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Interview | Artist Sissh On Her Passion, Inspiration, & Future Goals

Header Image: The Last Sip © Sisshart

The Black Lion Journal has the honor and pleasure of featuring Sissh and her art for the first time here on The Wire’s Dream! Hailing from South Africa, Sissh — whose full name is Sihlengile Gwamanda — is an inspirational creator, artist, and soon-to-be hot-off-the-press entrepreneur. She is well-known on her blog and well-valued in the online art space for her talented sketches and beautiful watercolors. She has been a guest on Doodlewash featuring her watercolors on fantasy & nature as well as on VioletRising, an up-and-coming Zine featuring fresh writing and art inspired by nature. TBL Journal has asked Sissh to answer a few questions for us to know more about who she is and how she got started as an artist, where she sees herself in the future, and a few tips on sketching, inspiration, and using watercolors as a medium!



How and when did you get started? And how do you make time to do what you love to do?

Well I’ve always had the urge to create. My earliest memories reach back to when I was about 4 years old watching and helping my grandmother make recycled craft mats and other things. Later in my life I would paint and crochet and do crafts whenever I had the chance and I had it in mind that it would be great if I could spend my life just making things all day.

I also studied art at University but this didn’t work out for me. I love that I had the opportunity to try different mediums like ceramics, print making, and digital art, among others. But it wasn’t until more recently (early 2015) that I thought to try watercolours. It had been a good few years since I painted and watercolours seemed the simplest to ease into and the convenience was a plus since I have to be at work most of the day I could easily slip them in my handbag. These days; watercolours have kind of taken over my life – I paint during my lunchtimes and make time again in the evenings sometimes waking up extra early to fit a little touch up or sketch in. I sketch as often as I can in-between work, chores and life and find it’s a great way to unwind.

What advice and/or suggestions can you give on sketching people?

I’ve read a lot of books and online articles about sketching/drawing and they all say similar things. The techniques I’ve used are to simplify the subject as much as I can by doing a preliminary sketch on which to build – building onto basic shapes and lines. But sometimes I start directly – with lines starting from any one point that interests me and adjusting proportions as I go – it really depends on the subject. I feel an artist shouldn’t be afraid to try any way that makes them comfortable and definitely not be afraid to start over a couple times maybe using multiple techniques. It’s all about learning to enjoy the process and being patient with yourself. The best feeling is when you break past the “this is horrible; I should just quit it” part and keep at it – I almost always surprise myself with a drawing I’m happy with, if not at least I learn how NOT to draw a nose/ear/whatever.

What quick advice and/or suggestions do you have for novice artists? Regarding inspiration and using watercolors as a main medium?

Watercolours are pretty tricky, but versatile and very forgiving. There is a slight learning curve to using them but nothing a little attentive practise won’t help. Painting as often as you can also goes a long way – as with anything the more you do it the more intuitive it becomes.

Where would you like see yourself in 5 years with your art?

I see myself being able to work full time as an artist; painting my travels, inspirations and illustrating books (both my own and others’). With my own proper studio which a part of would be open to fellow artists to make use of as well.

• • •

The Black Lion would like to thank Sissh for taking her time to answer these questions! We hope you can find some inspiration from her work and her words about art. Be sure to follow Sissh on her blog, Instagram, and on Deviant Art. See her art on Redbubble and Art Pal.

¡PSST! ©2016 The Black Lion Journal

5 thoughts on “Interview | Artist Sissh On Her Passion, Inspiration, & Future Goals

  1. Pingback: I’ve been Wired! – Sissh Art


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