Young animation artist Lwazi Msipha is cementing his place in the art world with his unique art.
Lwazi now has his show, My Cartoon Friend, on Cartoon Network.
The show has 13 episodes and season one first aired on July 12. Each episode runs for around two minutes.
The 27-year-old said he believes art is something that was instilled in his DNA.
“I’ve always had a weird obsession with cartoons. I would watch nothing but cartoons and that love grew from me just watching them to making them.
“I’ve always been good at drawing, since primary school I used to get compliments about my artist skills,” said Lwazi.
“However, over the years my drawing skills have improved a lot. Back then I couldn’t make a cartoon move, now I can make a whole series by myself.”
The former Benonian creates, writes, animates and guides the 13-episode production of the series and also plays the show’s main protagonist.
The self-taught designer and school-taught 3D animator won the 2019 Digital Lab Africa #3 pitching competition, a springboard and incubation platform for African creatives, which led to the creation of Africa’s first original hybrid comedy series.
Lwazi said it usually takes him a few hours to draw a cartoon character.
“Coming up with the perfect character is what takes long because there is a lot of exploration that goes into creating a character. I visualise the story in my head first, then write the script, then create the characters and backgrounds before I do the final animation,” he said.
His drawings are inspired by real-life experiences that occur daily.
The Boksburg resident explained the process of bringing a cartoon character into life starts from character designing, where you design the character according to the characteristics you wish to relay.
“Then you go into rigging the character – the process of adding ‘bones’ to the character that will allow them to move.
“You then voice the character. After voicing, you animate them according to the voice and then you’re done! You have brought a character to life!”
He has created many cartoon characters that are relatable to the South African audience.
“I’ve created characters such as the rude nurse (people seem to love her though), a lazy police officer, President Cyril Ramaphosa and many, many more.”
Lwazi has his own business, Old Fashioned Youngin, where he works as a cartoonist.
He encourages others to get into this career.
“Animation is a lot more accessible now than it was in the past. You could literally animate an episode entirely on your phone these days,” said Lwazi.
To see more of Lwazi’s work, check out Cartoon Network, DStv channel 301, TikTok: @brwnskn, Instagram: @brwnskn_za and Youtube: Old Fashioned Youngin