Graphic design and illustrations are essential for any rapper, artist, or corporate company. In today’s digital age, it’s easier to excel in these fields by conducting thorough research and putting in extra effort to gain recognition. Gomolemo Mokete, also known as JusGomo, is a multi-talented graphic designer and illustrator from South Africa. Her work has gained global recognition and has been selected to be showcased at the 7th annual NFTNYC event in New York City in April 2024. Illythehost recently interviewed her to discuss her work and achievements so far.
I always see you causing waves with innovative styles so kindly tell our readers a bit about yourself.
My name is Gomolemo Mokete also known as JusGomo. I am a South African graphic designer, illustrator, and creative. Born and bred in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. My work reflects my experiences as a black woman and a creative person who grew up in the hood. My art explores themes of identity, culture, and social issues. I am inspired by the everyday lives of the people around me, as well as by her own personal journey as an artist.
What does an illustrator do?
An illustrator is a visual artist who creates images and illustrations to communicate a message, tell a story, or enhance a concept.
How did you fall in love with illustration and when was it?
I fell in love with illustration when I was in primary school, I think around grade 4 when our teacher gave us an assignment that included drawing. I was excited about the fact that I could imagine something in my head and then bring it to life on paper.
Is it something you studied for and always wanted to do as a child?
It is something that I have always wanted to do since the day I discovered that I could do it. I went to an arts high school and did Visual Art as one of my main subjects.
book illustration, fine art, and editorial illustration are three completely different things, which one do you specialize in mostly?
Most of the time there can be some overlap between these categories, each has its own distinct characteristics and purposes within the broader field of illustration. Book illustration is closely tied to storytelling, fine art emphasizes personal expression and creativity, and editorial illustration serves to enhance and complement written content in editorial contexts.
I specialize in digital illustration, which is a good combination of all three and some flair.
As much as Graphic design and illustration are two separate creative fields they tend to overlap sometimes, which one do you enjoy doing the most, and if not why illustration only not both?
For me, Graphic Design is more of a profession/ career, and illustration is my passion, the one thing that really sets my soul on fire. I enjoy illustration the most because I have creative freedom with it and it allows me to be my authentic self.
Are illustrators also using images, graphic forms, and words as physical communication tools, or is it way different from Graphic Design?
They are different but same, same. Even though both graphic design and illustration involve visual communication, graphic design is more focused on solving communication problems and creating cohesive visual identities, whereas illustration emphasizes artistic expression, storytelling, and creating visual representations.
Illustration is a very competitive job and also a price-sensitive field based on the research I did, how do you market your work and how pricey are you?
It depends on what the purpose of my illustrations is. If it’s commissioned work, I calculate costs that include resources, time, size, format, etc. If I am designing for an art exhibition or a gallery, my pricing changes too. My pricing is also different when I sell my work as NFTs because that’s also a completely different market, a global market with a stronger currency than ours.
"My art explores themes of identity, culture, and social issues." - Gomolemo
Do you believe that it has a market in South Africa?
Illustrations do have a market in South Africa even though it’s not as big as overseas, it’s slowly growing. I think people need to understand the work that we do as illustrators to fully understand how to best support an illustrator.
Who are some of the best illustrators you would love to collaborate with going forward?
Definitely! The first one is @tyresse_xvi and the other is Sindiso Nyoni. Both South African
How can our readers get hold of your work?
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, DM on my Instagram account @media.jusgomo, or DM on my Twitter (now known as X) account @jusgomo. I also have a link to all my NFTs if anyone would like to purchase and an online store is also coming soon. Also excited to share that my work has also been selected to be showcased in New York City in April 2024 at the 7th annual NFTNYC event, so I’d appreciate some funding to get there to see my work live.
Link below: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/gomolemo-mokete-5747362130124906999