Welcome, I'm Lulu Kitololo.
I'm an artist and designer and, you guessed it, Africa is my main muse!
I own and serve as creative director of Asilia, a graphic design studio that works with people and organisations who are passionately creating new narratives. Our style is vibrant, eclectic and largely African inspired. I've been working in the creative industry for 10 years with various types of clients including international NGOs, film festivals, fashion brands, musicians, theatres, writers and more.
In 2014, I started concentrating on more self-directed projects which, has led to an evolving line of paper and fabric goods which include greeting cards, art prints and more (you can follow this journey daily on Instagram).
I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and left my beloved continent to pursue a BFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in New York and then an MA in African Studies from SOAS, University of London. Pretty different directions! That's the reaction I usually get but I always knew there was a grand plan at work (even thought it was a while before it revealed itself to me). Afri-love and Asilia are ever-evolving culminations of these journeys and I can honestly say that I love what I do!
The story behind Afri-love
Ultimately, Afri-love exists to showcase, encourage and support creative entrepreneurship.
I started this blog as an outlet for all the fabulous African-made or African-inspired creative production that I constantly come across. The thought was, how can we Africans have such collective low self-esteem when we are capable of creating acts and works of such beauty (whether to do with the arts, design, innovation or activating positive change)? What are the negative results of this self-deprecation? What amazing things could we do if we started practising more self-love?
Afri-love is a space for inspiration, tips and reflections on creativity, making things happen, pursuing your passion and being true. All from the perspective of my African and Afropolitan experience.
I've crafted an Afri-love philosophy that you can read here (where you can also read more about where I'm coming from).
What to expect
You'll find the following types of posts on Afri-love:
- Creative inspiration (art & illustration; all kinds of design; fashion & accessories; performing arts; photography, film & TV, literature and; more)
- Careers and entrepreneurship stories, tools & resources and tips on getting started (including marketing & presentation)
- Interviews (creatives, innovators, activists and entrepreneurs share their stories. Inspiration for pursuing your passion)
- Buy African (helping you to support African and diaspora products, services, places & spaces, events & celebrations)
- Get creative (DIY ideas, decor tips, recipes and more opportunities to get creative including African-inspired palettes)
- TGIF! (music you need to check out)
- Health & wellness (including my adventures practicing yoga and going primal/paleo; natural hair; beauty; food; as well as ruminations on the importance of starting with the self and being kinder to it)
- African inspiration on Pinterest (eye candy!)
Dive in (popular posts)
You can navigate via the categories listing on the left hand side of the page. Alternatively, start by checking out this list of some of the most popular posts from the past 3 years (updated November 2013):
- Is it African? Questions of Aesthetics, Authenticity and Classification
- 6 Pieces of Advice for Starting a New Business in the Afri-Sphere
- Dream Homes: Swahili-inspired Architecture and Interior Design in Lamu, Kenya
- The Best of 2011: African and Africa-inspired Fashion, Interior & Furniture Design
- Great Girls in African Literature that your Daughter Should Know
- My African Fiction Reading List
- My African Non-Fiction Reading List
- Inspired: Chinua Achebe Book Covers
- 5 Reasons Why Ghana is the next African App Powerhouse
- Natural Hair Journey: Length Check & My Current Regimen, 10 Months after the Big Chop
- How does Africa Inspire you? My 10 Favourite Interview Responses
- 29 Lessons from 29 Years
- Interview with Musician Fatoumata Diawara
- Amazing Results from My Whole30 + Autoimmune Protocol Experiment
Other things you'll find on this blog:
Need help making that passion pay? Preparation and presentation are key. Find out how the fabulous Asilia team (they really are) and I can help
Seen & heard
Posts and articles I've written for other sites and publications; press including interviews, features and other mentions; speaking engagements
A directory of multi-disciplinary sites that are spreading the (Afri-) love as well as resources for facilitating a thriving passion economy (excuses end here).
Get more Afri-love
Don't miss an installment, find out the different ways to get your Afri-love delivered. You can also stay up to date by liking the Afri-love Facebook page or following Afri-love (@afrilove) on Twitter or Google+.
Check out my many Africa-related Pinterest boards covering the arts, design, music and more.
Subscribe for fortnightly updates with Afri-love highlights and developments, as well as info on interesting events, must-reads and more for you to check out elsewhere.
Last but not least – I love hearing from you! Feedback, suggestions, questions or even submissions – anything goes so, please do get in touch.
Photo by David Lau