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Being in isolation has us asking: who are we as individuals and most importantly, who are we as creatives? Has our work always been original or has it been overly influenced by external factors? Lockdown means we can’t go outside, but it also means now is the time to remove all external factors and be our own sources of inspiration. What will materialize when creativity remains untouched by the influence of external factors? Is social distancing just the thing we need to help us answer these questions by having periods of uninterrupted introspection? This is our time to fully commit to ourselves and we’re calling on creatives to show us if introspection has served as a catalyst to evoke the purest, most original form of self expression. The kind that can only be generated from within; translated into visual form. A true reflection of your innermost self.

Introspection = self realisation. Self realisation = unique forms of self expression. When is the last time you’ve dedicated time exclusively intended for the exploration of the inner workings of your mind? When life becomes wild and we feel like we’ve lost touch with ourselves and hit the dreaded wall of creative block, we do what most would do: look to the outside world to inspire us again; help us rediscover ourselves.Thing is, If we are looking to the outside world, how is it that we are rediscovering ourselves? Is the output of our work then not the result of external inspiration? “Introspection” is hardly ever the solution we think we need to clear up whatever is blocking our creative expression. Why would it be when the point is to get out of your head?   

As an artist, your most valuable currency is self expression. In a world where global isolation is an opportunity for rediscovery and self inspiration – we’re encouraging creatives to take a break from looking to the outside world for inspiration, and instead using it as an opportunity to look within.

We’ve teamed up with Reebok South Africa to invite all artists under lockdown to show us how isolation has inspired their creative process and outcomes of their work. Now that you have the time to find yourself again, what does your bodies of work look like? Is it a true reflection of who you are? Submit your custom design with an original illustration and stand the chance to have Archive and Reebok print 250 limited edition masks featuring your design.

Check out some of the previous entries for inspiration

In frame is a confident woman coming through with the drip, focused and determined. It came from thoughts of being the best and baddest version of yourself during this time. I’m asking if you’re using the time to focus on yourself and if so, how?


This artwork is called Wonder, it is inspired by walks. I’m an individual who enjoys taking walks,while walking, I find inspirations, the different sights and sounds, the shades and colours, the hues and textures all so different, bold and beautiful, rough and soft, each inspiring in their own way. Now that we are in lockdown, I cannot take my walks, but that does not mean my self-expression islocked down. It means I have to let my mind wonder when my feet cannot. So that’s what inspired this artwork, letting your mind wonder when your feet cannot. The idea came about when I was working in the garden, I became intrigued by the shapes in which the plants bend and twist from a point in the ground, the relationship between earth and the plant and the journey that plants go through when growing and that’s something we can all get inspired by, to keep growing in these times, to stay creative, to stay mindful, to stay united, to stay home.

Yolisa Mbeka

With this piece all the inspiration came from our culture around tracksuits and how Reebok falls perfectly into that. The full tracksuit was like uniform, it allowed us to assimilate each other, and still go unnoticed on the notoriously nefarious streets of Joburg. It’s a stylish garment of protection amongst youth. Not only does it hold connotations of being low-key and secretive its also heavily tied to Hip-hop & UK Grime! Both these genre’s fueled the experiment, they have a reputation of being fairly aggressive and political and I wanted to show that in this piece.

If you’d like to see how I continued to develop the project here’s a link to more


Lorenzo Plaaitjies

Pop culture is one of my biggest inspirations. From fashion to street art, I love playing with bold colours and shapes often found in fashion photography. The piece created for The Archive Competition was inspired by the idea of self-reflection. The lockdown has been a great time for me to reflect on what is truly important in life. I usually start off by sketching a rough draft of what I want to illustrate. Thereafter I collect reference images of people, objects, interiors anything I need to set the tone. I will then draw up a more calculated sketch, scan it in and start drawing over it in Adobe Illustrator. I love the clean and crisp lines/shapes one can create in Adobe Illustrator. To end it off I add noise and paper textures to my flat artwork in Photoshop.

Danica Ricciardi