02.03.17 by Aneeqah Samsodien


Chclt had a chance to briefly sit down with Michael Tymbios, co-founder of First Thursdays to discuss the bedlam of being self-employed, personal satisfaction and creating positive influences in Cape Town.

Based at the Spin Street building, the first thing one notices when walking into the studio are the high ceilings, airy atmosphere and large windows that welcome the natural light filtering through the CBD. No doubt this offers an enlightened space for creative thinking.

Michael graduated from CPUT in 2010 with a degree in graphic design, the best year in his opinion. According to him, this is the year that opened his brain; it must’ve been the class and the energy that came from everyone at the time, beside it also being the soccer World Cup. It also made him more conscious about design at a time that he was not satisfied on a personal level.

A few years later and he is now having to squeeze this feature in between running different projects simultaneously. As with every individual, success and individual satisfaction always comes with hardships and self-experimentation.

Michael worked in corporate for a while at different companies and bigger agencies and found that he became frustrated in the environments he was in and believes that it is all rooted in people’s dissatisfaction with their surroundings.

“I was at an agency and finally started earning and got medical aid; that’s when my mother was like, ‘stay!”

He says that some people are content with what they have and that was not for him at the time, so he made his move from corporate gently when, on the last day of his probation at the agency, told his boss that he will not be coming back.

The move found himself at Deep Design, a smaller independent design agency, which was a big step away from big corporate and advertising industry. Aside from all of this, First Thursdays has been in effect for over five years and he’s since been through seven jobs.

“It started with a very good intention; it was an idea of playing with a public space in Cape Town and creating an environment to take the sting out of art. The initial form of Thursdays is for this big group of people that gather together and make things a little less daunting for artists to put their work out there. What keeps me motivated is that creative people are taking advantage of this and using it as a platform, which is enough to keep us going” – Michael on First Thursdays which he started with his partner, Gareth Pearson, after they had seen something similar in London and decided to try it in Cape Town.

Michael, together with Gareth, organise all the Thursdays alone and hope that one day they will be able to step out and that creatives that are participating will not have to pay, and have a corporate sponsor to fund the event.

“You don’t get this in an agency, where you can have a say in the structure of things and I am inclined this way”.

He has dabbled in many things like playing in a band and doing photography, which has become more of a hobby and passion.

“One reaches a point that if you’re doing too many things at once then you end up doing it not that well”.

The two have a busy time ahead and are focusing on the third Museum Night that is happening in April and will be more family-orientated.

If you’re in the mood for something different, make your way to Town CBD tonight and experience local art in a relaxed and social environment. Starts at 17:00 until late.

If you are an artist/ designer that would like to participate, you can visit the website here to find out more.