INTERVIEWED BY Michaela Stehr
Johannesburg-based illustrator and multimedia artist Seth Pimentel (aka African Ginger) gives us some insight into what inspires him and how he creates his pieces.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Seth Pimentel. I’m a 22-year-old illustrator based in Johannesburg, and yeah, hahaha. That’s me basically.
How did you come up with the name African Ginger?
A lot of people don’t know this, but I’m an actual ginger, my hair is actually orange. Funny story: in high school I had super long hair – I went to a very chilled high school, so self-expression was a priority. I was 19 and I had just got Instagram. So, I sat around and thought of a really cool name that could just flow. I figured, I am South African and I am mixed and I am a ginger. Let me put the two together and that’s how African Ginger was born.
What inspires your work?
Mainly personal experiences, dealing with my mental illnesses, childhood, relationships with people, the standard human experience… you know.
What mediums do you use?
I use a lot of ink textures that I make, rough acrylic textures, pencil sketches and a ton of Photoshop to tie everything together.
Take us through your artistic process.
Sometimes I hear a line from a song or see a piece and dwell on it all afternoon. I then come home, sketch out something, scan it in and just go with the flow. Most times my illustration turns out way different to what I intended it to look like. I kinda just let whatever entity I feel overwhelm me and just create through me. I like it. Sometimes it’s unbelievably macabre – most times actually – but I love it.
Are there any local illustrators on your radar at the moment?
Yes, a ton! Daddy the Designer, Mars the Illustrator, Pola Maneli, Dirty Native, Dillon Harland, Imile Wepener, Brent Black, Musofficial (Musonda), Tako Universe. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of amazing illustrators in SA.
What feeling are you trying to evoke through your pieces?
Anything, as long as you felt something. To feel is to be alive, to be present. To allow the human experience. We continuously wake-walk in our dream world and sleepwalk in the real world. I just want us to be present in our waking life.
Any exciting plans for the future?
Got some exciting projects coming up, but I’d like to keep quiet about them. I feel like once they exit my mouth, they die. So I’d like to keep them to myself for a bit. Until they surface, of course.