Today is the day to stop neglecting your personal projects. Here’s why and how.

Today is the day to stop neglecting your personal projects.

Also referred to as self-directed, passion or side projects, these are those exciting ideas you’ll spend all of your time on, once your guardian angel or winning lottery ticket arrives.

Continue reading “Today is the day to stop neglecting your personal projects. Here’s why and how.”

How to save money when commissioning creative work

You’ve decided you need a professional to create something for you and you appreciate that their skill, expertise and style deserve commensurate compensation. You’re investing in work that will benefit you – whether to increase awareness of your product or service, to grow sales, to better serve your customers and so on. The creative is valuable in achieving your goals and thus, you are happy to pay for their input. However, you do have a budget you need to stick to, without incurring additional costs.

The following are some tips on how to do this, based on my 10+ years of experience, as a creative working with clients:

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No new clothes: a story about branding and freedom

Branding and freedom aren’t two words you usually see together in a sentence. Let me tell you a story …

I used to go to job interviews in a suit. A nondescript black or navy trouser suit that was ill-fitting in so many ways. Firstly, the anatomy I’m blessed with makes finding a flattering off-the-shelf trouser suit quite difficult. Vanity aside, there I was, a young excited professional creative, going to find a job in my field, looking like an accountant!

Somewhere along the journey into adulthood, I had picked up this idea that this is how things were done. Serious situations like job interviews called for “serious” attire and, we all know that means a suit. Despite the fact that people who already worked at these places never/rarely wore suits. Despite the fact that I was largely being judged on my creativity and, we all know how your visual presentation has the power to influence decisions. My choice of clothing just didn’t make sense.

Presentation is everything

Continue reading “No new clothes: a story about branding and freedom”

Real talk for creative African women – join in!

Last week I launched the Afri-love Women Facebook group, for creative African women balancing self-care and professional excellence.

When I started this blog, almost 7 years ago, I always had a vision that it would be more than just a one-way conversation. That it would lead to activities and initiatives in the real world. In late 2015, I held the Afri-love Sundown Sessions – 3 intimate evenings of live music, co-hosted with musician Sirena Riley. Late last year, I co-hosted a Nairobi brunch for women creatives, together with the Nzinga Effect. Both events were successful in many ways and, I received such great feedback from attendees. I knew that I wanted to create more opportunities for interaction with like-minded people – in real life and virtually as well – and the Afri-love Women Facebook group is step one.

Continue reading “Real talk for creative African women – join in!”

Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016

Happy new year! I hope you had some time to rest and rejuvenate as the year turned. A good chunk of my holiday was spent in Moshi, Tanzania. I stayed at my late grandparents’ home – resting, reading and spending time with family. I came back to Nairobi with renewed enthusiasm and clarity! There are several big (and slightly scary) adventures – design and otherwise – on the horizon this year, for me and for the Studio. I look forward to sharing them with you.

The first one starts next week, when 3 creative friends and I set off for a 15,000km+ road trip through southern Africa (see below).

As we prepare to set off, I wanted to share some highlights from 2016. Many of you have been a part of these projects and endeavours and I thank you deeply for your different contributions. Continue reading “Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016”

Expand in creativity, business and life – September round-up

Regular readers may have noticed my blogging hiatus, as I reconfigured my life and business. However, Afri-love subscribers have been less neglected, thanks to A week of Afri-love: a weekly email I started a few months ago, where I share 5 Afri-love-worthy things. Each edition includes:

  1. Buy African: featuring exquisite African-made/made in Africa goods
  2. Something to look at, read, watch or listen to
  3. Some visual place to get lost in (usually amazing Instagram feeds that will fuel your imagination and take you places!)
  4. Events across the world
  5. Last but not least, an “expand” item – something that I’ve come across that has been useful for me in my quest for better health, creative excellence and success in my business

For those who don’t receive these nuggets weekly, I thought I’d do a round-up of “expand” posts, every 2 months, selecting just 5 of my favourite items.

Here’s edition number one! Continue reading “Expand in creativity, business and life – September round-up”

Workshop: social media confidence

 

Workshops Social Media Confidence Stand Out From Crowd

If you’re on the Asilia ‘Lunch on Asilia’ mailing list, you’ll have read a version of this already.

When talk turns to social media and the power of the internet – my eyes light up. The love affair started when I was in university and discovered MSN groups (remember those?). I created one called Taxi9 (long story), to keep in touch with my friends, who were all around the world. A couple years later I started blogging and the rest is history (Afri-love is actually my third blog. If you ask me nicely, I’ll share links to the other two).

Over the past four and a half years, my business, Asilia, has benefitted immensely from the relationships that we’ve established and nurtured, thanks to social media. We’ve been introduced to clients around the world; we’ve been given the opportunity to participate in exciting projects – virtual and in real life and; we’ve gotten to know like-minded people who have become supporters, collaborators and friends.

Social media has also been responsible, directly and indirectly, for many of the speaking engagements, workshop facilitation opportunities and interviews I’ve had the opportunity to be involved/featured in. You can find out more about those here.

The power of social media has been so real for me and my business that I’m big on helping my clients and my community leverage this too. 

Continue reading “Workshop: social media confidence”

Finding the right graphic designer for you – dos and don’ts

This post was originally written for Your Radiant Business – 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.

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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)?

Continue reading “Finding the right graphic designer for you – dos and don’ts”

Stand out from the crowd

Stand-Out-From-The-Crowd-Workshops-2There is such huge pressure for new beginnings in January. Reflecting on the month I've had, it's been more about recalibration, in preparation for new things.

Rather than be frustrated, I'm reminding myself that, ultimately, we can start whenever we like!

For those who are working on starting (or restarting/refreshing/revamping) a business, I'm running a 3-part workshop in London, in collaboration with business coach, Danielle Anderson of Step and Stone. It's titled, 'Stand out from the crowd.'

The sessions will cover: identifying and crafting your unique voice; building an online presence that is in alignment with this and; leveraging the power of social media, with confidence. We want you to be able to market your business in a way that's authentic to you, effective and fun!

You can take one or all three sessions for a comprehensive foundation. Find out more details here.

I'd love for you to join us!

Continue reading “Stand out from the crowd”

Buy African: Last-minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas Buy African Afri-love

 

It’s less than a week to go until Christmas so, ordering your gifts online is now pretty much a gamble. If the thought of braving the madness shops this weekend makes you want to crawl into a dark hole, fear not – I’ve got some ideas that will hopefully keep you in the festive spirit.

The gifts here are all things that you can buy, right up until Christmas Day. They are organised by interest so, hopefully you’ll be able to find something appropriate for all the people on your list – whatever they fancy!

Continue reading “Buy African: Last-minute Christmas Gift Ideas”