Plant Something Daily – March Favourites

Plant-Something-Daily-Art-Lulu-Kitololo-March-2015-1

 

My daily art challenge continues and I reached the 100 milestone last week. Here are some of my favourites from March. As you can see I had quite a bit of fun with filters (my photo editing app of choice is still VSCO Cam).

Below is a special drawing inspired by a woman I met while vending at the Southbank Centre's Women of the World festival. Her last name is stone and she had such a beautiful spirit!

Continue reading “Plant Something Daily – March Favourites”

African style / 1

African-Style-1-Congo-Men-Accessories

 

I have a Pinterest board called 'African Style' and finding pictures for it brings me much joy. We are truly a creative and beautiful people! I've decided to do a regular round-up of some of my favourites. Here's number 1.

 

African-Style-1-Swahili-Kanga-Fulani-Hairstyle

Continue reading “African style / 1”

In Technicolour: My Winter Colour Palette

Winter-Colour-Palette-by-Lulu-Kitololo

 

In January, I noticed a trend in the photos I was taking – there were a lot of peachy, coral colours alongside different shades of green. I love this combination of colours and can't wait to apply it to some illustrations or designs.

It's freezing and grey outside so, I'm just happy that my spirit is still vibrating on a more vibrant frequency!

What colours are speaking to you right now?

Continue reading “In Technicolour: My Winter Colour Palette”

In Pictures: When Darkness Meets the Light

Photography-Contrast-Darkness-Light-Lulu-Kitololo-1

Photography-Contrast-Darkness-Light-Lulu-Kitololo-2

 

Over a decade ago, I came across a quote which has stayed in my memory since:

"Had I not fallen, I would not have arisen.
Had I not been subject to darkness, I could not have seen the light"
Midrash 

The quote has special resonance for me now, given how good I feel about this year, in contrast to the last. Incidentally, as I look back through my Instagram feed from the past couple of months, there are quite a few photos that play with this contrast between darkness and light. Above and below are a few – catch the full story behind each, over on Instagram.

Continue reading “In Pictures: When Darkness Meets the Light”

Plant Something Daily – January Favourites

Plant Something Daily Art Lulu Kitololo

 

I reached a turning point mid-last year when, I decided to stop talking and start making, putting an end to years of creative frustration. It's not that I was previously lacking in ideas but rather, that I had been fooling myself that I just didn't have the time.

And then I made the time and it led to so many great things: showcasing at events like Africa Utopia and the Renegade Craft Fair; getting featured on one of my favourite blogs, Fly, not once but twice and; generally receiving such great feedback from people.

To keep the making momentum growing, I've set myself a challenge for 2015: to create a piece of plant-inspired art, every single day. Why plants? Well, besides Africa, nature is my biggest muse and I think we can agree that plants make (most) people happy.

On this last day of January, I can say that I have successfully stuck to the challenge! I'm really proud of myself for that. Especially as this month has been busy beyond belief – I've had so many excuses not to create my daily piece! In this way, this challenge has been a great exercise in self-discipline.

It's also been good for helping me to let go of expecting everything to be perfect. As I shared with one of the drawings from last week – I'm not necessarily happy with each drawing but, I'm happy I've made each drawing.

Above are some of my favourite pieces from January. I post them each day after making them, on Instagram (#plantsomethingdaily) and on my new Facebook page, dedicated to my art. View the collection so far and follow the journey – help keep me accountable!

Have you set yourself a daily/weekly/monthly challenge this year? I'd love to hear more about it and see what you're working on. 

Continue reading “Plant Something Daily – January Favourites”

Free Download: Colouring Sheets

Colouring Sheets Free Download Afri-love Lulu Kitololo
 

In less than 2 days, many of us will be enjoying a public holiday (whether we celebrate Christmas or not) and we'll hopefully have some downtime.

If you find yourself at a loss for ideas of how to entertain the younger ones (and those young at heart), I've got just the thing for you! I've created 3 different colouring sheets for you to download and print.

There's a garden scene, aka Bustani (see above); a fishy scene and; a composition made up of landmarks and landscapes from various African cities (bonus points if you can name any of them – let me know in the comments below).

 

Colouring Sheets Lulu Kitololo Afri-love

 

To get a hold of your downloads, all you have to do is sign up to the Afri-love mailing list here

Once you've signed up, you will receive an email with links to download the sheets. Simply print and enjoy. If you're already subscribed, the links are in the latest email, sent today.

Fellow Instagrammers, please share a picture and mention me @lulukitololo – I'd love to see how you and your loved ones improve on my creations!

 

All drawings copyright Lulu Kitololo. Please note that the colouring sheets are for your personal use and may be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever.

