This is the online portfolio/blog
of Shinji Akhirah.
On the site you’ll find various examples of my work – both personal & professional. I’m always looking to express myself on any surface, whether digital or via traditional methods. I’m known to enjoy a good brew of coffee. Tribe Coffee Roasting – you guys do it right, every time!
Take two highly creative individuals in their respective fields, toss them into a think tank and let their talents compliment each other.
Enter Shinomi – a creative collaboration between myself, Shinji Akhirah and Nomi Handmade.
Nomi Handmade (view her Etsy shop here) is a designer that specializes in creating beautiful objects and jewellery using traditional South African Shweshwe prints. Her work is meticulously detailed, yet elegantly simple and expressive. Her passion for her craft is only rivaled by her love for words and wine (not in that particular order 🙂 I’m ecstatic to be collaborating with her on our side project entitled “Shinomi”.
Shinomi means …
We’ll be exploring various avenues in our design application, from textile through to digital and perhaps even the virtual.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be involved with this venture.
Every so often I get a request from my friends for commissioned work. I love that they value my input and art that they wish to support it with payment (lol). Seriously though, it’s both an honour and a privilege to be able to do work for my friends. This time round it’s an illustration to be printed at A1. It was commissioned for a birthday gift that also happened to coincide with an anniversary of sorts.
What a blessing.
These two individuals are awesome, do amazing things for those less fortunate and have incredible energy. The inspiration for the illustration came from a photograph of a moment that they shared on the river banks at a weekend getaway.
Thank you guys for letting me co-create a small part of your story and I look forward to many more moments shared with you.
I’ve always been fascinated with Japanese style – in both its complex and simple forms. The fluidity with which they approach technology and design often feels like something natural yet mechanical.
With that interest at heart..
Red Dawn was born.
The images below belong to a series of six and is available for print reproduction at A0 (down to A2) as a giclee canvas print.
It can either be supplied box-mounted or unmounted. I’ll be doing them as a single run – yes only 6 will be available worldwide, ever! I’ll be posting the remaining 3 images in the near future.
You can either grab the whole lot (for the collector’s out there) or an individual version.
For pricing, contact me via email with your sizing and artwork request number as listed below.
So when tasked with the opportunity to create a series of new characters for a cool new spot in my hood – Shift Espresso Bar – I naturally grabbed it with both caffeine-charged hands. It was great to work with Luigi (co-owner) on this as his feedback was always constructive and relevant. I feel that the result really grinds down (sic) to the essential personas depicted.
I’ve tasted all three varieties and I have to say that The White Wolf seems to resonate with me the most.
If you’re in Cape Town, more specifically the Green Point area, you should pop in and try one of their specialty brews. Free Wifi + great aesthestic + great coffee at very decent prices. A laid-back cafe to meet up with friends or make new ones. One cup might be enough, but I prefer a minimum of two.
2014 has been an interesting year for me both in the Design and personal sphere.
I was approached by Design Indaba to collaborate in designing a trophy for one of their awards – The Innovation Award. This involved creating the initial concept, 3D pre-visualisation and preparing the appropriate STL (stereo-lithographic) files to be utilised by the printer. Since hearing about the advent of 3D-printing, I’ve always been keen on realising a virtual design. The future is literally at your fingertips with technology.
After a few sketches, I settled on a fairly complex design – you have to push yourself somewhat, even in a first attempt, no? 🙂 I utilised the imagery of a light bulb that encases a grid-based globe, as it’s symbolism is intricately intertwined within the idea of innovation and creative sparks. The model was printed in 2 phases and assembled afterwards. I’m pretty stoked with the result – I hope the recipient appreciated it as well.
I was recently approached by a successful start-up events rigging company to assist in a logo design for corporate communications.
A meeting was scheduled with Dan Meyer – Director of Stretch Inc –
in order for me to ascertain the “human” element to the business model. This is usually a big go-to for me as it assists in helping to effectively and harmoniously recreate the intended vision and passion. It would also be translated onto the commercial transport vehicles and various social networks.
