Loyiso Mkize is one of South Africa’s best known graphic novel and comic book illustrators, being one of the foremost contributors to the Sunday Times supplement SupaStrikers but turns to painting for creative expression and as an avenue for his personal, political and social commentary. The paintings often depict expressive faces, focusing his work in portraiture because of his fascination with skin, texture and the emotion that is conveyed through facial features – notions of the soul, the spirit and ultimately to illustrate his understandings of the true African experience in the contemporary art world. Mkize’s use of highly stylized and technically brilliant brushwork creates realistic imagery that leans toward the surreal with his decorative framing and imaginative illustration, adding multiple layers to each portrait with character references and the impression of self-awareness in each of his works.
Before devoting himself to his own company and fine art full time, Loyiso worked as head illustrator of the popular soccer comic book Supa Strikas. Strika entertainment, a character based entertainment company whose clients include, KFC, ADT, African Bank, Nation Roads Agency, Caltex, Anglo American, Umbra to name a few
Loyiso Mkize is a South African visual artist and was born in Butterworth, 19th March 1987. He studied at CPUT in Cape Town where he achieved his diploma qualification in graphic design in 2009. In 2015 he founded his own visual arts and communication company Loyiso Mkize Art (Pty) Ltd which publishes the energetic South African superhero comic book, KWEZI. This follows his long standing and consistently growing career in the fine arts.
In late 2013 however, Loyiso registered his visual arts, Loyiso Mkize Art (Pty) Ltd company which he aimed to create proudly South African entertainment products and communications solutions. A few months later, in 2014, Loyiso developed and published the first South African superhero comic book series, KWEZI, which is now the company’s flagship product.
The comic book quickly rose to popularity with new episodes being published in steady succession. The obvious remedy to meet with the demand as well as extend availability nationwide would be to partner with David Phillip publishers. From June 2016 KWEZI then went on to be published at all Exclusive Books stores and Bargain Books stores nationwide. The partnership has published two KWEZI collector editions thus far enjoying regularly enjoying best seller status in some prominent stores.
Loyiso Mkize Art subsequently developed projects such as the Earth day campaign commissioned by 702 radio and Cape Talk fm in 2014. The company would later develop an Entrepreneurship awareness comic book titled Young Hustla for and entrepreneurial training and facilitating company. Most notable was the anti bullying comic book commissioned by the American comic book company, Archie comics which was developed and published in the USA in late 2015.
Loyiso’s painting career began officially in 2009. Having discovered late in his life that he had a passion for portrait painting this artistic expression has grown over the years with great success. Painting has become a tool that he uses to document and express views and ideas. He generally paints with oil paint on canvass. His subjects, generally African, explores the complex nature that makes up this modern man, his environment, predisposition and culture. Mkize focuses on the emotion, emphasizing brush strokes on skin texture and the eyes. Finding the subject’s spirit and communicating that through the medium is an effort that he has found his voice in.
His international participation has enjoyed highlights such as being commissioned to produce nine artworks for the Hollywood crime thriller, Momentum, directed by Stephen Campanelli, and starring Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman and James Purefoy..
Loyiso has also been involved in various organizations and foundation. He was the commissioned by the Rotary Club of Sea Point to paint a massive Nelson Mandela portrait which was later successfully auctioned in the Leeuwenhof Premier Residence in Cape Town.
Loyiso Mkize has also been involved in Knights whisky ad campaign endorsing the Authentic South Africans campaign.
His ability to create Visual art throughout the varied arenas he participates in, carries with it an intention to communicate ideas that he finds most important in his life, the most prominent of which is preserving the African identity. His life work embody the message of self-awareness,
acknowledgment, strength and radical presence. Its in this spirit that he hope his work can perhaps create a platform in which we can all