Staying connected to home: bringing your heritage into your space and into your work

This post is sponsored by online money transfer service WorldRemit

It’s been over 15 years since I left the place that I still consider my home: Kenya. As much as I’ve appreciated my experiences of living in the US (New York) and in the UK (London and Manchester) – and especially all the people I’ve met, who’ve made my life so much richer – Kenya remains my home.

I periodically reflect on this notion of “home”. What is home? For some it’s where they come from and for others, it’s simply where they live, at the present time. For me, the whole idea is something far less tangible.

When I am at home, I feel it. It’s in how my body just seems to naturally relax, feels more vibrant and literally glows. It’s in the ease of interacting with people and being understood (and this is not even to do with language but rather, our shared cultural experiences and values). And of course, the joy and comfort of family, and people who have known you for what seems like forever.

While these aren’t things I can carry with me, each time I return to my London base, there are two particular ways in which I’ve managed to keep home very close: Continue reading “Staying connected to home: bringing your heritage into your space and into your work”

The Afri-love Sundown Sessions: 3 intimate evenings of live music

 

I’m excited to share something I’ve been working on with you. I’ve curated a series of intimate live music gigs taking place on the last 3 Fridays of this month, in London.

As the days get shorter, nights get chillier and London settles down and braces itself for the winter – I dream of sunny days, vibrant colours and the soulful energy that I feel, back home. Continue reading “The Afri-love Sundown Sessions: 3 intimate evenings of live music”

Owiny Sigoma Band: Afro Grooves and Psychedelic Album Art

I discovered Owiny Sigoma Band thanks to Radio 6, while in the studio this week. Hearing Luo piqued my interest and then, upon discovering that the song was called “Deep Kisumu Fish” (listen), I had to look these guys up.

When I did, I was mesmerised by the fluorescent, psychedelic album cover art. Totally matches the description of the music on Bandcamp: “a collection of gloriously hypnotic Afro grooves symbolic of the true culture clash between the Luo and London”.

Continue reading “Owiny Sigoma Band: Afro Grooves and Psychedelic Album Art”

Goodbye Asilia: new business directions

This month marks 5 years of running my business. It’s been a hell of a ride – high moments, challenging times and everything in between. All with a great business partner and an amazing team by my side. But now, it’s time for a change …
A key part of the Asilia ethos has always been about following your heart and doing work you love. We’ve constantly strived to practice what we preach. That’s why we love working with other passionate people and why our self-directed projects are so important to us.
Over the past 5 years, these projects have evolved in different ways. Some have been more satisfying and successful than others – Afri-love, Afriapps and Black White Simple being the ones that have most resonated with the wider world.
 
Products of change
These projects, along with our experiences working with clients over the years, have taught us important lessons; opened up new opportunities we couldn’t have foreseen and; challenged and expanded our visions, when it comes to the contributions we want to bring to the world.
In being true to ourselves, our passions, our new circumstances and environments, we have decided on a new future for our professional paths.

Continue reading “Goodbye Asilia: new business directions”

EVENT: Home Affairs – a Cross-Cultural Installation

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NOW Gallery will be celebrating London’s diverse creative landscape in a new cross-cultural installation, Home Affairs.

The exhibition is a collaboration between furniture designer Yinka Ilori, fashion designer Christine Mhando of London-based CHiCHiA and creative consultant Arieta Mujay. It features four theatrical, visually compelling conceptual spaces, brought to life with curated film, archival footage and performance. Framed by the language of traditional Nigerian & Swahili parables, the spaces will be filled with thought-provoking furniture, indigenous plants, designed objects, garments and wallpapers inspired by bespoke Khanga textiles. There will also be artwork by The installation will also be artwork by Jason Barka and Berjo Mouanga; a mural by myself, Lulu Kitololo; hand-carved wooden stools and bowls by artist Gary March and; on opening night, spoken word performances by the Bazaar Bohemian, of Project Tribe.

Art director/brand consultant Ola Shobowale (aka @imustcreatenow) is also on-board, helping to bring it all together.

Dates: 20th August – 4th September 2015 
Venue: NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0SQ  

 

Join us this Thursday evening for the NOW Later opening night

You can expect:

Continue reading “EVENT: Home Affairs – a Cross-Cultural Installation”

Inspired: Tropical Flora from my East African Travels

Tropical-Flora-East-Africa

I recently returned from a wonderfully rejuvenating trip home to East Africa. Here’s the story of my trip, told through the tropical flora!

First stop was my hometown of Nairobi. I felt so lucky to wake up each morning to this – such a diverse, colourful collection of foliage. If you’ve been following my #plantsomethingdaily challenge, you know how much inspiration I derive from nature!

Continue reading “Inspired: Tropical Flora from my East African Travels”

Behind the Scenes with I Used To… Draw

Today I wanted to give you a behind the scenes look, from a shoot that Stacy Moore and I recently had a lot of fun with. Stacy is an educational psychologist and the founder of I used to…. We’re working together on a series of art workshops, I used to… draw, the first of which will take place at my studio, this Sunday 26th of July.

 

You don’t have to be an artist to join us. In fact, the sessions are especially for those of us who’ve put aside that younger creative self. Here’s a chance for that self to come out and play again!

Continue reading “Behind the Scenes with I Used To… Draw”

Plant Something Daily – June Favourites

Another month of my #plantsomethingdaily challenge has gone by and today, I will cross the halfway mark!

It’s been a great exercise in discipline, stretching my creativity and not getting hung up on trying to achieve perfection. It’s also been quite satisfying – just doodling without much restriction.

Continue reading “Plant Something Daily – June Favourites”

Project Stories: African Women’s Development Fund Logo and Website Revamp

Every now and again, a project comes along that speaks to my heart, mind and soul (I’m really grateful that, after almost 5 years in business, this is becoming the rule rather than an exception!).

Working with the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) has been one of those projects. It’s merged the things I care about:

Continue reading “Project Stories: African Women’s Development Fund Logo and Website Revamp”

Plant Something Daily – May Favourites

My #plantsomethingdaily art challenge continues. At this point, as much as there are days where I feel like I just don’t want to do it (usually because I’ve left it very late and all I want to do is sleep), I’m way too committed to listen to the deviant voices in my head. And of course, all of you who’ve been following the journey on Facebook and Instagram keep me accountable so, thank you!

Here are some of my favourites from May.

Image at the top of the post:

The pair above are actually part of a series of 3. I drew and then experimented on the computer.

Plant-Something-Daily-Lulu-Kitololo-May-2

Fruits and vegetables featured a few times.

Continue reading “Plant Something Daily – May Favourites”