MEET MANDISA NGQULANA

When I moved to Miami in 2009, I had no clue of the journey ahead of me, and the people that I would meet along the way.  Mandisa Ngqulana, is one of the first friendships I developed in Miami, had I known that our journey would still be continuing eight years later I’m not sure that I would have believed it.  But when you meet someone with such a genuine soul, that’s impossible to let go.  I know that I can attribute some of my interest in design to her; her sketches were completely unexpected, true to her heritage, and honest.  And the fact that she willing put her work on display without thinking about how other would take it shows her strength. I can’t wait to see my friend again, until then I’ll settle with this interview.

 

First some Miami Questions…

 

1.   What did your time in Miami teach you?

Miami is buzzing with creativity it’s mind blowing. I learnt about how this creativity plays a major role in the city’s identity.

2.   How do you think Miami affected your creative process?

It allowed me to be free and to push myself more with no limits.

3.  Miami is such a transient city, was there anyone you met here that inspired you?

The energy in the city is very addictive; the connections I made were amazing. I come from a fashion design background and I was not so inspired with some of the trends I observed in the city. The one person that would always get my attention was my friend Candace. She had her own look that made her stick out in a crowd, always daring and very fierce. Her hairstyles were fashion forward as well – it was refreshing to see.

Lets Begin…

4.  How did moving back to South Africa affect your view of the world, and how do you think it affected your design?

Moving back was a little bit challenging careers wise; I wasn’t so driven to work in fashion. I had the freedom to do what I needed to shape my career the way I wanted it. I wanted to work in an art gallery; my stay in Miami influenced this. I was so determined I ended up working for one of the best galleries in Cape Town.

 

5.   What was your first major interaction with art and design?

I’ve always been involved in the arts; I think it was when I started working for a fashion magazine in 2005 that I realized that both art and design are connected.

 

6.   What affect did that have on you, and is that what led you to choose the design field as a profession?

Design is very broad and I learn something new all the time. What is important to me is my identity and these 2 questions: Who am I? What do I stand for? The answers to that are what make my design process easier because I discover more about myself. I’ve gone from producing garments, printing on garments and I’m now focusing on illustrations.

7.     How do you balance creativity and business?

I try to keep my mind and body on track and I my working space should be inviting for me to stay productive.

8.              How do you get “unstuck” creatively?

Getting more sleep, boxing, sketching and anything else that unifies the mind and body.

9.              What would you say is a great example of great design (digital/physical)? Not including your own

At the moment I’m really inspired by this South African brand called The Ninevites (https://theninevites.net/)

Look out for it’s too dope!!!