Continue reading “Free Download: Colouring Sheets”

Hobby or Business: Should you Take your Creative Pursuits to the Next Level?

Creative-Hobby-or-Business-Which-Way-To-Go-Tips

 

My experience of running a business has been rewarding in many ways but, it’s no walk in the park. If you’re creatively inclined like myself, you may have had the thought: “how can I design my life so that I get to do more of this making stuff?” It’s no secret that I’m a big advocate of this – I’m often encouraging people to go for it. However, if you’re planning on making a living from it, it’s important to really think about whether you want to create a business of it, or if you’re better off with a creative hobby. 

Here are some questions to help you decide:

Passion
a). Do you have an unwavering love for what you do? Do you eat, sleep, breathe and think about it all the time?
OR 
b). Do you just like it a lot right now?

Focus
a). Do you have a relatively clear vision of the career and lifestyle you want to have?
OR
b). Does your vision change fundamentally, with every day, every encounter and every new experience?

Drive
a). Are you a self-starter?
OR
b). Do you prefer to have things all planned out for you?

Multi-tasking ability
a). Are you adept at juggling several different tasks and responsibilities?
OR 
b). Do you prefer to work exclusively on one thing at a time?

Confidence and fearlessness
a). Are you proud to show and tell the world about what you’re doing?
OR
b). Do you hate talking about yourself?

Resilience
a). Do you have a thick skin when it comes to what others think and say about you and your work?
OR
b). Would you rather not put yourself out there for scrutiny?

If you responded ‘yes’ to most of the ‘a’ questions – welcome to the wonderful and challenging world of enterprise!

If you responded ‘yes’ to most of the ‘b’ questions – why ruin a good thing? Why not nurture your creativity without the pressures of business, for now?

If I had to sum up the qualities I think it takes to make a living from your craft, I’d say that these are up there: passion, focus, drive, multi-tasking ability, confidence (at least enough to fake it well), fearlessness and resilience.

At the end of the day, running a creative business is about so much more than just making (see my post on non-creative business priorities for creative professionals). Some people welcome this as a necessary part of the lifestyle they want to lead but, for others, these demands destroy their enjoyment of their craft. With a creative project, you can change your mind, change the plan at a whim or quit at any point. You can do so with a creative business too but, the consequences of this kind of spontaneity could be more significant.

Let me know if this post has been useful to your decision-making. 

————————————————————————

Related:

Continue reading “Hobby or Business: Should you Take your Creative Pursuits to the Next Level?”

Recent Art Adventures: Appreciation, Inspiration and Making

One of the things I'm really enjoying at the moment is all the art that I'm discovering, experiencing and making. Here are some photos from recent adventures …

1-Mandela-Street-Art-Manchester-Akse-P19

 

While in Manchester recently, it wasn’t all about plant photography. I chanced upon graffiti artist Akse (P19 Crew) working on a Mandela portrait.

 

2-Return-of-the-Rudeboys-Exhibition-by-Dean-Chalkley-Harris-Elliot

 

A few days later, I finally checked out the Return of the Rudeboy exhibition at Somerset House. Created and curated by photographer and filmmaker, Dean Chalkley, and fashion-industry creative director, Harris Elliott, the exhibition “showcases a sartorial subculture through a series of portraits, installations and set pieces” (exhibition site). Beautiful photography and amazing style – inspiration to up my own game!

 

3-Return-of-the-Rudeboys-Exhibition-by-Dean-Chalkley-Harris-Elliot

 

The exhibition features a few rudegirls too. Here: Zoe Bedeaux.

 

4-Return-of-the-Rudeboys-Exhibition-We-Are-Cuts-Installation
 

I was digging the colours, textures and patterns in this corner of the We Are Cuts barbershop/salon installation.

 

5-Asilia-Team-En-Route-Pangaea

 

A few days after that, the Asilia UK team went to check out Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America, at the Saatchi Gallery. You’d think from this picture that I forced them to go!

 

5b Boris Nzebo Art Pangaea Exhibition
 

I loved the colour, lines and layering in the work of Cameroonian artist, Boris Nzebo.

 

6-Asilia-Team-Pangaea-Exhibition-Saatchi-Gallery-Aboudia-Art

 

Kathryn and Lusungu mesmerised by a painting by Ivorian artist, Aboudia.

 

7-Vincent-Michea-Art-Detail-Pangaea-Exhibition

 

This is a detail from a piece by Dakar-based artist, Vincent Michea. This and the piece below celebrate African music. Vibrant, simple but striking.

 

8-Vincent-Michea-Art-Pangaea-Exhibition

 

Over in my maker's corner …

A couple of years ago I shared my desire to spend more time creating. Even though I own a creative business, over the past few years, I’ve found that I haven’t been doing as much making as I’d like. You may have caught my post from a couple of months ago – "Beyond Making" – explaining all the other things that are involved in running a creative business. 

