Plant Something Daily – February Favourites

Plant Something Daily February

 

My daily art challenge continues. There have been times, when I’m just about to go to bed, after working really long hours, and I remember that I haven’t created the day’s piece! It’s been so tempting to just give that one time a miss. However, thanks to all the wonderful encouragement you’ve been showing me, I’ve stayed on course and I’m really grateful for that.

Above are some of my favourites from February. It’s interesting how different themes emerge:

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Portraits of 2014

Portraits of 2014 by Lulu Kitololo
Last year, I started taking commissions for the style of portrait illustrations that I’d previously made for my design business and a few of our clients. The response was really exciting! People ordered illustrations for themselves and their loved ones, coming up with reasons and occasions that I hadn’t even thought of.
This is what they’ve been used for, to date:
  • Present for a wife, just because
  • Birthday presents (especially for ‘big’ birthdays, e.g. 50, 60)
  • Wedding presents
  • Christmas presents
  • Website banners
  • Social media avatars
  • Editor’s portrait in a magazine
  • Illustration of interview subjects for a magazine
The image above is a round up of commissions from 2014. I really love making these.
2015 commissions
To help me manage my time, I’ve decided that I will only take 12 of these portrait commissions this year. I’ve already got a few in the works so, get in touch ASAP if you’re interested in one: lulu [at] weareasilia [dot] com. You can also find more details on ordering here.
See larger versions of the portraits above, on my Pinterest page.
All illustrations copyright yours truly, Lulu Kitololo 

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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. 

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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.

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Buy African: Last-minute Christmas Gift Ideas

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!

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In Pictures: The Road to Renegade (+ An Epic Giveaway)

The Renegade Craft Fair London is 3 days away and Lusungu and I have been busy getting our ‘Fly South For Winter’ collection ready! It’s inspired by our motherland love and a yearning for the tropics in these wintry times. All the designs are hand-drawn by me and then hand screen printed by Lusungu (aka Creativity and Noise).

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In Pictures: the Monochrome Hues of Winter

As the weather turns, I find that my usually vibrant colour palette gets subverted by an inclination towards the monochrome. It’s clearest when it comes to my wardrobe but, I realised it happening with the photos I was taking too! Here are a few …

 

Sandile Zulu African Art

[Above: sculpture by Sandile Zulu, titled ‘Spinal Diagnoses: A Histopathological Case II’. Seen at the 1:54 Art Fair. Top image: Beaded jewellery from Sidai Designs, at the ‘Africa Calling’ pop-up curated by Shake the Dust which, returns soon]

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A Summer of Pictures

Summer is a distant dream for many of us living in the northern hemisphere (climate change aside, that is – only 3 days ago I was out and about in short sleeves!). Indeed, it’s now 2 months since I returned to London from my trip to a hot and humid U.S. and, I’ve been meaning to share the highlights since. What better timing than when I need a reminder of how good it feels to have the sun kiss my appropriately darkened skin.

My 5-week trip was a glorious respite from what has been a very challenging year, in so many ways (more on that another time).

(Corset by Evie Nix)

Governors Island Hammock NYC View

It was a time for perspective: I find being away from your ‘normal’ environment great for seeing things clearer.

(Hammock grove at Governor’s Island)

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New Designs – Your Thoughts Please

Market research - cards7

 

Following the great response I’ve been getting to my ‘African Cities’ greetings cards, I’m working on a new set of greeting card designs and would love your input.

I’ve put together a questionnaire which, you can complete in 10 minutes here. As a thank you, I will send you a free piece of art to download for your personal use.

If you’re in the UK and have 20 minutes to spare before or on November 1st, I’d love to take you through the questions, over the phone or via Skype. As a thank you, I will post you a limited edition art print. Simply email me on lulu [@] weareasilia [dot] com with three times that work for you.

Your information
The information that you share will be used to help me determine which greeting card designs to produce and, how best to get them to people who will find delight in them. This information will not be used for any other purpose and will not be shared with anybody outside my company, Asilia Ltd.

Spreading the Joy
Please submit your responses before the 1st of November and, do feel free to share the questionnaire with others who, might enjoy looking at some colourful images and giving feedback too.

Here’s the link to view the designs and complete the questionnaire: http://goo.gl/forms/10B26zBiyt

 

Thank you in advance!

View more work in progress on Instagram.

All images copyright Lulu Kitololo/Asilia Ltd.

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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?

 

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