It is a gift to be celebrated, with all it’s complexities, colours, flavours and tastes. Inspired by the season of summer and the sonic colourscapes of Cape Town.
My home away from home.
I drew my inspiration from the Peacock, the ocean and some of the indigenous fynbos that we are lucky to have here in Western Cape. Seriously, it doesn’t grow anywhere else on the planet.
Not my usual colour palette but trying something different and new is what it’s all about. I’m getting amped about some large works in the pipeline and with the summer coming up, you can only imagine the happiness I’m feeling for creation. I can see this working for a bunch of clients out there as an installation piece (so, holla if ya hear me :).
Could work for *insert client* here….
The Magic of Larry Soffer is a talented enigma and if you do get to see one of his performances, you won’t be disappointed.
One of South Africa’s most talented individuals. I’ve known him for many years and have assisted in creatively directing a large degree of his audio/visual presentations and shows until 2012. I feel a great sense of pride knowing that, together with the excellent guidance and vision of Gabriela, we had assisted in helping him progress from humble beginnings to worldwide recognition and everything in-between. I wish him the best on his new life chapter.
ReImagine – an infographic depicting a simple overview of theshinjukueffect approach to transmutation.
I was afforded a wonderful opportunity with a previous company that I worked at – John Brown Media SA – to gain knowledge and tuition from another awesome institution as part of their up-skilling component within the business. I opted for some insight and training with the Ogilvy Digital Marketing Academy.
Headed by its two charismatic, highly intelligent and passionate personalities Dave Duarte and Max Kaizen – I knew it would be special. One aspect of the course involved creating something that could be digitally shared and preferably something that could be used to teach another.
I love sharing knowledge that in turn could possibly create new mental connections to the internal dialogue and the external world.
I have often been asked how I go about conceptualising my ideas or approach things with such familiarity, even when dealing with new subject matter. So I decided to share my one of my mental processes by means of the infographic below. (click on the image to view it larger in a new tab)
I’m pretty stoked with the end product and the results of a week’s worth of sharing (nothing super viral, but sufficient and relevant gains across platforms were acquired thus achieving my own goals successfully).
It’s quite literally and visually a snapshot of one of the imaginative models that I use. I hope that it sparks new ideas within your own mind to create great things. Most importantly to have fun whilst doing it.
It was made to be shared, so please do so if you feel like inspiring someone else.
This is a sentiment I often hear uttered from the lips of the many diverse people that visit or live in my beautiful city. It is embedded with flow both at natural and social levels. We’re a globally connected upgraded fishing village with some seriously gorgeous landmarks. We’ve got a floral kingdom that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. We are flanked by two temperamental oceans that collide and give birth to a dynamic and varied species of aquatic life.
This city is vibrant, busy and scaling like you won’t believe. Everyone loves Cape Town – for a multitude of reasons known and unknown.
It’s a nexus of contradictions, intellectual contrasts and disproportionate wealth. Yet it has the allure of that sweet nectar.
That feeling that puts you at ease and creates anxiety at the same time. It’s your favourite piece of music played by 30 talented musos all playing on their own timelines. It’s jazz in its syncopation, yet pop in it’s manifestation. It’s trying to emulate New York as investors and city-planners seem to transplant ideas from foreign interests onto local streets. Sometimes unaware or without care of the possible ramifications of such a progression. Everything is possible here, if you’re in the Loop…or more recently the Bree.
Cape Town – We Love You.
Don’t try being something that you’re not.
You know better.
I was sitting listening to some Fela Kuti whilst having a cup of Cafe Najjar when I started sketching this Neo African Goddess in my notebook. The flavours and sounds were infusing my creative flow with a quiet calm, but the sort of calm that comes just before a storm. I knew she needed to be redrawn and reproduced only a handful of times.
6 reproductions. Belonging to a range of individuals.
an art-collecting, blue-chip company Chairman
a secretive Saudi Prince
one of my oldest friends and my Godson’s father
The final two reproductions are available for sale, at either A2 or A0 sizes. She brings light and hope into the homes and offices that she inhabits (so I’ve been told) – even having been referred to as a lucky talisman. I put goodwill, love and passion into creating her image and being the Neo African Goddess that she is – she reflects and resonates all of that positivity and intention.
