20 Years of Conceptualisation and Design


20 years ago I was in college doing my first year in applied art & design, computers were the privilege of 3rd years. I have always enjoyed the design process and sketching is an integral part of it. I decided to document all my sketches into a book so will share some here

In our first life drawing class we had to write where we saw our selves in 5 years and 10 years and our lecturer Mike White had the papers for us at the end of the course. Had no idea 2008 would be a year never to be forgotten. Grateful that 20 years later still doing what a love.

That envelope was for a letter I sent to a friend of mine who was still in high school! We used to call ourselves the Du-Nang Clan. In hindsight the graphics were a bit out here as these would be received at the school office.

My first ever freelance job 1st year! I asked my lecturer @janesheps on how to cost. It came up to $14000. It was an identity & packaging of inhouse brand. “We want to compete with Spar” they said. I worked long nights doing fine detail type using Letrasets. I never got paid.

Was introduced to doing basic and ornamental design where we learnt pattern making which I have loved to this day! These were all hand rendered then we had to paint them.

Life drawing was done throughout the three years but first year I wasn’t applying myself and had to do extra lessons where I’d go to first street after college and do quick figure sketches until it was empty then we’d move to fantasyland to do We got back to college after 8pm.

Music that kept me going at this time @incrediblemU. My bro and I bought a radio with our first payout, CD and tape deck. Spend one friday noon recording for a dude who wanted Buju Banton’s Destiny on one side of a 90minute tape and Easy Road on the other side.

We read a lot of hip hop mags and they played a huge role in my love for identity design. There were a lot of expressive logos for record labels and squads. XXL, Rap Pages, The Source, Word Up, some which were available in Kingstons!

From the mags also developed a love for grafitti art at that time it was not even a thing we thought we could do. But it didnt stop us from sketching I even had a name Storm after Goredema a.k.a Col. Storm of the Zim Rap Regiment (a story for another day).

We did a lot of re designing of various products including money, then we thought having a $100 was a cool thing not knowing we would out do this hit the trillion dollar note! And stamps I still want to do stamps for Zim and of course ZBC…

Inspired by Tony Namate’s book of cartoons I wanted to dabble in coming up with a character and having a cartoon strip.

We had a product design project to come up with a new invention. Mine was the Telepathic Wave Decoder. It was solar powered and could record dreams, could be used as a communications device, to even communicate with babies and animals.

This logo was the first one we were to scan and then redraw on the computer! I couldn’t wait and I was so excited but struggled with the bezier tool in Aldus Freehand on a 4400 PowerPC.

The first time I used visual art as a form of protest was a project speaking up against the use of nude female models for life drawing. I got my highest mark for life drawing with this project. Final piece was a story of how ‘Judith’ really felt about modelling in the nude.

I secured my first job on the strength of this project which won the Craft Award for Typography at the Creative Directors Forum, at the awards night we had the opportunity to meet and talk to Chaz Maviyane Davies before he went into exile.

In my first year at work I was elected to be the secretary of the Graphics Associated of Zimbabwe and served for two years. Grazi’s vision remains elusive in Zimbabwe.

This was as sample job sheet while working at Danes design. There is nothing I love more than crossing out items on a list! I still print pout a physical copy of what I need to do and I take pleasure in crossing completed work.

Around this time the @mushtella identity was birthed

After 3 years at Danes I had decided to move on and go fulltime freelance, in my initial interview my boss said you will probably be here for two years then you will move on I didn’t even have a contract we just shook on our agreement and we both fulfilled it. Then I moved to SA

At the Poly we paid $100 Caution Fee which was a deposit to ensure that if you broke anything you would not receive that money back. At the end of three years you could produce the receipt and receive your money back. Thats all we paid for three years of tuition!