E-commerce is once again allowed in South Africa. We are now able to process and courier internationally.

E-commerce is once again allowed in South Africa. We are now able to process and courier internationally.

the beginning

This year has offered me something invaluable: alone time.

I have always shied away from it in fear of loneliness or that it would mean something negative to not have hundreds of friends and an overly active social life. 

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Styled photograph of a blind portrait illustration screen printed onto an eco tote bag

Discovering Betty’s Bay

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary
After multiple weekends of work and countless late nights we decided to treat ourselves to a quiet weekend away to just unwind, connect and recharge for our upcoming projects. I booked my first AirBnB late last year and was very impressed with the process and the place we stayed at in Franschhoek. A friend of mine that joined for that trip then used AirBnB with her family and I got a notification that I will get R600.00 off my next trip. Being an AirBnB newbie I had no idea that this would happen and was thrilled to get such a significant discount. Excitedly, I set off to find a magical little cottage in the mountains. Along the coastal drive from Cape Town to Hermanus we kept passing a quaint little town called Betty’s Bay so I had a look for a place and found something exceptional.

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Mistletoe gift tag styled photograph

Graphic Design 101

Starting a new brand is hard. I would know all too well. It is an incredible amount of work, money, time and effort and in the end it might not work out. You have to fail and fail fast, pick yourself up and start again (and again…). There are inevitable insecurities along the way. You have to figure out your target market and make really tough decisions that might cost you along the way.

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Secret Doodles

“My fascination with letting images repeat and repeat – or in film’s case ‘run on’ – manifests my belief that we spend much of our lives seeing without observing.”- Andy Warhol
Over the last three months I have been working on a secret doodle project with Fuze Tea celebrating summer with the launch of their new flavor. When they approached me with the idea I wanted to stay true to myself and I came up with the idea of hiding twelve secret doodles across the country for unsuspecting strangers to discover. Random acts of kindness go a long way and if I brightened up even one person’s day with these tiny original drawings it would be worth it for me. I drew inspiration from the leading figure in the 1960’s Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol, and modernized his famous Campbell Soup silkscreen experiments. Pop Art explored the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising and I felt that this exploration would be quite interesting in the modern age of social media.

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Paper Anniversary

“We loved with a love that was more than love.” – Edgar Allan Poe
Seeing as love is definitely in the air today and I finally managed to squeeze in some precious time for a little blog post I thought I would finally share one of my favourite commissions that I hand crafted in December. Anyone extroverted who works from home will know that it becomes pretty dull from time to time so I absolutely adore it when clients pop in for a meeting to brief me for their illustration. This is how I met the gorgeous Claire, a vibrant young architect with the most beautiful love story. Her husband, Andrew, is an architect as well and they were friends for about three years when she had to move to Pretoria to complete her studies. They decided to meet up one weekend when she was visiting a friend in Cape Town and immediately realized that something had changed between them. Two weeks later he flew up to Pretoria where he had his cab driver pretend to be a DHL deliveryman with him as the parcel. They have been madly in love ever since.

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Buffalo Drift

“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is the best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.” – Albert Einstein
  There are few experiences superior to a quiet weekend escape ensconced in nature. This weekend had all the soulful benefits of camping with all of the luxuries to make it exceptional. While looking for a weekend destination in 2015 I happened to discover Buffalo Drift. It is close enough to Cape Town to drive after work and far enough to switch off and enjoy a lovely road trip with friends. We decided to head back there for a second time early January to surprise a friend for her thirtieth birthday. She is not one for attention or parties so we thought a quiet girls weekend away would be the perfect way to shower her with love. Gifts are truly special sometimes but I have been trying to rather focus on experiences that create lasting memories and allow us to spend quality time with the people we love most.

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Mount Nelson

It’s your city. It’s your mountain. Get lost in it. This ethereal interpretation of the 7th World Wonder captured through contour studies in ink will transport you away from your busy life to that place of deep, inner calm we often only find in nature. The aesthetics of this piece strikes that precarious balance between the minimalist and abstract.

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Heatherfield House

A total of sixteen hours went into this intricately hand crafted drawing of the breathtaking Heatherfield House in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town. Hofni Schoeman as a gift for his beloved partner commissioned it at the end of last year. A secret number of their darling pets have been hidden in the drawing to create a wonderfully fun Where’s Wally effect. See if you can spot them all!

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Babylonstoren

Finally back at my studio and catching up on all the blog posts I didn’t get around to last year. First up is my absolutely favourite place in Cape Town: Babylontsoren. I remember the first time I went there around four years ago with two friends. We wandered around the gardens for hours in the soft summer heat and lazily ate a wonderfully fresh meal at the Greenhouse tea garden while sipping on their crisp Chenin Blanc wine. Since then I have been back on numerous occasions and each time I go I discover something new. The friend I went with originally, Janice McLean, celebrated her thirtieth birthday in November and we wanted to do something truly special for her. Instead of buying an expensive gift, Lauren and I arranged for a surprise Babylonstoren experience at the Garden Spa and Babel restaurant.

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Maria Magdalena is a Cape Town based contemporary illustrator celebrating an elegant simplicity through intricate lines of ink. Shop the current collections online or order your custom original illustration today.

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