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Folio illustration agency, established London 1976

In the Studio: Studio Muti

Cape Town, South Africa

Their work spans a broad range of styles and genres from digital painting to vector icons and custom typography. They’re a hugely talented group of artists, who can beautifully bring to life anything they’re asked to put their hands to. With Muti, you’ll get a startling variety of professional, imaginative, high-quality illustration - from a multi-talented, adaptable and experienced studio.

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Tell us a little about Muti, your backgrounds and how it came about to the working studio you are now.

Clint and Miné started Muti in 2011 after having been work colleagues for many years before that. A year later their friend and colleague Brad joined as a partner. Since then the studio has grown to seven people and one cat. Our backgrounds are quite diverse, ranging from design, illustration, clothing production, client service and advertising.

There are seven of you working in the studio together, which is certainly a great number of to share the work between you! How does it work when you are initially commissioned on a project?

We work in varying styles and mediums so depending on the project’s scope and style requirements we’ll assign an individual or small team managed by Clint, Brad or Miné

What three things are most valuable to you in your studio?

Number one is undoubtedly the people who form the MUTI team. Then our amazing studio space with it’s view of the mountain and of course our machines.

What are the first three initial steps that you take when a commissioner approaches you for an illustration project?

We’ll assess whether it’s the kind of project we want to take on - is it a style we are keen on working in or client we want to work with? Next we’ll find out the deadline and see if it’s a realistic ask. Thirdly it’s about budget - does client have the resources to fund the project.

Who and what keeps you inspired?

Having such a large team means a lot of energy in the studio. We’re always sharing ideas and getting each other excited about illustration and the possibilities at our fingertips. We keep a very open platform and encourage everyone to share what they are passionate about so we can bring that enthusiasm into projects we work on.

How do you feel being part of an agency represented as a freelance illustration studio has helped with your work to date?

We feel honored to be under the banner of a prestigious agency such as Folio and that holds weight with clients and our contemporaries. With negotiation for budget and timings handled by our agent it allows us to focus on what we’re passionate about: creating inspiring and original artworks.

Tell us a fact about Muti that we don’t know…

Muti is the traditional Zulu word for medicine used by witchdoctors in South Africa.

Muti distinctly work in the vector format, but what was it that led you to this style of working and what benefits does it include within working on commissions?

Our vector icons have been really well received so we get a lot of work in that area. We don’t consider ourselves a vector-focused studio however, in fact many of us work in both vector and digital hand drawn or painted illustration. To be proficient in as many mediums as you can allows for more avenues to explore your creative ability on projects. This is of course made easier having a group of artist’s studio.

Working within illustration and creativity can have its highs and lows. What are your three constraints and three motives to work during the day?

Lows: Having to make extensive changes to an artwork, hand cramp, deliberating what to get for lunch.

Highs: Realising that you’re doing what you are passionate about, the feeling that you’re making something original and of course the drive to earn a good living.

What one quote keeps your inspired?

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” – Confucius.

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