Meet Pretoria based illustrator and vida Brand Ambassador Karabo Poppy.
We love the latest cover of the Obrigado magazine, talk us though the cover and conception?
The cover is an exploration of Christmas time in South Africa – a contrast to the
commonly seen snow, reindeer and freshly cut fir trees. Here at home we have a rich use of colour, a large supply of hats, sweltering temperatures and road trips travel during the festive season instead of Christmas jerseys and fire stoking duties. The cover has a portrait of someone experiencing Christmas time in Mzanzi.



As a creative you must cyber stalk quite a few local
Koos Groenewald – Fellow Designer + Illustrator
Fhatuwani Mukheli – 1/3 of ‘I See A Different You’
Laduma Ngxokolo – 21st century mXhosa
Lean Boezaart – Entrepreneur + Co-Founder of Freedom of Movement
Russell Abrahams – Fellow Designer + Illustrator
Name 3 Instagram accounts that you feel have been a key influence to your
@Laduma – 21st century mXhosa
@ISeeADifferentYou – A trio collective portraying South Africa as they see it
@GarethPon – Africa’s best Instagramer
Tell us about the coffee culture in Mzanzi, which vida is your local hangout and
what do you usually order?
The coffee culture is South Africa has been one of the most exciting industries in the passed few years. We’re seeing great entrepreneurial drive, innovation and attention to craft. The best part being that one no longer needs to travel too far to get a great coffee whether it being the classic cappuccino or even more elaborate coffee brewing techniques like siphon coffee. My local vida hangout would be the vida e caffe in Sandton City and I usually order a coffee frio.
You recently spent some time in Brazil, walk us through this experience, street
life, learning Portuguese and coming home with design inspiration
The experience was extremely challenging and inspiring! The interesting language
barriers, rich coffee culture and beautiful scenery (both natural and man made) made
for a trip had a great impact on me. I learnt that learning phrases in Portuguese
rather than individual words will get you far in Brazil. The street life in incredibly
vibrant and colourful, with a culture of welcome amongst everyone there and large
spaces of beautiful graffiti juxtaposed with century old buildings. Brazil is dense with
thick green trees all around and I noticed that I started to illustrated more nature
inspired illustrations upon my return.
You designed the cover for the month of April for the 4th annual South African
Artist’s Almanac, your design was about Freedom Day and the promise of
Freedom in SA. Walk us through how you believe design has an influence on
creating political awareness of satire in SA.
Design has always been a great tool in communication and creating awareness that
is both memorable and beautiful. I think this is because of design’s potential for fast
wide spread distribution amongst the public. Design speaks to a wide audience and
makes political awareness of satire in SA not only possible but easily read,
understood and shared.
What art expos will you be attending in 2016?
Haven’t really planned around that yet, but it will be as many as I can attend.
What has the most fun project to date been?
The project I had the most fun with to date has been working in conjunction with an
app on the Apple App Store called Over. I had the privilege of being one of the
contributors to the (RED) Campaign – a campaign started by Bono and Bobby
Shriver to make it easy for people and businesses to join the fight against HIV and
Aids. I compiled a series of illustrations that would be sold on the Over app. All
proceeds went towards the campaign and had a hand in partnering with Apple reach
an amount of $75 million that year.