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Behind the design Anda Dawg

Illustration artwork by Andadawg
Illustration artwork by Andadawg
Anda Mncayi

Understanding modern art through the fingertips of illustrator Andadawg.

We managed to contact illustrator Anda Mncayi to ask him a few questions based on his style and artworks. Being one of many impactful artists in South Africa.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hey, my name is Anda Mncayi. I am 27 year old concept and graphic artist currently based in Cape Town. I grew up in East London, in the Eastern Cape and came down to CPT in 2013 to further my studies after high school.

Varsity is where I developed most of my artistic skillets, especially learning digital media. I studied Graphic Design at CPUT from 2013 - 2016, and in that time I was also fascinated by illustration and Concept Art. So I then had the opportunity to further my studies at the Academy of Digital Arts in 2019, as a Concept Art student.

At what age did you realise design was your passion?

I found out about design while doing research in high school, probably around grade11. That time I was thinking of what kind of work I would like to get into as a career. The school I went to didn’t have art as a subject, because I went to a Technical High School.

However I always had a file of drawings I worked on in my spare time and sometimes in between classes. I used it for my applications to Universities. And while I was at CPUT in 2013 Is probably when I realised design is my passion. I was 19 that year.


Illustration artwork by Andadawg

"It's simple yet difficult to create something you like and something that your audience will enjoy visually." - Andadawg


What does the future hold for Anda Mncayi?

I can’t really speak too much on the future as we all are not certain what it holds in store for us. I am also keen on finding out hahaha. Currently I’m in the process of putting together a solid body of work which we can showcase, and potentially work with some artists that inspire me on the project.

What qualities and skills should a great graphic designer have?

A lot of the skills Designers will learn will be after design school. I see it a lot where I work currently, we are always learning about the worlds we inhabit, both in the physical and virtual.

Most of it is problem solving and sometimes the problem might not even be design related, so there are other ways to be creative. Being able to exercise creative thinking on multiple levels is a good skill/ quality to have.


Illustration artwork by Andadawg

"Fans always ask me how do I get inspired? My answer is always, through the emotions of my life. Things aren't always easy, this is why I make the most out of those experiences..." - Andadawg


How do you handle criticism?

It depends on who is giving the critique hahaha. It’s always best not to catch feelings, which is easier said than done. Otherwise we have been taught to take constructive criticism at the school level.

Our lecturer in 2nd would actually advise us to crit each other’s work while working through the design process . That way you can also develop a vocabulary as student and be be able to pick up on mistakes easier.

What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?

Currently I have been fascinated with Art direction and production, it’s what I’m learning at work at the moment. Tell us about a project that was your greatest achievement?

I don’t really have a specific one. What I would say though is the ongoing project of creating on a regular basis and being in flow.

What’s the best piece of advice you have heard and repeat to others?

Best piece of advice I’ve heard is “just be yourself”. This one is probably cheesy and over administered hahah. I like it though, because everyone has their own way of explaining what being themselves means to them.

And also you could potentially find yourself down a rabbit hole trying to find the self, it’s a path of discovery.

Anything exciting for you in the near future that we should know about? I guess you will have to wait and see, follow me on my instagram for any updates @andadawg .

Illustration artwork by Andadawg


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