Ama Voetsek, Art, Zakifo
Greed

SKYE QUEEN OF STYLE

by Mahala Scribes / 11.06.2015

The boundlessly talented Skye T Steen literally burst onto the Durban art scene with so much swaggy style that kids were like, YO WTF! She’s won Interpret Durban, she’s won the Sketch Wars at Open Plan Studios and she’s gonna be painting this Saturday at the Zakifo Muzik Festival in the Tomy Custom Kicks project. Viva!

Skye will be joining Delon ‘4Givn’ Moody, Mook Lion and Dokter Jah Irie, who will all be painting huge canvasses live at Zakifo Muzik Festival. This art real estate will be purchasable – as each canvas will later be shipped off, chopped, sewn and glued into artist series Tomy Takkies which you can own! The investment will cost you R250 and all proceeds go to HOLAH Baby House – a home for orphans, located in Glenwood.

We caught up with Skye ahead of Saturday’s gig…

MAHALA: How long have you been in the professional world of art/graphic design? When and why did you decide that art was the thing for you?

SKYE: I completed my Graphic Design course at the Durban University of Technology in 2013 and jumped straight into the industry with an internship at THB Disturbance. I knew for as long as I can remember that I wanted to work in the creative industry, but it wasn’t until 2006 that I finally decided I wanted to become a Graphic Designer. I’ve always loved drawing and designing – being exposed to the industry at an early age with my father in advertising – so the decision was easy for me. I’ve been blessed with a very creative family so I’ve received plenty support in my creative journey.

Phoenix

Phoenix

MAHALA: From childrens’ book characters, to doves, and bunny rabbits – your work seems to beautifully blend archetypal innocent/pure imagery and characters with a slightly dark, grungy, punk edge… How would you describe your artistic style and taste and is there a common message or feeling you try to evoke through your work?

SKYE: I always find the reaction to some of my work quite amusing. I suppose I could appear to be quite the stereotype. I like to try stay a bit versatile as I find it’s quite important as a designer, but with a lot of my own personal projects/sketches I find influence in historic artist, Alphonse Mucha’s form and detail, as well as contemporary tattoo art when it comes to varying line thickness and style. I have always admired tattoo art – how the designs have structure and “pop”. In the end of it all, I just like having fun and trying new styles and techniques. When it comes to messages behind my work, well, I have always loved symbolism, and I feel it gives artists a voice. Apart from my mindless doodles and geeky fan art, I try to always tell a story, whether it be serious or playful.

Sharing is Caring

Sharing is Caring

MAHALA: Being a graphic designer, a lot of your creative time (we imagine) is spent in isolation at the drawing pad or in front of a computer screen. What is the appeal of producing your art live in front of a crowd or in a public space? And do you often experiment with other artistic mediums like this?

SKYE: Because the majority of my work is done by hand first, I feel quite comfortable whilst drawing and find it easy to zone out. I try to react the same during live art events as it can understandably become fairly stressful with eyes on every stroke you make and the desire to create a beautiful piece. It won’t be my first time producing art live, having done numerous events at The Winston Pub, as well as Interpret Durban 4, Sketch Wars at The Open Plan Studio and a few other events, so as always I am looking forward to it. I still find it so overwhelming working beside other incredible local artists. I love it.

Of course working live with larger scale artworks, I usually pack my little Uni Pin fine liners away and bring out the markers or acrylic paints. I have recently started dabbling with spray paint but I’m not ready to bring the cans out just yet.

MAHALA: For you, what is the most exciting thing happening right now in the Durban art scene and where do you see yourself, as a graphic designer and illustrator, fitting in?

SKYE: Just thinking about this question makes me smile. The Durban art scene has grown immensely and has an increasing support base, and for me to be involved in this just makes me so happy and so excited to make this city beautiful and help the scene gain the respect it deserves. I have been very fortunate to be involved and to be given the opportunities I have experienced, and I have many to thank for that. As a designer and illustrator, I simply hope to learn and stay inspired by the artists around me, and hope I am able to have the same effect on someone else.

In The Clouds

In The Clouds

MAHALA: We’re really interested to see what materials you’re going to be using at the Rivertown Beerhall this Saturday alongside the graffiti artists… Without giving too much away, what can the Zakifolk expect to see gracing your blank Tomy canvas?

SKYE: Planning for something of such a large scale to be done in such limited time was definitely something I had to think carefully about as I often choose to involve a good amount of detail, so you can expect something a little different on Saturday. I have chosen to do a pattern in black and white, which I really hope you guys will appreciate. See you there!

Skye, Mook Lion, Delon ‘4Givn’ Moody and Dokter Jah Irie will be painting this Saturday 13 June at Rivertown Beer Hall, Durban.

Tickets R80 presale / R100 at the door
Doors Open: 18h00

Line Up:
Felix Laband (South Africa)
Christian Tiger School (South Africa)
Make Overs (South Africa)
Raheem (South Africa)
Sketchy Bongo & Friends: Kyle Deutschmann, Witness the FUNK, Gemini, Sheen Skaiz, Aewon Wolf (South Africa)
Tumi (South Africa)
Nucleya (India)

Get your tickets HERE

Reaper & Maiden

Reaper & Maiden

Teardrop Tattoo

Teardrop Tattoo

*All artwork © Skye T Steen

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RESPONSES (3)
  1. Leighton says:

    Skye you getting too famous now 😛

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  2. Jonathan says:

    These outfits are adrbaole!! My little man will look just like his daddy in them. And he is an avid blink 182 fan so .bonus!alexandra dot hancock at gmail dot com

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  3. Samara says:

    Thank you, Jackie, and you’re welcome. Great that you have made this trip too. Yes, nartue is timeless indeed. When I was standing at the power station looking out over the sound of Raasay which is there for millions of years ( according the sign) it made me feel very humble and appreciative I had a chance to see this in my short existence on our planet.Ciao, Francina

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