The comic series that leaves you soul searching
No Narrative by Mus official
The insta-only comic series that takes a sideways look at reality
When and why did you launch the comic No Narrative?
I launched the comic during the last months of my job as a graphic designer. I launched the mag initially as a way to keep my grip on my fading illustration career, just as a way to tell everyone and myself that I'm still an illustrator. I wanted to tell short stories that I could make quickly without the help and admin of getting a writer involved, so I decided to communicate in image sequences instead.
Did you initially plan to launch a career in illustration rather than graphic design?
Graphic design jobs are plentiful in South Africa, to make it as an illustrator you have to build a network of designers within the industry. After I felt like I'd done this I was able to go solo and take on more illustration work while exhibiting my personal work.
Nice, are comics a big thing in South Africa?
It's a very niche thing, the general public doesn't really read comics, but the general public is on Instagram and as soon as they (Instagram) released the update that allowed you to post multiple pictures I had an opportunity to reach the 'masses'.
'Mick Jenkins' © Mus Official 2017
Yes, that update essentially created a new format which works perfectly for storytelling. I love your sense of humour too are the comics based on your day-to-day thinking?
It's crazy how funny you and everyone else finds the comics. I made no conscious effort to make them funny. I just share different personal stories from my life and I guess I just experience things in a weird way.
I think it's because it’s relatable. The amount of times I have said to my friends or colleagues I wish we could press ctrl z in real life makes me wish it was true! Do you have any plans to create a printed version?
Right now I'm just focused on getting as many people to see the comic because I genuinely think it has nutritional value, If I can make you smile, cry or ask more questions then the comic has real value.
What’s the narrative behind the mask?
The mask is a fluid metaphorical device I use it in my work as a sort of visual adlib. I use it to show moments of epiphany, To emphasise a particular expression and as a literal mask used to hide your identity, kinda like having imposter syndrome and pretending to be what you're not.
© Mus Official
Are you working on any interesting projects that you can mention?
At the moment I am working on a lot of client work for a South African telecoms company called Telkom, I only share my work on social platforms and my website though.
I'm preparing a few artworks for a cosy intimate solo exhibition at a place called Gallery 57 on the 22nd of December. It's a small new gallery space in a suburb called Parkhurst, Johannesburg west. The gallery is inside a Tattoo shop, and they are the only gallery in the area that exhibits digital art.
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Illustrator: Mus official
Non Narrative Instagram: @Nonarrativ
Mus official Instagram: @Musofficial
Images: © Mus Official
Words: Swakara Atwell-Bennett