I’m Fathima Kathrada, a graphic designer, illustrator
and hand letterer from Durban, South Africa.
ABOUT FATHIMA’S STUDIO
I’ve been running my own studio as a graphic designer, illustrator and hand letterer since 2012, when I left my full time job to pursue my self-employed adventure. It was a giant, terrifying and exhilarating leap that I’m so glad I took. Working for yourself is definitely not easy, and not for everyone, but I found that it works for me, and I kinda love it. Before leaving my job I’d worked at several agencies in the industry in varied fields, including web design, social media, magazine layout and editorial design, and more.
I studied graphic design and later expanded my skills to illustration and lettering. I work with both digital and hand drawn styles, but especially enjoy hand drawn mediums like pen, watercolour paints and ink, and enjoy experimenting with new materials. I love the human “imperfections” that are created with handmade work, and love that you’re able to see a bit of the process and journey of the work in the nuances of the end product. This brings a uniqueness to the work that is very effective.
I bring all these combined disciplines, skills and experience to my current work, which allows me to provide a well rounded, balanced and individual end product for my lovely clients. I’m grateful to be able to work on projects that I’m passionate about and with lots of amazing, interesting people all over the world… you could be one of them! 😉
I grew up in Durban, where I’m currently based, and studied graphic design at the Durban Institute of Technology. I’ve always been creatively inclined: at school I’d be called upon to hand letter names in my friends’ love letters (back then I didn’t realise that what I was doing could be termed “hand lettering”), and would be relied upon to come up with creative crafty birthday cards for family, and would sell them my paper creations for a few cents at family get togethers – the beginnings of my business and stationery inclinations, perhaps. When not working, you’ll find me getting some down time in coffee shops (although I also love working in them), in one of my city’s lovely public gardens, catching up with friends or chilling at home with my (many) cats. In all instances a book, magazine, sketchbook and drawing materials will be nearby to inspire me and catch my ideas. I find any excuse to promote my city, Durban, and am passionate about coffee shop culture and good food. Time surrounded by nature is what I use to refuel myself, and I hope for travel to play role in my future.
ABOUT THE BLOG
I started my blog, Happiness is…, in 2009 with the intention of creating a happy niche where I can focus on good things and positivity despite what life may throw at me. Over the years it has had many purposes for me, but has always remained true to that intention. I share things there that make me happy or that I find inspiring, as well as bits and pieces about my work and process. What you’ll find on the blog will include illustration, design, typography, photography, cats, food, music, art, clever products, cool websites, interesting people doing interesting things, stories about my city, and coffee shops and events that I review. There are also free printable calendars that I share every month.
FEATURES & INTERVIEWS
Fox & Owl Media | Ladyboss Rockstar
Bearista | Flexing Your Creative Muscles
Nadia van der Mescht | 6 Tips on Choosing a Logo
Nadia van der Mescht | 2016 Etsy Craft Party
City Girl Searching | South African Christmas Gift Guide
Hello Pretty | #WDC2014 Desktop Wallpapers
The Official Stellenbosch Academy Blog
GI Jane | Getting to know…
Lanalou Style | New Year Freebies
The Daily Vox | 10 Muslim Creatives You Need to Know
The Sun House | Feature and Giveaway
Indieberries | Guest Post
Tipsy Tart | Being Organised
Madame Macaron Blogger Series
Durban Type | A curated Instagram feed of typography and lettering from around Durban. Tag @durbantype #durbantype to be featured.
Find Art Keep Art | (previously Illustration Exploration) An art treasure hunt project where I put up a piece of art somewhere in the city, share clues on social media (mostly Instagram stories), and whoever finds it, keeps it.
Daily Doodle Projects | on and off on Instagram, to be collected into one linkable place soon