The Portfolio: Slondile Jali

When I created this artwork I was very anxious. I had made a big decision, which was to take my daughter to come and live with me. I am a single mother and my daughter swings between me and my parents, who help me raise her. I wanted to be together with her on a full-time basis, which was something we hadn’t done since we were very young.

Creatively, I was filled with inspiration and the excitement of starting something new. A title I thought about was Siyaphi?, because it was also a major change for her.

So I wanted to use that energy to produce something that would inspire both me and her. So I looked at old photos of us with the theme I had in mind. I then started to doodle a few patterns, which is what I normally do. I drew our feet by referencing a photo that we had taken.

I cropped out our feet from the picture and played with the image on photoshop to remove the background so that it’d be easy to use the elements I wanted to use. I then drew over the photo, adding some details, and then scanned it into a computer and then layered it with the patterns I’d drawn separately.

I spent a lot of energy working on my individual style. I figured that I wanted to combine my style of drawing with my doodling patterns and little things that seemed like they weren’t going anywhere.

The more I worked on this artwork, and the more I doodled stuff, the more the patterns and the vision came together. It no longer became a question of siyaphi? It was more siya phambili, which was really great for me and inspired me in terms of handling the pressures of being a full-time working single mom. The way we were standing was so cute because I’m pushing her forward, and I’ve got her back. I really like how that illustration put that out there.

This has become one of my favourite illustrations of all time, because I have so few of them that feature my daughter. I did this illustration for my khalenda (that I print and sell), which was inspired by the birth of my daughter. When you are pregnant, dates become so important. Your life becomes measured in weeks and not months like normal people. Every month is a milestone in your baby’s life.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

‘Frustrated’ police resort to force

Regulation uncertainty leaves slap-happy police and soldiers to decide when people should or shouldn’t be allowed on the streets

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders