proudly south african,
Exploring her creativity.
Inspired by her love of family, nature, her country and colour, we chat with Durban based artist Lynette Lombaard about overcoming self-doubt and realizing her passion.
I have loved art and creating for as long as I can remember.
I have been creating art in various forms since about 2000, using my creative talents to build a career in the professional creative industry which I have worked in for the last 14+ years.
I have qualifications in graphic design and communication science, but when it comes to my visual art I am completely self-taught.
Most of my free time is spent creating commercial art pieces and commissions with a focus primarily on acrylic and watercolour painting as well as mosaic art- think with my creative background it was natural for me to surround myself with art in any way possible.
Creativity is something that makes up a large part of who I am, and when I create anything there is a sense that I am pouring a part of my soul into that work. That creates a level of subconscious complexity where one tends to hold back on sharing except with people you feel safe around because you effectively want to protect your soul, and there is a feeling that if you receive critique you will be hurt on another level.
It has been a journey of growth for me to have reached a point where I could sell my art.
Because of my lack of formal training, for a long time I did not view myself as an artist, but rather saw it as “just a hobby”.
I am a perfectionist and because I perceived a lack of formal training as a handicap in training, I put an incredible amount of pressure on myself. I felt that if I had not drawn or portrayed something perfectly it was not good enough.
Reaching a point of overcoming those barriers took me realising that I am holding myself back, and realising that my art is not about perfection, or pleasing every consumer, but rather simply about doing what I love.
My best friend (who was a regular recipient of my creations) would tell me constantly for two or three years that I should be selling my artwork.
I remember her father commenting that I was wasting my talents, but at the time I didn’t understand what he was saying.
Then one day it clicked that I could actually do this!
With all of the negativity we as South Africans have experienced in the last two years.. with COVID and riots and all the uncertainty and emotional strain of losing people all around me, I found myself in a very negative space.
Through all of this I began to pour all of my energy and focus into doing art as much as possible rather than focusing on the negativity.
It became an escape for me, and I painted (and still do) almost every day after work, and every weekend.
Instead of waiting for “a good time”. I started fearlessly exploring my creativity, doing anything I wanted, how I wanted it, rather than being bound by my own expectations, and that helped me reach a point where I was effectively free.
That freedom tends to create an authentic and artistic piece that is ultimately saleable.
I am inspired by the things that I love most in life – my family. the ocean, wild and free. I love the wild and rugged outdoors teeming with beauty and life, I love animals (pets and wildlife alike). I love South Africa, and I love colour.
That is why much of my work will contain splashes of colour or a mix of vivid colour rather than simply the true colours of the subject.
When something has raw beauty or inspires me, I try to portray that beauty and character in my art – a view of beauty the way I see it.
I think I would class my work as a mix of modern and contemporary but truthfully I don’t see myself as having a specific genre. I try not to box myself, but rather to explore my creativity and see where that takes me. I simply portray and illustrate whatever I find beauty in, in a way that brings to life my colourful view of life and the world.
I find myself inspired to paint something that I have seen that I find beauty in – a majestic sunset or a gorgeous wild animal and in my mind’s eye I can already see how I want to portray the subject in my own colourful way.
I then look for a couple of reference images to help me get a feel for movement, flow, features and characteristics and draw a rough draft onto my canvas or paper with pencil.
I would usually underpaint the background and rough features, and start with layering the main subject. I layer up with progressively darker shadows to get the definition into the main subject or landscape and then focus on finer details.
This usually takes around 3 – 5 layers depending on the complexity. This is one of the reasons why I love acrylic and watercolour; they are quick drying.
Being an impatient person, that medium allows me to continue with the next layer after only a hour or so rather than having to wait for days.
Once I feel the subject is complete, I add colour, either by splashing paint over the work, or by using acrylics and a pallet knife.
I will sometimes finish it off with some gold foil to highlight key areas.
If anyone feels they have the potential to be an artist, my number one piece of advice would be just go for it!
I wasted so many years with my lack of formal training somehow disqualifying me from seeing myself as an artist.
We can only improve through actually doing and gaining experience so put yourself out there and explore your creativity!
Do what you love because you love it, and everything else will flow.
If you are spending too much time trying to do what you think will sell or what you think will appeal to a larger audience, it detracts from the authenticity of your work and places you under huge pressure
Ultimately art is authenticity not perfection.
If you are like me and have a day job, don’t rush in to quitting your job to become a full-time artist overnight. In today’s day and age and with all the uncertainty, there is really nothing wrong with a side hustle, and if your day job can put food on the table (and pay for art supplies) that takes a lot of pressure off trying to create work that sells well to make ends meet.
Join art groups were there are opportunities to exhibit and be open to sharing on platforms like ICONIC.ZA, or on social media.
Put yourself out there!
We live in a digital age -take advantage of that – it’s virtually for free.
Be open to opportunities to donate art to a worthy cause, or even to create a competition.
All of this not only gives you exposure but also experience.
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