If you’d like to secure one of the last two available canvas prints, drop me an email before its too late.
A little sample of the inspirational music from the genius Fela Kuti…
I took the challenge and considering the local trend of jacking celeb names (yes, you Ryan Gosling) the outcome seemed relevant and fitting. Mash-up streetstyle with top-quality production savvy/satire and you get this.
A lil logo loop for some of his live gigs – (no sound, obviously).
I spend a lot of time listening to music, often inside headphones. I also spend a fair amount of time in front of a screen, in applications that use grids and perspective. So one late night some time ago, I rendered these digital headphones.
The artists involved – both of local and international acclaim – donated their time to this novel idea. The music – an electronic reconstruction and interpretation of Classical pieces with a trance/breakbeat flavour. The tracklist is as follows…
E’naxx (Intro) -TICKETS
No Sense – PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT VS PHONIC REQUEST
The Wreckoning – EMP
Blackout – DELIRIANT
Toy with your mind – ZION LINGUIST
My first chemistry set (Cybernetix rmx) – CHEMOGEN
Toccota Infuzued – PARANA
Know what i mean – SOLAR AXIS
The Dream – ON
The Runner – ARTIFAKT
Show your support for this positive initiative by purchasing your copy of Classical Distortions here.
I recently received news that I’m going to be a Godfather to one of my oldest known friends. So in true form, I decided to pimp out his nursery with a mural. MTN94 and love. Little Liam, I hope you like it.
I’m from South Africa. Cape Town specifically. And Cape Town likes to build.
A place where we celebrate colour, diversity and at least in my personal capacity – we want to build each other up. Creatively, inspirationally and intellectually. Cut the fat from the bone, optimise and uplift.
With that ethos and inspiration, I created this pop-art styled piece. Those are my hands as they form to resemble a sprouting tree using each iteration and extension of its digits as branches. It’s available as a limited canvas print from A0 down to A2 with a run of 10.
“We can only grow together – We build each other up”.
Until my shopping system for prints gets implemented (currently in beta), you’re welcome to email me for pricing and any further information.
A commissioned mural for LAL Cape Town completed in 2007 – it has since been erased due to change of ownership and the upgrading of the premises but best believe a fresh new one is one the way. Medium used: Montana Gold spray paint.
This definitely goes into the book for one of my favourite mural memories in a collaborative experience so far.
I was commissioned to paint a mural for the new Mxit offices – one of the largest mobile networking companies in Africa. 250+ square meters of wall space and a fair degree of freedom of concept. This was to be one of the largest pieces that I had undertaken at the time and with it came a host of obvious and not so obvious challenges. Together with a fellow creative – Ryan Jarvis – and a fair of amount of spray paint, we undertook to add some artwork to the walls and pillars of the offices in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Duration for mural execution: 40hours
I knew it would be tight, but I didn’t quite foresee how physically strenuous painting this mural would become. Due to the heights of the walls, a lot (a lot) of time was spent in squat-like positions. A full-body daily workout with squats in excess of 700+ per session. Working at night to avoid the chaos and audio assault of construction work being undertaken, we muscled through on fumes, painkillers, Monster Energy Drinks, loud music and stupid rants of maniacal laughter.
Ryan, you were a trooper amigo. Would hit up scale projects with you anytime. In fact, lemme go and setup a couple soon…
I was selected as one of twelve South African artists to contribute to The Sketchbook Project in 2012. The original artwork featured here is now being housed in the collection situated in the Brooklyn Art Library. Medium: Ink and Graphite.
Local Hip Hop cohorts – ETC Crew – asked a fellow true Hip Hop artist (yours truly) to design the album artwork and a poster for in-store merchandising for their debut EP release under the African Dope label – What’s In A Name .
The beats are raw, jazzy with playful and intelligent raps, these cats know how to have fun and drop some knowledge on ya. Peep the video for “Jozi Oaks” after the jump.