Africa Month Interview

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    #OneShow2019: David Tshabalala and Sarah Waiswa's online judging panel insights

    The One Club for Creativity's Creative Week is just around the corner, taking place in New York City from 6 to 10 May 2019. To kick off our #AfricaMonth coverage, David Tshabalala and Sarah Waiswa share their experiences as online jurors on this year's Art Director's Club (ADC)'s illustration and photography panels respectively.
    David Tshabalala and Sarah Waiswa. Photo credit for Waiswa: Osborne Macharia.
    David Tshabalala and Sarah Waiswa. Photo credit for Waiswa: Osborne Macharia.

    Tshabalala, cofounder of creative director at Suketchi Branding and Design in Johannesburg, has grown quite a following for his own ‘Davetionary’ of social commentary-based illustration design skills, as demonstrated on his ‘Slaying Goliath’ social media accounts and what Between10and5 calls his ‘unwavering passion for graphic design; while Nairobi, Kenya-based ‘phoet’ – photographer-poet Waiswa is perhaps better known as the Afrohemian Nomad, capturing snaps of real life in all its bright beauty across the globe.

    Both had work commitments that prevented them from taking part in the main judging experience in the Dominican Republic, both followed the action with interest, and made their own selections through a rigorous remote process.

    And though neither of them will be attending One Show Creative Week in May, Tshabalala confirms that he will be New York on holiday in June, so he’s looking forward to “checking out the One Club for Creativity offices and just immersing myself into the general vibe of the creative part of New York.”

    Here, they share insights into this year’s One Show online judging experience as well as what to expect from The One Club for Creativity’s Creative Week 2019…

    BizcommunityWhat did you most enjoy about this year’s One Show judging experience?
    Tshabalala: It was my first time judging, so it was amazing for me to be amongst my fellow judges from Africa and SA, whom I've admired for my whole career.

    I loved the variety of work, the talent that was on show was on par with some work that I've seen in our country so that was really great to witness, as a young South African.

    Waiswa: I did the judging online, in sections. Overall, it took maybe four hours for the first section and then two hours for the next round. It was really interesting to go through all the entries, to see the campaigns and work from creatives from different parts of the world.

    Bizcommunity Let’s take that a little further: Describe your personal judging process and how you stuck to the brief.
    Tshabalala: I looked for technical ability and the conceptual approach that was hopefully applied to each piece of work.

    I know that every Illustrator has his/hers own unique style, so I tried to judge each piece of work based on its own merits, rather than comparing it to other work of a similar nature.

    Waiswa: I basically went through the brief in the beginning, so I could better understand the judging criteria and then looked through the visuals of each entry before reading the project statement, and then went on to assign a score/rating.

    Bizcommunity Without giving too much away then, talk us through the quantity and overall calibre of entries you judged and any stand-out trends.
    Tshabalala: I probably judged over 200 entries and the calibre of entries was amazing.

    There's little difference in quality between the big guys and the smaller studios and individuals. The trends I've noticed are the use of bright colours and illustrators mixing textures with shapes to create bold and abstract designs.
    Waiswa: There was some amazing work submitted, but I would have like to see more entries from the continent.

    The pressure is on, Africa. Fingers crossed for all our finalists!

    Keep an eye on our One Show Awards special section, where roving reporter Ann Nurock will be sharing insights and interviews on all her One Show Creative Week experiences. Also be sure to follow Nurock as well as the SA Creative Circle, Bizcommunity and The One Club for Creativity on Twitter for the latest updates.

    About Leigh Andrews

    Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.
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