Yolande Mutale’s vibrant illustrations are averse to perfection and attracted to chaos
Combining figurative imagery and hand-drawn type, the London-based illustrator depicts a “humorous, animated world”.
Using mini on-the-go drawings and the Notes app in her phone, illustrator Yolande Mutale takes influence from “absolutely everywhere”. She records what others may see as insignificant – a funny sign seen from the top deck of a bus, or a conversation with her mum. These moments alongside her broader interest in music, travel and politics all coalesce to produce her vibrant, charmingly chaotic illustrations. While Yolande’s work aims to “capture the energy and liveliness of the everyday”, she also uses her work to communicate more serious messages. For example, her final BA project at Central Saint Martins was focused on the end of Robert Mugabe’s 37 year reign over Zimbabwe.
In terms of style, Yolande can often be found hopping from medium to medium. While in commercial projects she uses digital illustration for ease of amends, she’s also interested in the hand-drawn quality of ink, pens and screen printing. But, “no matter the medium”, Yolande always endeavours to include vibrant colours and apply a “loose” illustration style “that isn’t too neat or perfect”. And recently – if you didn’t think Yolande’s work could get any more lively – the artist has started incorporating animation into her practice, a move she sees as “really bringing the scenes to life, capturing the chaotic nature of the work”.
Yolande Mutale: Foley (Copyright © Yolande Mutale, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.