I recently came across jewellery designer, global nomad and artist of love, Katra Awad.
Born in California, raised in Europe and the Caribbean and of Egyptian and Hispanic roots, I love her perspective on creativity, in the grander scheme of wellness and love:
During one of my travels someone once said to me, "It is our responsibility in life to pursue our talents to the fullest extent & make every second count.”
This post was originally written for Materia Marketer – a blog created by my homeopath, Tracy Karkut-Law, and I, born out of our shared passion for the web and social media. On the blog we share everything we know about building a great online presence. It’s targeted towards homeopaths but a lot of the content is transferable for people building a business in other fields. This post fits that bill and I thought I’d repurpose it a little to share with you.
People are naturally very visual and, like it or not, many of us make judgements based on how something looks. 'Don't judge a book by its cover' is a common warning for a reason!
It's important to think about whether your communication materials are aligned with the personality of your business, your values, what you want to be known for and how you want to make people feel. All of these things can be expressed through the design decisions you make, be it the colours and fonts you choose, the style of your imagery and how you put all of these elements together.
Let's face it, this can be fiddly. And it's hard to know if you've got it right. What might seem sufficient in your eyes, may not be effective in communicating your message to the world and, specifically, to your prospective clients/customers.
How can you create materials that let people know that you're the right option for them (and keep your sanity at the same time)?
I managed to escape my stand at the Women of the World festival marketplace last weekend, to have a look at all the other beautiful crafts on offer. I was particularly mesmerised by one incredibly vibrant table – the photo above represents merely a quarter of the space!
Stitch Sainte Luce produces hand-embroidered belts, bracelets, cushion covers, tablet and e-reader cases, bags, purses, cards and more.
Today’s interview features screenprinter, Lusungu Chikamata, founder of Creativity and Noise (who also happens to be my life partner!). It’s a great story of persistence and resourcefulness – I think sometimes we think everything has to be perfect before we can begin when actually, just getting started gets you to perfection faster! Find out how Lusungu learned a brand new skill and launched a creative enterprise, all alongside his day job.
Catch Lusungu and his goods in person this Saturday and Sunday, at the WOW Festival marketplace at London’s Southbank Centre.
What's your passion?
Blimey, what an open ended question, you don’t want to lead in with some softer mundane things to butter me up? I have lots of passions so I think it's a non-exhaustive list, but enough avoiding the question. I’m passionate about self love and self worth; perhaps to be a little more specific, the idea that we should all just be ourselves rather than falling into the trap of trying so hard to be something/someone you’re not.
What inspired you to get into screenprinting and, how did Creativity and Noise come about?
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to run my own business. It took a while to nail down what that business was going to be, but after a little soul searching, a eureka moment and getting really pissed off at some of the t-shirts out there “representing” Africa, I knew I had to lend my voice to the African t-shirt conversation.
I moved office a few months ago and my Asilia team and I are finally opening up our doors to welcome our clients, collaborators and friends.
Drop by our new studio in Brockley, London, any time between 4pm and 8pm on Thursday 5th March.
You’ll get to see some of our work and enjoy some nibbles, and of course, our company.
Some of my art will also be on display, including a mural in progress. Lusungu will be showcasing his screenprinted goods and if we're lucky, there just might be a demo and opportunity to try the technique for yourself!
The address is:
The Renegade Craft Fair London is 3 days away and Lusungu and I have been busy getting our ‘Fly South For Winter’ collection ready! It’s inspired by our motherland love and a yearning for the tropics in these wintry times. All the designs are hand-drawn by me and then hand screen printed by Lusungu (aka Creativity and Noise).
Some of you will remember the TV show from when we were growing up – that's not the Renegade that I'm talking about! I'm talking about The Renegade Craft Fair – a curated indie-craft marketplace showcasing the brightest talents in contemporary craft and design.
I'm really excited to be joining over 100 select makers. I spent pretty much all of the past weekend working on creations for the fair.
I'm collaborating with Lusungu (Creativity and Noise) again and we're bringing you a collection of screenprinted goods including t-shirts, bags, greeting cards, notebooks, art prints and more. Our theme: "Fly South for Winter".
As the weather turns, I find that my usually vibrant colour palette gets subverted by an inclination towards the monochrome. It's clearest when it comes to my wardrobe but, I realised it happening with the photos I was taking too! Here are a few …
[Above: sculpture by Sandile Zulu, titled 'Spinal Diagnoses: A Histopathological Case II'. Seen at the 1:54 Art Fair. Top image: Beaded jewellery from Sidai Designs, at the 'Africa Calling' pop-up curated by Shake the Dust which, returns soon]
Summer is a distant dream for many of us living in the northern hemisphere (climate change aside, that is – only 3 days ago I was out and about in short sleeves!). Indeed, it's now 2 months since I returned to London from my trip to a hot and humid U.S. and, I've been meaning to share the highlights since. What better timing than when I need a reminder of how good it feels to have the sun kiss my appropriately darkened skin.
My 5-week trip was a glorious respite from what has been a very challenging year, in so many ways (more on that another time).
(Corset by Evie Nix)
It was a time for perspective: I find being away from your 'normal' environment great for seeing things clearer.