Featured Founder/Illustrator

Müs

May 2019

Meet Musonda Kabwe, the very talented Founder of Müs. Musonda was born in Zambia and raised in Johannesburg, and tell us about how hard it can be to join the 'social bubbles', and how it can be detrimental to getting work. He gives us a run through of his favorite five local designers/studios/organisations, and he shares with us how he developed his style organically, simply by drawing a lot.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied Graphic design in Cape Town at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology but most of my Artistic training came from High School, The National School of the Arts. My first commercial jobs came as referrals from my friend and mentor Sindiso Nyoni. The first job was an editorial illustration for the biggest magazine in the country, The Sunday Times. The second was a Packaging job for Motherland Coffee. We collaborated and I got to draw a few characters for the packaging.

Did you have a plan for graduation and what actually happened?

After I graduated at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, all I wanted to do was work independently or at Studio Muti. I wanted to stay in Cape Town but the low pay and high cost of living didn’t add up so I returned to my family in Johannesburg. I realised how niche Illustration is in South Africa. I spent 6-months spamming people with my portfolio & CV. I had to settle an internship at a local advertising agency called Black River FC after a month there it was clear that my skillset would go to waste rolling out layouts for billboards and making presentations.

The internship was fruitful though. The ECD referred me to Grid Wordwide, a branding, and design agency, It wasn’t an illustration agency but it was a step closer.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I communicate ideas and tell stories using pictures.

"

I think the basis of everyone’s style is deeply rooted in their interests and worldview. Draw consistently, you don't even have to finish the drawings.

"

What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why?

I’ve really been enjoying the Futur by Chris Do & the Arrest All Mimics podcast.

How does the local culture of where you live affect your design work and getting clients?

People tend to live in social bubbles, so they tend to hire who they know. It’s great if you manage to get yourself in the right circles but detrimental if you’re not. Weirdly I feel like it’s easy for me to move around because I’m foreign. I don’t identify too strongly with any social bubble. I’m getting a few international commissions now and I’m working on getting more of those.

Is there an active design community in your city and who are your favourite top 5 designers/studios/organisations our readers can check out?

  1. Sindiso Nyoni
  2. Studio Muti
  3. Yay Abe
  4. BCKRDS
  5. Grid Worldwide

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

I developed my style organically by drawing a lot. After some time you notice what subject matter & visual style you gravitate towards. I think the basis of everyone’s style is deeply rooted in their interests and worldview. Draw consistently, you don't even have to finish the drawings.

What's on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

I’ve got a few good commissions coming up, one in advertising & the other for a University in Scotland. I’m also planning for a solo exhibition during the second half of the year.

2019 for you in a sentence

I’m going international.

Website: musondakabwe.com

Instagram: @musofficial

Twitter: @musofficial

The
Design
Kids

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and join our design community of emerging graphic designers around the globe.

The
Design
Kids

Add a job!

Price ($AUD): {{ job.boosted ? job.type.boosted : job.type.base }}

What you get:

  • TDK Job board posting for 3 weeks (website, newsletter)
  • Guaranteed instagram post (196,737 followers), facebook post (16,124 followers) and tweet (10,431 followers)

Please note:

  • The image we’ll use on Instagram will be curated by us and loosely linked to your company to get the best results for you from our audience. Sit back and relax, we’ve got this!
  • Internships are cheap to post, but please be respectful! This is is not a free design service. Our student and graduate following is of the highest quality and we want to honour their talent. Please respect the students and other commitments they might have time/money wise when submitting your ad. Thanks!
  • We love jobs! And so does our audience. Because our following is mostly students and graduates, the best jobs to advertise are for junior and mid weight roles. Specially graphic design, digital design, typography and illustration. Please note these are paid full time or part time roles, so if you have a one off project to advertise, put it under our Freelance jobs dropdown instead. Thanks!
  • (Please note the image we’ll use on Instagram will be of our choice and no necessarily from your company, but will be loosely linked to your ad, it will be the highest of standards and one which you will get the best results from our audiences with. Trust us, we’ve got this!)
  • Welcome to our new section for freelance one-off jobs! To keep things simple, we want to connect you with the talent by advertising what you need, and encouraging people to email you directly with an example of their work. You can choose who to work with from all the submissions you receive. Everything is done online, and you can expect a designer to be dealing with you remotely. The good news is you won’t be limited to talent locally - this is advertised in each of our cities, meaning you will get a much higher standard of work to choose from. Picking a budget is very hard - we do not encourage work for a fiver like some websites, because you will end up with something worth a fiver!

    Our community is full of the best emerging talent, and a average price should be around half of that of a professional. Our community is full of the best talent, and a average price should be around $65 p/h.
  • (Please note the image we’ll use on Instagram will be of our choice and no necessarily from your company, but will be loosely linked to your ad, it will be the highest of standards and one which you will get the best results from our audiences with. Trust us, we’ve got this!)

  • {{ invalidInput() }}

    Successfully submitted job!

    Your job listing will appear on the site after it has been approved by our team.