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A breath of fresh air in the world of art and illustration, Kazvare talks us through her creative journey and how she creates content as a form of escapism.

Kazvare’s Instagram initially existed solely to promote her stationary, homeware and accessories. In fact, her bestselling product is the Cats Love Beyoncé Colouring Book, which is of course no surprise as “A lot of people like cats and a lot of people like Beyoncé!”, she says. Since then, though, it has evolved into a feed full of satirical pop culture references and unique illustrations.

“If you scroll back far enough, I’ve left it all up to see, as I think it’s an important part of my journey”, she tells me. “Lots of my products through the years have responded to pop culture and so I think what my page has evolved to is not a great departure from that when all is considered.”

About a year ago, when Kazvare was feeling “a bit frustrated and stagnant”, she challenged herself to create content daily and ended up finding it to be “quite a therapeutic process”. Kazvare’s consistency got her to where she is today, and she really started to see her following grow once she committed to this daily creative practice.

Through her creative illustration, Kazvare succeeds in finding the perfect balance between art, humour and celebrating the Black experience with her followers. She focuses a lot of her art on Black culture, explaining that it’s what she loves; “It is from the overflow of that love and interest that I have created all that I have.”

In fact, Kazvare’s passion for creative illustrating stems from being able to express her ideas in a way that doesn’t require words. “I absolutely love words and think they are so powerful, but what I love about illustration is that often, it is a tool that helps me to express an idea that I’d probably need hundreds more words to articulate in the same way”, she explains. “Sometimes the messages behind my work are actually quite heavy, so using illustration and imagery brings a little bit of levity.”

Being in the art space doesn’t come without it’s struggles, of course. Since Ben O’Brien started The Illustrator’s Survey as a way to capture attitudes among the illustrator industry, it’s revealed that 67% of illustrators want the industry to be more inclusive. Kazvare confides that “the burden is often put on the underrepresented to come up with solutions that are ultimately never actioned by those at the top.” On what can be done to make the world of art and illustration more diverse, she believes it is “a question to ask the old white men at the top” and reiterates that she would “love to hear their ideas”. Needing to get away from it all sometimes, Kazvare often uses art as a form of escapism: explaining that although COVID-19 and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement have “fuelled her creativity”, it is a very “heavy” time to be creating.

“It’s not always easy to create when it feels like the world is burning all around you! I’ve also been aware of the need to create content that is also a little bit lighter, to provide a small bit of escapism,” she explains. “This is how my #StayAtHomeCelebs series came about, for example. I also wove in some of my musical pie charts with some posts too.”

Kazvare weaves a lot of her own experiences into her art, but at the same time, she also “likes to listen to the experiences of others and add those into her work too”. “Not everything I post or create will come from a personal place,” she tells tmrw, “because I also like to give a voice to other experiences and points of view.”

In terms of what is next for Kazvare Made It, she is “taking each day as it comes”, given the unexpected events of 2020. “God willing, I hope to still be creating content and products that bring joy to many people,” she tells me.

Check out Kazvare’s amazing creations on her Instagram here and get some of them for yourself online here.

Words by Lola Christina Alao / ARTWORK by KAZVARE MADE IT

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