Müs

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.

Design work by Müs The Design Kids interviews Müs work-2

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I communicate ideas and tell stories using pictures.

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

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

Design work by Müs The Design Kids interviews Müs work-4
Design work by Müs The Design Kids interviews Müs work-4

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.

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.

What are your top 5 local design things our readers can check out?

Design work by Müs The Design Kids interviews Müs work-6

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.

Design work by Müs The Design Kids interviews Müs work-9
Design work by Müs The Design Kids interviews Müs work-9

Where to find Müs online.

Website: musondakabwe.com

Instagram: @musofficial

Twitter: @musofficial

Get involved