I’m happy to declare that, things are changing! Particularly since June. I’ve been getting my hands ‘dirty’ much more and not only has it brought me much creative satisfaction but, opportunities too! I’ve been receiving such a great response to my illustrated portraits, for example. Here are a few snippets of things I’ve worked on recently.

 

9-Lulu-Kitololo-Art-Asilia-Design-Work-in-Progress-Painting-Patternmaking

 

I’ve been designing the upcoming album cover for musician, Namvula. I created a pattern, inspired by some kitenge (wax print) fabric on a dress she owns. The first step was painting the elements that would make up the pattern.

 

10-Lulu-Kitololo-Art-Asilia-Design-Work-in-Progress-Pattern-Making
 

I then played around with them on the computer and the pattern began to take shape. It was a really hectic week for me – moving offices and preparing to travel, while trying to keep on top of the usual demands. For the first time ever, I took to working on the bus, between meetings and errands! I prefer taking the bus to the tube anyway, especially when it’s as hot as it has been lately. Since the bus usually takes longer, I thought I’d capitalise on that time and be productive.

 

11-Lulu-Kitololo-Art-Drawing-Work-in-Progress-Illustrate-Me-Asilia-Design
 

Above, detail of a drawing I made to be used as a background for an illustrated portrait I was working on …

 

12-Lulu-Kitololo-Illustrate-Me-Asilia-Design-Illustrated-Portraits-Lizzie
 

… for marketing whiz, Lizzie Phillips. This is the final product. Another satisfied Illustrate Me customer!

 

And that's all for now. Follow me on Instagram (@lulukitololo) for daily adventures in appreciating, finding inspiration for and making art.

 

What are you working on this week?

 

————————————————————————

Related:

Continue reading “Recent Art Adventures: Appreciation, Inspiration and Making”

Creative Muses: Plant Life

1-Nature-Creative-Muse-Cacti-Cactus-Succulents

 

The weather in the UK has been refreshingly wonderful for the past few weeks. I've tried to spend as much time outdoors as I can which means, more encounters with one of the greatest sources of inspiration in my book – plants! The colours, the patterns, the sheer diversity –  plant-gazing is surely one of the purest delights. 

 

2-Nature-Creative-Muse-Round-Courgettes-Zucchini-Wild-Country-Organics

 

Fruits and vegetables count as plant life for me. I've found that my paleo journey has exposed me to varieties that I had not come across before! I've been frequenting my local farmers' market where I can buy organic produce at prices that rival those of even conventional veggies in the supermarket. Above, round courgettes (aka zucchini) from Wild Country Organics

 

3-Nature-Creative-Muse-Dahlias-Northern-Flower-Manchester

 

Spotted these Dahlias this past weekend in Manchester, at a charming quirky boutique flower shop called Northern Flower. It was stocked with the most interesting selection of plants, including venus fly traps!

 

4-Nature-Creative-Muse-Horniman-Museum-Gardens-London

 

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that the gardens at the Horniman Museum count as one of my favourite places in London. The image above was enhanced with a little help of that wonderful tool, VSCOcam.

 

5-Nature-Creative-Muse-Succulents-Florist-Bethnal-Green-London

 

I find it hard to walk by florists without pausing to take a picture. Especially in summer when their wares are out on the pavement begging for it. This one is in Bethnal Green and unfortunately I didn't note the name …

 

6-Nature-Creative-Muse-Leafy-Skies

 

I do have quite a bit of fun manipulating enhancing photographs on my phone. It has become one of my favourite commute-time activities!

 

7-Nature-Creative-Muse-Horniman-Museum-Gardens-London

 

Horniman again. And there will be more …

 

8-Nature-Creative-Muse-Chilli-Pepper-Plants-Northern-Flower

 

Chilli peppers at the Northern Flower. I was so tempted to purchase a pot or three!

 

9-Nature-Creative-Muse-Horniman-Museum-Gardens-London

 

Horniman …

 

10-Nature-Creative-Muse-Flowers-Tate-Modern-Bankside-London

 

This regal beauty caught my eye as I was walking along the riverbank, not far from the Tate Modern museum.

 

Nature, the universe and mother-love

I came across some quotes by environmentalist, naturalist, traveler, writer, and scientist, John Muir, that I totally resonate with:

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

There is a love of wild Nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.

 

I found them here, where you can read plenty more from his book, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (which is now on my wishlist!).

 

What about nature inspires you?

 

All photos by Lulu Kitololo. 

————————————————————————

Related:

  

Continue reading “Creative Muses: Plant Life”