How to: screenprint, with Creativity and Noise

I have a confession to make: despite how much I enjoyed screenprinting in university, living with a screenprinter has made me lazy. Why bother when I can ask/beg Lusungu to print something for me? :). However, the more and more I witness the joys of printing, the more and more I want to try my rusty hands at it again.

Lucky for me, and you, Lusungu’s Creativity and Noise screenprinting workshops are finally here! He’s been planning them for a while and he’s finally got some dates booked.

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Interview with Screenprinter, Lusungu Chikamata of Creativity and Noise

Today’s interview features screenprinter, Lusungu Chikamata, founder of Creativity and Noise. It’s a great story of persistence and resourcefulness – I think sometimes we think everything has to be perfect before we can begin when actually, just getting started gets you to perfection faster! Find out how Lusungu learned a brand new skill and launched a creative enterprise, all alongside his day job.

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Invitation to Asilia’s Open Studio – 5th March 2015

 

I moved office a few months ago and my Asilia team and I are finally opening up our doors to welcome our clients, collaborators and friends.

You’re invited!

Drop by our new studio in Brockley, London, any time between 4pm and 8pm on Thursday 5th March.

You’ll get to see some of our work and enjoy some nibbles, and of course, our company.

Some of my art will also be on display, including a mural in progress. Lusungu will be showcasing his screenprinted goods and if we’re lucky, there just might be a demo and opportunity to try the technique for yourself!

The address is:

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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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Counting down to Renegade

Some of you will remember the TV show from when we were growing up – that’s not the Renegade that I’m talking about! I’m talking about The Renegade Craft Fair – a curated indie-craft marketplace showcasing the brightest talents in contemporary craft and design.

Renegade returns to London,  Saturday 22 + Sunday 23, November, from 11am – 6pm, at the Old Truman Brewery, located at 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL, London, UK.

 

Renegade Craft Fair London Prep Lulu Kitololo Drawings

 

I’m really excited to be joining over 100 select makers. I spent pretty much all of the past weekend working on creations for the fair.

I’m collaborating with Lusungu (Creativity and Noise) again and we’re bringing you a collection of screenprinted goods including t-shirts, bags, greeting cards, notebooks, art prints and more. Our theme: “Fly South for Winter”.

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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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3 Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to Africa Utopia 2014

We’re just one week away from a special festival looking at what can be learnt and celebrated from Africa and the African diaspora. I’m looking forward to this second edition of the Africa Utopia festival for 3 main reasons:

1. The Great Line-up

My top 5 picks include:

  1. A Brief Look at Dance in Africa – a lecture/demonstration looking at the variety of dances across the continent, using performance, percussion and film.
  2. Africa Calling – work by new and established designers from Africa and the diaspora spanning furniture, fashion, graphic arts and more.
  3. Africa on the Catwalk – a selection of fashion and accessory designers who originate from or are inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Africa (including Asilia client, Adele Dejak!)
  4. Afropolis: New African Aesthetic – From the catwalk shows of Yves St Laurent to the windows of Topshop and Zara, style-wise, Africa is everywhere. What are the deeper aesthetic and socio-cultural dynamics at work behind this phenomenon and what impact does it have on African regional and cultural identities?
  5. Simply Soweto Encha – a five-piece a cappella group from Soweto township that sings gospel, soul, jazz, doo-wop, r’n’b and celebrates South African oral and dance traditions. I have a super weak spot for a cappella!

There are so many other great events throughout the weekend that I hope to check out. View the full programme here.

 

2. Asilia’s Social Media Workshop

Following my workshop at the Women of the World Festival, earlier this year, I’ve been invited back to run a special session at Africa Utopia. Come spend an hour with me to explore how to use the web and social media as tools to:

  • Celebrate and share your experience, perspective and vision with the world
  • Connect with kindred spirits
  • Monetise your activities
  • Contribute more of your passion to your community and the world

More info here.

 

Christmas-Cards-2014-Asilia

 

3. Asilia’s Stall at the Africa Utopia Marketplace

We’ll be launching the first of our brand new holiday line and we’ll also have a limited number of our Tropical Paleo, Miriam Makeba and Frida Kahlo art prints on sale. It’s also an opportunity to place your order for custom portraits. They’re great as gifts and it’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping! Creativity and Noise will be joining us too with a selection of hand screenprinted tees from our collaboration.

Follow me (@lulukitololo) and Asilia (@weareasilia) – on Instagram for a document of the long weekend. If you’re in London – come say hello!

 

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Design, Music and Good Vibes at Africa Oyé 2014

I spent a wonderful weekend in Liverpool, at the UK’s largest African musical festival, Africa Oyé. This year wasn’t just about soaking up the good music and good vibes (although there was still plenty of that) as I was helping out at the Creativity and Noise + Merkato stall.

 

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It was great to get out of the big city – I love train journeys, exploring new places and taking a breather from the hecticness of London.

 

3-Setting-Up-Festival-Stall

I have enormous respect for entrepreneurs who regularly set up at markets and events. It’s demanding work!

 

4-Laura-Merkato-MKTO-Setting-Up-Shop

This is Laura Marano, the lady behind Merkato (fairly traded homeware and fashion accessories). You may remember her from a popular Afri-love interview where she talked about her other venture, Green-Safari.

