Illustrators We Love: Little Latsky

INTERVIEWED BY Michaela Stehr IMAGES courtesy of Little Latsky

Cape Town-based designer and illustrator Carla Latsky aka Little Latsky chats to VISI about how she loves to portray the fact that life isn’t perfect through her bright and quirky illustrations and gifs.

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I grew up in the Northern ‘burbs of Cape Town and studied Graphic Design at Ruth Prowse School of Art. After graduating, I found homes in the offices of a fashion magazine, a non-profit art gallery and two small design agencies. Late in 2020, I started working independently as Little Latsky and I’m loving working from my home studio in Woodstock. Latsky is my surname, it’s Polish (I’m not) but most of my friends, teachers & colleagues have used it as a nickname from day 1, and I’ve always liked that.

little latsky

Describe your work style 

I wrote ‘I like things bright and cheeky with a bubblegum pink centre’ in my Instagram bio in an attempt to sum it up. The drawings I do for myself look a lot like the stickers I used to collect in primary school… brightly coloured characters that want nothing more than to be pinned to your shirt or used to decorate your space case. Right now I like mixing simple vector drawings with iridescent gradients and glitter textures. It’s all a bit 90s (but in a good way?) 

little latsky

What inspires your work? 

I really enjoy creating designs that help small business owners tell their stories, whether that be in the form of a fresh brand identity, illustration, animated gifs or packaging. A new project usually kicks off with a meeting over coffee because chatting to clients about the ‘why’ of their businesses inspires me. Having a people-centred approach has always been an important aspect of my work; it means that the creative process is a collaboration between the client and myself, and we’re equally excited to share ideas, reach milestones and connect with the target audience. On a personal level, I like to poke fun at feelings of anxiety, perfectionism and imposter syndrome, in the hopes of making people laugh and, more importantly, remember that life isn’t perfect & that’s okay! 

little latsky

What do you enjoy in a brief? 

Any brand that isn’t afraid to have fun with how they market themselves is a blessing to work on. Clever copywriters and entrepreneurs with passion are my people. 

Do you have any illustrators in SA you admire? 

There’s a crazy number of South African illustrators/ artists whose posts get rows of the flame emoji from me. The few mentioned below are those that came to mind at this moment:

  • Freaky & fresh illustrations by Shaun Hill
  • Experimental make-up and paper art by Lavanya Wiles
  • Murals by Bushy Wopp
  • Movie posters by Keith Vlahakis
  • Everything Nardstar touches
  • Also everything Pola Maneli touches
  • Creatures in Copic marker by Nanna Venter
  • Imaginative paintings by Amber Alcock 

What does a regular day look like for you? 

My to-do list lives in Asana, so once I’ve settled at my desk with coffee (and studio pooch Kimchi on my lap), I start working on whatever’s highlighted in the calendar. I listen to comedy and true-crime podcasts most days and walk to the dog park after 5. It’s a cute routine that I’ve only had for around 3 months, but they’ve been 3 very happy ones. Driving from Woodstock to town (something I used to do every day) now feels like an adventure! 

little latsky

What are your plans for the next few years? 

I dream of creating art in public spaces and telling stories through a unique blend of colour, bold graphics and humour. Recently my illustrations have focussed largely on destigmatizing mental illness. I am passionate about this cause, as well as fighting for gender equality and the safety of women and children in South Africa. And if everything works out, I’ll be marrying my bestie Casper and travelling to Japan next year. 

Find out more about Little Latsky through their website or on Instagram.

Looking for more on art or design? Take a look at the work of local illustrator Kobie.