Mari Retief was born in Stellenbosch (1981), but spent her childhood and school years in Vienna, London and Pretoria. She currently lives and works as a freelance graphic designer in Stellenbosch and teaches ad-hoc at Stellenbosch University’s Art Department, where she completed her undergraduate studies (2003) in Visual Communication Design. Mari also completed her Master of Visual Arts degree through Unisa (2016).

As a graphic designer, her work tends to focus on identity. Everyone and everything has a story. This storytelling, translating experience into imagery, is the essence behind creating a great brand and it is what she loves most about her work.

Being the daughter of a diplomat, her life has always revolved around the search for identity and belonging; it is a way to share and connect with others, explore intersections of identity, culture and shared narratives. Her influences are first and foremost everything she sees, feels, hears and experiences. While she uses a variety of materials and processes, they reflect and enhance each project’s narrative.