This week’s guest is a Johannesburg-based illustrator and art director, Rendani Nemakhavhani whom is majorly known as the one and definitely only PR$DNT Honey. Nemakhavhani is described as, a visual artist that doesn’t use the outside world as the source of their inspiration, but rather uses her fantastical yet empowering perspective of the world as her source of creative inspiration according to Nataal. I believe calling her a visual artistry maestro, particularly in illustrating might actually be an understatement, here’s what this weeks Five @ Five entails;.
1. Naming yourself the president, would you run for presidency?
Nah. It looks as though being the president doesn’t mean that you have any real power you know? It’s as though presidents are mostly just the face of the country. Naming myself PR$DNT Honey was based on how I feel about my late grandmother. She made everything good that needed to happen in my life happen. We weren’t a rich people, but she made sure that the basic needs of our lives were met. We never felt like we were without. That’s what presidents are meant to do.
2. Where do you draw your inspirations from when creating your illustrations? And what form of medium do you use for your illustrations?
I moved from integrating hand drawings + digital to just working on digital. I draw on photoshop. I am inspired by the lives that Black people lead and aspire to have.
3. On Nataal, you mentioned that the “Black is Beautiful” series is an ode to yourself first then blackness, what does it it mean to be not only a black woman, but a dark skinned black woman in the creative, art & entertainment industry?
I try not to compartmentalise it all that much because I feel like I’d be putting myself in a really tiny box (especially while making the work). That feels claustrophobic. I am however cognisant of how various associations are made based on what you put out and also who you are at the time. Representation is very important to me esp in the context of my work. The narrative around dark skinned women especially ( I don’t trust how genuine it is yet) is feeling like it’s moving from a less exotic pov to a view or being dark being a part of everyday life. I haven’t felt the ‘consequence’ of those titles all in one go, but definitely have felt them individually in separate situations. There’s a letting go of the titles sometimes. Just so you’re also not burdening yourself. It’s wack, but like I said before, there’s definitely a shift happening.
4. A follow up question from the previous one, how does it feel for you to be Female, Black and Venda living in South Africa?
I don’t think I have the words for this one yet. It’s so layered and complex at the moment.
5. Do you think persuading or encouraging rather the next generation to consider doing creative careers instead of corporate careers due to family pressures or other types of pressure is something we should do more of?
Yeah I think it’s very important to be transparent about the creative industry. To let those who want to come into it walk in with their eyes wide open. Everyone who feels they want to work in a creative practice should definitely go for it. So I support encouragement 100%
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