ as well. “I just wanna be a better artist,” he said. “In the sense that I can push myself a bit further and produce better quality art.”

The biggest challenge Raymond faced as an artist was just starting out and having the fear that he would not be good enough or if he would make it in the art world. Overcoming that fear was a matter of continuously pursuing it and never quitting. “Just do it!” he said when giving words of encouragement to aspiring artists. “Do it for the love of it, don’t do it for the money. Money will come if you put in the effort… Don’t worry about failure because you are gonna fail, it’s gonna happen but look at it as an opportunity to grow.”

You can follow Raymond Minnaar on his Instagram account and official website.

KRASH!

Local Artists Comic Con Africa 2022 Raymond Minnaar TAO Art Dordan Draws KRASH!

As a big JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fan, I’d naturally be drawn to any JoJo’s art I could find at Comic Con Africa. One stall that not only produced terrific, stylized anime and gaming-themed art but also made me feel very welcomed was KRASH!. I had the opportunity to speak to the friendly folks there and discuss in detail the idea behind the KRASH! brand being something a little more unique and inclusive than your average artist.

If you visited KRASH! over Comic Con Africa, you would’ve found superb art from franchises like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Akira, Tekken, Dragon Ball Z and my personal favourite Chainsaw Man. Upon closer inspection, you would’ve also found a collective group of talented artists under the brand, each producing the stylish artworks on display. Going under Krash Nation, they’re a relatively new business that started two months ago. “We came together with an understanding that in the South African market, there’s a small amount of hype for art itself,” said Krash Nation’s Alex. “There is a ton of talented artists but no platform for them.”

“What our vision is, is to create a platform for them,” he continued. “Think of it as a mixture between Webtoons and Netflix. We want to provide a platform to help other people host their own comic books and provide our own. We want to really put South African comics on the map.”

KRASH! boasts a fantastic, unifying ideal for all artists and storytellers to give them the necessary platform for hosting their own work in South Africa. “Netflix is known for producing their own content and distributing it,” said Krash Nation’s Thabo. “So not only do we wanna be a producer of comics and art, we also want to distribute pre-existing content, licensed stories, and just give artists a fair shot and just get stories out there.”

You can find KRASH! on Instagram as well as their YouTube channel where they host podcasts and create helpful content.

Dordan Draws

Local Artists Comic Con Africa 2022 Raymond Minnaar TAO Art Dordan Draws KRASH!

One of the first stalls I stumbled across in Artist Alley was Dordan Draws; an artist going by the name of Jordan who produces unique anime art, ranging from Jujutsu Kaisen and Berserk to Cowboy Bebop and Demon Slayer. Her highlights were undoubtedly the amazing character portraits, as she managed to inject her own style into the characters without losing the soul of the original artists she is heavily influenced by.

Based in Durban, Dordan Draws began drawing at age 15 and over the years, has managed to refine her signature art style. Of course, the influences came from simply being a fan of anime and the quality really speaks for itself. Dordan Draws almost effortlessly replicates the material of the original anime and manga artists yet still retains a distinct style of drawing that feels uniquely her own. It’s a supremely rare quality for an artist to pull off this fine balancing act.

Dordan Draws had a simple yet important bit of advice for aspiring artists: “Find the time!” Time management, especially as an artist who is just starting out in the art scene and must manage time effectively, is crucial and can deter most who have busy schedules outside of drawing. This allowed Jordan to develop the aforementioned balancing act, but more importantly, focus on developing a style that speaks to not only herself, but others who were just as impressed by the displays as I was at Comic Con Africa.

You can find Dordan Draws on Instagram as well as her official website.

TAO Art

Local Artists Comic Con Africa 2022 Raymond Minnaar TAO Art Dordan Draws KRASH!

The final local artist in the spotlight is TAO Art, an artist that produced pop culture pieces with a tastefully stylish flare. Like many artists at the convention, TAO Art brought a catalogue of artwork ranging from Spy x Family and Arcane to One Punch Man and the gorgeous center-piece, Nier: Automata‘s 2B. However, what made their work stand out was the finer details: an awareness of pop culture demand and a blending of several franchises under one banner.

“My style was mostly influenced by an artist called Sakimichan,” said TAO Art. “She does a lot of fan art and manga and anime specifically, and I really love her style so I started sort of emulating that style into the works that I do.” Deriving from a combination of fan art, manga and anime, and general pop culture works, TAO Art produced some stunning works, one of which was a mesmerising piece from 2018’s God of War showing Kratos and the World Serpent.

TAO Art works on an international scale, not specifically limited to South Africa. As with all artists just starting out, they had some positive words to give to aspiring artists too. “Just keep doing it. And also don’t be afraid of failure. You don’t get successful without failing, and I think the biggest problem that I see with incoming artists is they get too in their heads and too precious about their work. If they do badly, they think it means that they can’t do it, but it’s very much a part of the process. You have to do badly to get better. You’re never going to improve unless you do that.”

You can find TAO Art on Instagram and DeviantArt.

Featured image by TAO Art

Writer
Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

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