But there is more as the artist’s limitless creativity continues to make waves in both local and international art spaces, writes GOSEGO MOTSUMI
As you Google search South African artist Nasty C’s Zulu Man in Japan Netflix documentary poster, the rapper’s denim jacket for Redbat clothing and Tellaman’s album cover, you meet local artist, Refilwe Wale’s digital artworks.
Close to home and there’s Wale’s bold and colourful murals painted on the walls of the new 267 grill+bar restaurant while her trademark designs are also spotted on the St Louis #MoKeBotswanaCampaign, often interacting with the audience and the environment in strikingly inventive ways.
These are some of the few works done by the artist who has also been recognized by Swedish-based audio streaming and media services provider, Spotify, on their Instagram page. “I would say the kind of art I do is limitless when it comes to creativity,” Wale said in an interview. “My job is to design unique digital artworks and paint murals that communicate with the audience through characters, objects, lines and colour.”
Art has always been a part of Wale’s life since she was young. Even so, she failed her senior secondary school art final exam and decided to close her artistic chapter completely because she was shattered. Fortunately, her supportive mother, Elizabeth, slowly encouraged her to start drawing again and her passion for art blossomed and in due course she pursued a degree in Creative Multimedia at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
Soon enough she was developing her own art style that most art enthusiasts recognize. Through her art Wale met great artists and people who are doing exceptionally well in their respective fields, learning and adopting new skills along the way. These are the same skills that she hopes to pass on to younger artists through a book or an application in the near future.
“In 2013, I saw a graffiti artwork on Google and I fell in love with how other artists drew their characters. The artworks were totally different from what we are used to seeing here at home. That’s when I decided to be different from every other artist. All I know is that I wanted my art to stand out,”says the Serowe native.
As the COVID-19 pandemic moved life to the digital realm, Wale says she became more active online because most of her projects were halted, her movement restricted. “I practice a lot,” she notes. “In order to be good or to become a professional, you have to practice every day even if it’s for only five minutes. It helps to keep your creative juices flowing. If I experience art block, I watch a lot of movies and anime, and I play video games and meditate.”