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Behind the design slaying goliath

Artwork Illustration by David Tshabalala
Artwork Illustration by David Tshabalala
David Tshabalala

Understanding the ever-changing digital industry with the help of Graphic Designer/Illustrator David Tshabalala.

We contacted David Tshabalala to ask him some questions based on his journey, style and industry accomplishments. What he has learnt throughout his time in the design industry.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a 33 year old Senior graphic designer and illustrator. Born in a small town called Harrismith, in the Free State.

At what age did you realise design was your passion?

To be fair, at the ages 9-10. I knew at that time I wanted to do something on the lines of animation and cartooning.


Artwork Illustration by David Tshabalala

" Overcome your fears of failure and stay true to yourself. Always." - David Tshabalala


What does the future hold for Slaying Goliath?

I want to use my experience to help young designers to be the best versions of themselves. So I'd like to do talks, and possibly podcasts to share my thoughts and insights about the industry as a whole. I'll never stop creating and using digital platforms to organically reach people.

What qualities and skills should a great graphic designer have?

Equip yourself with the knowledge of current trends across all mediums, so that you have better insights when creating your work. You need patience, resilience, passion and a lot of love for what you do.


Artwork Illustration by David Tshabalala

"We’re all Slaying Goliath, because overcoming obstacles bigger than us is driven by the human spirit." - David Tshabalala


How would you define your work?

My work is a guiding light for how pop culture is captured. Relatable, honest, pure and loyal to it's fanbase. All my brand collaborations are a consequence of the craft that I put it in. My passion for meaningful content put's my head and shoulders above the rest.

What mediums do you specialise in and what tools do you use?

Graphic Design, Digital Art and a bit of Animation. I use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects & Adobe InDesign.

What do you do to improve your design skills?

I am constantly on Behance, and gain a lot of knowledge on trends and tutorials.

How do you handle criticism?

With maturity based on my 10 years of experience, I use it as a learning curve to fuel me and educate myself.

What do you think the next big design trend will be?

I think layered collages and shock value might be back - pulling away from the minimalism that is embraced - especially in logos.

Tell us about a project that was your greatest achievement?

My "How To Survive Cyril's Economy" infographic won me a DSTV Content Creator Award, so that was pretty huge for me.

How do you stay inspired and keep coming up with creative ideas? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I feed off people around me and on the internet, music, fashion and current events. I draw inspiration from the world and I make my content resonant with local people.

Walk us through your design process?

I sketch my ideas out and I simply digitise my solid mockups. It's not a lengthly deep process but it follows the principles of good design. Research, Referencing and Design.

How do you deal with creative blocks?

My go-to for creative inspiration is video games and books. These help me keep an open mind and give me something to spark my next idea.

What’s the best piece of advice you have heard and can pass on to others?

Your latest work is the bench-mark and standard.

Illustrations by David Tshabalala

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