Pen and Ink Mandalas Marry Myth, Magic, and Mathematics | Insta Illustrator

Science, mysticism, and nature are all woven into South African artist Lebo Tladi's thin ink lines.
15 November 2016, 2:30pm
Images courtesy the artist

Detail is the name of the game for South African illustrator Lebo Tladi. His pen and ink drawings resemble Buddhist tapestries in their layouts, with concentric circles representing the interconnected worlds that exist in his imagination. Each work is packed with nature motifs inspired by his childhood in South Africa's rural Limpopo province, home to the Seussian Baobab trees of Kruger National Park. He also includes animal-headed Hindu and Egyptian gods and scientific imagery including organs, DNA, and star charts, all woven together with fine black lines.

“I want you to look at my work as something new," the 22-year-old artist tells The Creators Project. "It's created to shock, evoke emotion, touch, inspire and most importantly, to leave you pondering." By throwing so much information at viewers, Tladi hopes to give them the chance to make their own choices about what it represents. "By all means, make as many stories as you can about the works while you try to relate with what you see in front of you. My bizarre thoughts are meant to be shared with the world."

A photo posted by Lebo Tladi (@lebztladi) on

Aug 29, 2016 at 2:36pm PDT

A photo posted by Lebo Tladi (@lebztladi) on

Aug 29, 2016 at 2:35pm PDT

A photo posted by Lebo Tladi (@lebztladi) on

Aug 24, 2016 at 3:44pm PDT

I remember having a casual breakfast with the late Nelson Mandela some time back and he was going on about how it is essential for a young man to cuff a girl down when he's between the ages of 24 - 27. My dad advised me to cuff a girl down when I'm 25 :') wise words from profound men. I'm turning 22 in July, which is almost 25, which means I don't have time to play when it comes to women :") Nonetheless, this artwork was created for my future wife / life partner. Whoever she is and wherever she is (I'll only know later in life). All she needs to know is that she'll be well looked after in a quaintly dashing house, with a unique garden filled with orchids, daffodils, and birds which will gleam with joy. And if she ever doubts the love, I'll hold her hand until her worries fade away. What she also needs to know is that whenever she'll be bleak, I'll transcend into the ether and go beyond the deepest galaxies to find the brightest sparkling stars and bring those to her, even if it takes me a lifetime. It's safe to say that when Cupid's arrow misses her and it goes straight for me, I'll be delighted that all I ever wanted will be by my side through the good and the bad. Like being the fruit to my loop, the smoke to my high, or even the ink and paint to my canvas and paper. Our infinite love will be timeless. But for now, all I can do is go on a quest to be a better man so that you too can be proud to have me by your side. For Her, A Beautiful Imagination PS - I hope this has given you lots of clues to decode the artwork I know lots of people keep asking about the symbolism whenever I finish a piece. Title - For Her, A Beautiful Imagination Medium - Sakura Pen and Ink Paper - Lanaquarelle Cold Press 300gsm rough Size - 500 x 700 mm

A photo posted by Lebo Tladi (@lebztladi) on

Mar 17, 2016 at 2:00am PDT

A photo posted by Lebo Tladi (@lebztladi) on

Feb 16, 2016 at 11:02am PST

A photo posted by Lebo Tladi (@lebztladi) on

Jul 15, 2015 at 5:02am PDT

Follow Lebo Tladi here, and visit The Creators Project's Instagram page to find your next favorite artist.


Classic Pen-and-Ink Drawings Explore Themes of Isolation

[NSFW] Sex and Violence Reproduced in Detail with a Ballpoint Pen

Watch A Cerebral Animation Illustrated With Ink, Coffee, And Whiteout