Hawi Kefale | Illustration


I graduated from EiABC with a degree in architecture. I don’t have an art school background unless you count the doodles I created during classes. Doodling between classes helped a lot. So yeah definitely self-thought artist is what I am. What my experience has thought me is that a degree in the arts or not you got to put in the work and time. It’s mostly about diligence not the most cliché thing you have been told “inspiration”. Just get to work. That comes after. (dunno emoji).

Creative Process

Growing up I was an introverted kid and I used to spend my free time watching films and day dreaming about Hogwarts. This has made my inspiration catalog super disjointed and unrelated. So most of my reference wasn’t/isn’t contextual and I know this sounds cheesy but “I used my imagination”. My process is very informal. 90% of the time I start the project with no clue how it will turn out.

I go like “I got to create something different” I sketch random sporadic lines then I go “uhmmmm” this makes an interesting monster head and continue like that.

But weirdly sometimes it makes sense as in its connected and has a clear definition and other times I don’t know what it is but it not bad to look at.

My mom goes like, “why don’t you try to draw landscapes instead of these creatures?”. It is what it is.

Hopes & Dreams

The goal for me is to always learn something new. Skill is always something under construction. It simply just to constantly evolve. Hey illustrating is the best but film is the concoction of all art mediums. So the dream project is to bring the 2D weird stuff to life through film making.

Creative Ethiopia

That would be everyone’s struggle. To put it simply the arts not being given neither value nor significance. People think just because you can draw that it happens with the snap of my fingers. It’s hard work and a process like any other field of work.

Abstract vs Direct

Abstract for me definitely! If the idea is conveyed directly then it is limited to that message. With abstract you can communicate without having a word to it. I’m never heavy handed with messages. I actually enjoy it when people tell me they understood the work in a way I didn’t think of. They should have their own ideas! This is art not a physics problem. Art is about the feeling it incites in us. I’d never want to define that for a person.


Not that it’s any of your business but I do sell drugs on the side. Don’t tell anyone. Other than that I’m in the production (camera emojis?) business/field. I direct, storyboard and edit. Illustration for me has been a powerful medium to communicate my ideas and see the big picture and helped develop a detail oriented personality. Most of my income comes from directing gigs so far. Other than selling drugs of course…

Instagram @hawi_kefale

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