Harmonising the analytical and the artistic

16 April 2021 | People

Wetumwene Shikage





Minds that delight in combining the concrete with the abstract are often few and far between; however, it is precisely this unique skillset that resident senior art director at Weathermen & Co., Romeo Sinkala, brings to the advertising agency. Recently celebrating five years with the agency, he said time really does fly when you’re having fun.

Sinkala started out in the world of maths and computer science, but always had an inclination toward the creative. This inclination began to take hold as it first pulled him towards web design, then journalism, and steadily urged him into the weird and wonderful world of marketing and graphic design where he finds himself today.

As senior art director, Sinkala remains attached to his core role as designer, but also oversees the agency’s creative output from concept to execution and every detail in between, whether it be the colours in a design or the media channels to communicate a message.

He sees himself and the entire Weathermen team as custodians of the brands they work with and pushes for collaboration at every step of the process so together they can translate a brief into something that makes the intended impact.



Perfectly suited

Needing to be involved in so many creative decisions, Sinkala’s skillset has made him perfectly suited to the task. In addition to his artistic disposition, his analytical thinking informs the way he approaches each brief: First gathering information, seeking to fully understand the scope of the project and then devising a plan of action.

According to Sinkala, there is a method to his madness: His technical thinking feeds the method and his creativity feeds the madness, and both ways of thinking need to remain fluid.

“In this dynamic industry, we are constantly dealing with the changing landscape of reality which forces us to reassess our tools and what we think makes people tick. Weathermen is currently developing a 360-degree marketing offering to better meet those changing demands,” he said.

It is the navigation of this dynamism and complexity that Sinkala gets a thrill out of. “The most exciting part of my job is problem-solving. Clients may come in with big objectives which can initially sound quite daunting, such as changing behaviours or impacting lives, but through brainstorming and a problem-solving approach, we’re able to find the solutions, which is satisfying. It’s actually a bonus for me to create artwork on top of being a part of these problem-solving exercises,” he said.

Award-winning

Unleashing his art beyond the agency, Sinkala has also authored and illustrated his very own children’s book, Sumbu, which won the Namibian Children’s Book Forum’s top prize in the picture book category in 2018. Despite producing art regularly, Sinkala struggles to equate his day-to-day work with success.

“It may just be that nothing is ever quite good enough in an artist’s eyes. My children help provide perspective on this; they are my greatest rewards and remind me that achievements do not just lie in work or academics,” he said.

To the aspiring creatives, Sinkala shared: “The creative path is not always an easy one, because it does not come with a fixed template; it is trial-and-error for life. However, the journey and all its little successes along the way are worth it – so if you have any artistic ambitions, be relentless in chasing them.

“You need to preach your own gospel, because you are the only one who knows your vision”.