Artists We Love: Jade Klara


If you’ve lived in Cape Town for some time, we’re almost certain you’ve come across illustrator Jade Klara’s cartoon tigers, whimsical wizard dogs, Tjing Tjing anime babes or playful pun prints on RVCA T-shirts – just to name a few.

Here, we catch up with this talented designer and illustrator to find out more about collaborating, inspirations and career highlights.

You recently took part in The Powerpuff Girls Art Factory, which saw 10 South African artists recreate the famed female cartoon characters with an African twist, in support of Rock Girl SA. What is your stance on Rock Girl SA’s initiative to reduce violence against women and girls through the creation of safe spaces and how did you feel being asked to be a contributor?

I am incredibly honoured to have been a part of the initiative. I have all the respect in the world for Rock Girl SA and the work they do. It’s so important to have a safe space that is a source of strength and empowerment for young women.

What kind of narrative were you hoping to convey through the depiction of your Powerpuff Girl?

I wanted my character to quietly imbue strength, smarts and self-confidence and be a part of our local narrative.

You’ve done some amazing collaborations. Do you have a favourite?

I’m really fond of my Forever a Bone collaboration with RVCA for Halloween last year. We did a range with apparel, pins and temporary tattoos. It got a great response and I loved bumping into strangers with tigers and wizard dogs stuck all over them.

Who inspires you?

People who are kind and honest inspire me. Coming into contact with people who live their life truthfully with compassion and strength gives me faith in the world and that’s inspiring. Small things have wide reach.

If you could collaborate with any South African artist who would it be?

I love doing collaborations and I’ve had the honour of collaborating with some incredibly talented artists. I think I would like to collaborate with someone working in a different discipline, like sculpture or murals because then you really get to learn and push yourself.

Highlight of your career?

I’ve had milestones I’m proud of, from exhibiting with amazing galleries and artists to receiving awards for my illustration work, but if I were to choose one it would be the first exhibition of my career in London. I think that set the tone of where I wanted to take my work, even if I’m on a different path now to when I started, but I think that’s important, too.

What’s next for you?

I am beyond excited about our group show Ao at Salon 91 Gallery with Dani Loureiro, Black Koki and Tahiti Pehrson in September. Other than that, lots of drawing and hopefully another bunch of magical labrador tattoos.

To see more of Jade’s work, visit her website and follow her on Instagram.