 

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Laura and Lusungu Chikamata of Creativity and Noise. All set up and ready to trade!

 

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It was exciting to launch the new Creativity and Noise t-shirts and tote bags, designed by yours truly and hand screenprinted by Lusungu.

 

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Beautiful wares from Merkato. Most made in the Taita-Taveta district of Kenya, where my Dad is from.

 

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Lusungu representing in his new ‘Beat It’ t-shirt. Look for it on the Creativity and Noise shop.

 

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Knit iPhone cases from Merkato.

 

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It was a visual treat checking out what the other vendors had to offer, such as these guords. Right: a Taita basket from Merkato (and the lady who made it!).

 

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I met some fellow Kenyans, Muigai and Anto, who were selling these beaded bangles that had me feeling all patriotic. Kenya and Tanzania represented – perfect!

 

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A wonderful array of colours at Dry Rain, a stall selling Moroccan wares including these leather slippers.

 

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Our neighbouring stall had a massive collection of baskets and other woven goods including these coasters, bangles …

 

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… and mats/rugs.

 

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A funky zebra-print van belonging to a food stall selling all kinds of African game meat, including my beloved crocodile!

 

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Butterfly fridge magnets made from recycled/upcycled flip-flops. From Merkato.

 

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Of course, there was time for dancing.

 

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Me with the Zambians, all representing with our Creativity and Noise tees.

 

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It almost always rains at some point during the Africa Oyé weekend. This year, it didn’t! Blue skies and sunshine throughout. What a bonus?!

 

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All geared up and ready for day 2 of the festival.

 

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We got to watch Joe Driscoll and Jally Kebba Susso  jamming/warming up early on the Sunday morning. The kora on reggae and hip hop tracks sounds amazing!

 

23-Sunset-Africa-Oye-Rose-Tinted-Glasses

As usual, the whole experience was a welcome and wonderful assault on the senses.

One of the things I love about Africa Oyé is that there’s no heavy-handed policing. The police and security presence at this festival is surprisingly minimal – you barely notice them. No gates to walk through where every inch of you is checked, no wall of policemen to intimidate. It just goes to show that if you treat people like human beings, they will act like human beings!

At some point on the Sunday, I found myself feeling a little bit teary. I know this is going to sound corny but, I was overwhelmed by just how beautiful the moment was. All kinds of people – ages, races, abilities; all kinds of random acts of kindness going on; people talking to strangers … real, tangible joy!

See you there next year!

 

Photos by Lulu Kitololo (and a couple courtesy of Lusungu Chikamata), most of them processed with VSCOcam. View even more photos from the weekend, on Facebook.

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Photos from The African Market at Old Spitalfields, London

I spent Monday hanging out with Lusungu at the Creativity and Noise and Merkato stall at The African Market Bank Holiday Festival, presented by Open the Gate at Old Spitalfields Market. There was entertainment, food and a variety of African and African-inspired art, design and crafts. I got to chat to some of the designer-makers and creative entrepreneurs – it’s always inspiring to be around other creative people!

Enjoy the photos and do check out these great brands and makers. Prepare your senses for a print and colour explosion!

(Photo above: recycled textile pouches by BURST. Contact: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com)

 

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Lusungu with his screenprinted Creativity and Noise t-shirts and Merkato baskets and toys

 

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Happy customer Winkate, rocking her brand new Africrown tank from Creativity and Noise

 

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Woven plastic bags from Senegal, available from Serenity Bags: senebagz [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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Hoodies by Open the Gate

 

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Shoe laces by Open the Gate

 

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Trying on a fabulous corset by Evie Nix (don’t ask about the face!)

 

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More ankara/wax print goodies from Evie Nix, including bangles, cuffs and earrings

 

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Wishlist: this green weekend bag  and the yellow Choolips dress, available from Sapellé

 

10-African-Market-Open-The-Gate-Old-Spitalfields-Burst-Lavender-Pouches-Ankara-Wax-Print-Recycled-Textiles

Textile recylcing – lavender pouches made from wax print off-cuts. By BURST: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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Beaded bracelets from Sapellé

 

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Loved these shirts, shorts and t-shirts by TYMO

 

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After years of communicating virtually, I finally got to meet fashion designer Fée Uhssi in the flesh!

 

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Dolls by Verona.C

 

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And the lady Verona herself!

 

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Bibs and booties from the House of Loulee

 

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Lucy of House of Loulee. Last Christmas she custom made some beautiful boots for my friend’s 18 month old and a funky sweater for Lusungu.

 

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Story time!

 

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I didn’t catch the name of the last band that performed. Let me know if you did!

 

All photos by Lulu Kitololo (except the one of Lulu, taken by Yvonne of Evie Nix), with a little love from VSCOcam.

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Reporting back from A Tropical Christmas

  Mindful-Maps-interpretation-of-A-Tropical-Christmas

I anticipated, I wished and then I … thoroughly enjoyed!

Last Saturday, I spent a wonderful day at The Drift Bar in London, celebrating creativity and good company at the Asilia and Afri-love Tropical Christmas celebration. 

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