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South African creative Chad Hanning on the importance of street art

Whether you call it street art or graffiti, the art form is known for embracing everything from social issues to street life. For South African creative Chad Hanning, the power and longevity of street art, lies in its messaging. “I believe in how powerful street art is and use it to give a place life or a feeling,” he says.

Hanning was chosen among 50 South African creatives to participate in Design Indaba Emerging Creatives, an annual programme that shines a light on the up-and-coming stars in the country’s creative scene. It provides them with a much-needed platform at Design Indaba Festival. Along with their exhibition in Cape Town, 10 of the chosen Emerging Creatives will exhibit in Johannesburg during the conference.

In one of Hanning’s projects, he created a mural for a new youth centre in Villiersdorp, Western Cape, where he was inspired by the natural beauty of the area. Villiersdorp is home to a mountain range, agriculture and the largest dam in the Western Cape called Theewaterskloof Dam. “I painted a dreamy landscape that went from sky, clouds, mountain, water to agriculture and protea flowers.”

When it comes to his creative process, Hanning says that he only uses bucket paint and spray paint. But when he slips into the role of graphic designer and illustrator, he uses sketching tools and Photoshop.

Also in Hanning’s portfolio is a zine called Fresh. For the project, he collaborated with various featured artists from different countries and looked at the “thoughts on life”. The illustrations depict real-life situations represented by cartoons. Fresh was sold globally, and Hanning hopes to expand the series in the future. “I started a sketch club with the zine brand, it did really well in Vietnam and I’m launching it in Cape Town too. I’m hoping to grow the brand and venture into making t-shirts, prints and other merchandise,” says Hanning.

The artist got his start at the College of Cape Town where he studied Art and Design. He went on to work at various companies and taught as an art teacher at the European International School in Vietnam.

Want more? Catch up on the key themes to emerge from Design Indaba’s 2018 edition right here.

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