Why I became a creative professional

The beginnings of a creative professional

My earliest memory of intentionally making art is from around the age of 5 or 6. I can picture it so clearly: a family friend, Auntie Bridgitte, sitting with me at our dining table, showing me how to make interesting shapes by overlapping letters and numbers and colouring the spaces in between. I loved it! And continued to make up all kinds of creative challenges for myself until …

Continue reading “Why I became a creative professional”

Afri-love Fest: reporting back from the first edition

The first ever Afri-love Fest was held in Nairobi on Sunday 18th November, 2018. 

I am still overwhelmed – in the most joyful way ever – by the turnout of almost 700 people who came and contributed to the magic of the day!

 

Afri-love-Fest-People-by-Imeldah

[Photos by Imeldah Kondo]

The roots of Afri-love Fest

I’d dreamed about putting on an event like this for years. Ever since I started this blog, in 2010, I wanted to create real-life spaces to share its discussions, questions, discoveries, experiments and ideas.  Continue reading “Afri-love Fest: reporting back from the first edition”

International Women’s Day portraits and colouring sheets

Happy International Women’s Day!

I’ve created a new series of illustrated portraits for the occasion, inspired by vintage photographs of women around the world.

The women featured include:

Continue reading “International Women’s Day portraits and colouring sheets”

African goddesses: Orisha Alchemy – a project story

African goddesses were an obvious choice of subject for me, given how I love to create African feminist work.

In addition, for a long time, I’ve been interested in religions and belief systems. Years ago, I started a blog dedicated to this exploration which, I used to create some art for.

My recently launched collection, Orisha Alchemy, picks up where that now inactive blog left off. In this post I share my inspiration, my process and the final creations. Continue reading “African goddesses: Orisha Alchemy – a project story”

Women, illustrated.

With International Women’s Day this week, I wanted to celebrate all the women that I have had the honour to collaborate with, illustrate and exchange with, in the course of my professional life. The majority of my clients have been women’s organisations and women-led businesses and I have loved exploring and experiencing the world from this feminist lens.

It’s been such a joy to illustrate a diversity of interesting and inspiring women.

Continue reading “Women, illustrated.”

Project stories: our collaboration with Sandstorm Kenya

December is here and I’m getting all reflective and starting to take stock of this year. One of the most exciting things that happened is my collaboration with luxury bag brand, Sandstorm Kenya.

Today, I thought I’d share a little bit about how the featured designs came to life.  Continue reading “Project stories: our collaboration with Sandstorm Kenya”

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”

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

This post is sponsored by online money transfer service WorldRemit

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

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”