Each month, we are privileged to work with artists from all over the world. Their unique styles and points of view make for an especially diverse sense of inspiration in the art that arrives in our monthly Holstee Membership. From Los Angeles, California to Barcelona, Spain and everywhere in between, each piece of art is a true collector's piece.

This month’s Adventure Art is by artist and designer Matilda van der Walt, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She loves working with watercolor and gouache paint and often incorporates her hand-painted illustrations into her work. We got to work with her to help us bring our theme of Adventure to life!

Matilda van der Walt: Designer and Illustrator

For a little more about what inspired this artwork, her process, and her life, here's a short Q&A:

Where is home for you?

South Africa

What is your definition of a successful life?

A balanced one. Although it seems like it takes a lifetime to learn how to get that balance right!

I would also say a life that has been lived and not being lived by life. By being in touch with what is important to you in life, taking control of your life and and striving to obtain the goals we set for ourselves. A successful life according to me is a life filled with inevitable setbacks and victories, It’s how you come back from those setbacks that define you.

Describe your perfect day.

There wouldn’t just be one perfect day that I can describe, but I think being healthy and being able to love and be loved and to live another day is perfect in it’s own way.

Adventure Art: The First Step

How did you get into design?

I was always into drawing even as a kid and have always been an extremely visual person. Art was one of my best subjects at school and I somehow always felt I would end up pursuing a creative career, it was what came most naturally for me. I went on to study Graphic Design because out of the options I knew I had, it made sense at the time. I got more into design via my studies and once I started working.

Where do you find inspiration?

Honestly, all over. I am constantly taking pictures of things I find beautiful or interesting with my phone because it is always on me. I have a ton of screenshots also saved on my phone that I take when I stumble upon something that inspires me. I like to get out in nature, it never stops inspiring me. Sometimes I page through books just to get away from the screen or I try to visit new and interesting places often. Colours found in my surroundings often also inspire me. I love to people watch too. People can be pretty interesting.

Matilda van der Walt Sloshed Gin Sorbets

What's your dream design project?

Getting into textile design and having my artwork printed onto textiles that are used for a beautiful clothing line or furniture and getting to work on the art direction for the shoot! I would love to get more into art direction for shoots!

Which designers or thinkers influence/inspire you?

There are so many designers and people out there that I admire and that inspire me! Amy Keevy is a local South African artist and creative who’s work and aesthetic really admire and enjoy. I have also been very inspired by Tess Guinery as a creative and human being in general. Her writing is also beautiful. I have always adored Esther Clarke’s watercolour creations as well as Carleigh Courey beautiful watercolour floral work. I love nina Cosford’s illustrations and her way of incorporating humour into her work, I find it hilarious. I love Rosie Harbottle’s illustration style and basically everything she creates. Katrin Coetzer is another local South African artist who’s work I have always admired. Kate Pugsley is also a firm favourite. Emily (@emilyblackapple) is also a very inspiring artist that I love to follow! The list goes on, but those are a few of my recent favorites.

Adventure Art: The First Step

What was the inspiration behind this design?

My husband and I are heading into an adventure of our own this year, we are moving to a new country for the first time, and to us it’s a pretty big deal. We are heading into the unknown together and that’s why the “Adventure” theme stood out for me. Adventures are just that - heading into the unknown. This idea basically sparked the inspiration behind the illustration of the two people heading into a big forest, filled with many scary and unfamiliar things, but also filled with beautiful scenery and may lead to who knows where!

At the moment, what is your favorite …

Color: Warm tones (too hard to choose only one color!).

Food: Sushi, Indian Curry, and I am awkwardly very into long stem broccoli at the moment.

Song: At this moment I am quite into Billie Eilish’s Ocean Eyes (especially the Blackbear remix).

Quote: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style"  - Maya Angelou


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This article is part of our series on the theme of Adventure.

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