Visiting Zanele Montle

Visiting Zanele Montle

Visiting Zanele Montle

Tell us a bit more about yourself and how you came to be an artist.


I'm a young female artist, born and raised in Empangeni, a small town in KwaZulu-Natal. 

I'm a young female artist, born and raised in Empangeni, a small town in KwaZulu-Natal. Coming from a creative family and being exposed to different forms of art as a child, it only made sense to pursue art. Even though I enjoyed Biology and Science at school, my heart was in the arts. Having studied visual arts at the University of Johannesburg and Btech at TUT, then eventually doing my PGCE in Art Education, fully committing to being an artist was bound to happen.



How do you start your creative process?

I collect images from magazines, books and photographs of my family. Then I start playing around with compositions by making sketches, which I turn into paintings. The colours I use are inspired by South African heritage and cultures. I mix colours that I use once-off and usually can't be re-mixed.

How do you feel when you’re creating an artwork? 

I usually play music to keep myself company as I spend hours painting. My process requires me to start and finish the painting as I have to have the right colours since I mix them as I paint. I usually feel joyful and at peace.

When you’re busy with a piece do you tend to love it, hate it, or love-hate it?

I love it. I usually have to rethink selling the work… ha ha… but I've learnt to let go of each piece.



What’s your favourite colour right now? Why?  

For an artist who uses almost every colour on the palette it's hard to say, but I'm enjoying a bright orange-yellow.



IWhat’s something that would surprise people about you?

That I enjoyed Science in high school.

Name one thing that makes you angry, and one thing that makes you happy.

I wouldn't say angry but what definitely makes me uncomfortable is any form of unfair treatment… and what makes me feel happy is music. 

How or where do you find inspiration? 

From family and day-to-day life experiences.

Describe your alter ego. / In a parallel universe, what would you be doing?

Designing and making my own clothes.


Last question. Why are you an artist? 

I'm an artist because it has kept me alive and I've seen the importance of following one's dreams no matter how uncommon they are.