David Tshabalala: One of South Africa’s most influential digital artists.

Popular for his distinctive creative style, David Tshabalala is arguably one of the most sought-after graphic designers and illustrators in South Africa right now. He garnered himself a fan base and following on social media subsequently to the success of the ‘Run The World’ insta-bition, for which he illustrated awe-aspiring women who are doing well in their respective fields.

Run The World was a series that payed homage to women I’m inspired by, both young and old, who do amazing work. I profiled these inspiring women during Women’s Month to commemorate and celebrate their slay. The series lasted between 2014 and 2017. The Davetionary is commentary on topical issues, serving as a contemporary visual narrative of the world.

My ever-evolving style is quirky and humorous, with a particular focus on social commentary.  One of my proudest moments was making it to the Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans list in 2015. Being chosen as a jury member for the Art Directors Club 98th  Annual Awards in 2019 is another proud moment. The Loeries also invited me to be on their judging panel in 2019.

My work is mostly inspired by pop culture and everyday people. The relationships I form with people in the ‘real’ and digital world are my biggest source of inspiration, the insights gained from daily social interactions with people is invaluable to my work. When I’m not being superstar illustrator Slaying Goliath, I run my own branding & design agency Suketchi, with business partner Sarah-Jane Boden.

– David Tshabalala

The nickname “Slaying Goliath” comes from David’s Instagram handle. It is derived from the Biblical story where David slayed Goliath. At the very core he says he is a spiritual being and finds meaning in being able to overcome obstacles that are bigger than him, so it felt natural for him to go by the name Slaying Goliath.

David is not only a Graphic designer and Illustrator but an entrepreneur who has a graphic design company called Suketchi. His partner is his previous boss, Sarah-Jane Boden from Soul Providers — his last place of employment. He says; “we are a small team, there’s literally four of us.

Suketchi is literally my 9-5, if I wasn’t part-owner I would say that’s where I work. You’ll hardly see that work on my Instagram page though, and I think some people might even deem it boring, but every time I share my personal work under Slaying Goliath on social media, I try to drive people to my website, so they can follow the actual business. 

Slaying Goliath is my personal brand, and the work is self-driven. The two worlds are not far apart from each other. If anything, I am trying to get Slaying Goliath to be more like Suketchi.

David Tshabalala

Some of the accolades Tshabalala has collected in the last decade as a graphic designer, illustrator and part-owner of Suketchi include being nominated at the 2015 Bookmarks Awards in the Best Young Gun category, being chosen as an Emerging Creative at Design Indaba, and being featured on the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list in 2015, and he still forges ahead as a game changer.

For more of Davi’s work, follow him on instagram and take a look at his business, Suketchi.


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