Bru'ster

Bru’ster is the nom de plume for this South African commercial artist. Born in Durban in 1961 and schooled in Cape Town and Johannesburg, he showed early talent in all things arty and creative. His academic prowess was some what lacking and after dismal performance at Sasolburg High School he was enrolled the prestigious Johannesburg Art, Ballet and Music School, now renamed National School of Arts. He fared poorly here too and left in 1978. Compulsory National Service beckoned the following year and kept him out of mischief for the following two years. He quickly realised that army life was going to be very trying unless he found a cushy job to see out his two year service. In 1980 he became the regimental artist of the SADF Dog Unit, based in the picturesque mountains of Mpumalanga. It was here he met a civilian sign writer for the Coca Cola company that mentored him on weekends in the fine art of brushmanship. It was at the end of this stint with the unit that the editor of the local country newspaper offered him a post as commercial artist. So started his working life, as junior layout artist and cartoonist in the advertising department of the newspaper. He learned an enormous amount about the industry and finally left the paper for greener pastures. He accepted a position in the busy studio of a commercial screen printing house. Here he learned even more and became a seasoned practitioner of the screen printing art. His sign writing skills came in handy for poster, banners and wall murals. After several years with the company it went bankrupt and he bought up key equipment at the liquidation auction and started his own set up with some of the jobless staff. After some success he sol the business on and moved to Johannesburg to take up a senior graphic designer position with Total Design. Once again vast experience was gained and the airbrush became a new friend at this time. He also got introduced to the computer age through the studio’s Apple Mac II. He returned to the Lowveld with new skills and set up shop as a commercial art studio. He is still a freelance commercial artist and still practices the old trades of sign writing, mural painting, screen painting, airbrushing, pin striping. He is also an avid cartoonist and illustrator with an impressive body of work with publishing houses, Macmillan and Oxford University Press. He also paints large canvasses in the pop art genre and his pieces adorn the entrance lobby’s of several high profile firms, hotels, restaurants and private hospitals, in South Africa, Angola and Mozambique. He lives and works in sunny Nelspruit out of a small, busy studio with his cat Smudge.