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)

Continue reading “A Summer of Pictures”

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”

Inspired: Prints by Jamilla Okubo

I love the colour, pattern and personality in these prints from Jamilla Okubo’s series, ‘We The People of the Diaspora – Black Culture Exploration’. African-American/Kenyan native Jamilla is an Integrated Fashion Design student and a self-declared painter, textile artist, designer and graphic artist.

Regarding her prints, her site reads:

“The prints, fun as they may be, acknowledge a deeper struggle which is rooted in black culture. She acknowledges the history, but similar to an upbeat song about heartbreak decides to shine a different light on the situation by claiming the story back for herself.”

Jamilla Okubo Art Print finalp2_905

 

I’m really impressed by Jamilla’s entrepreneurialism. Her prints are on sale online and she’s already received some great press mentions and interviews for her work. In my own experience, the hustling I did before graduation (including spending most of my holidays interning) definitely made a difference when I entered the so-called real world.

Find out more about Jamilla and her diverse work.

Images via Jamilla Okubo’s website

————————————————————————

Related:

 

 

Continue reading “Inspired: Prints by Jamilla Okubo”

Inspired by Lubaina Himid’s Kanga Paintings and Collage Portraits

Lubaina Himid Art Never Sleep

I don't know how I missed Lubaina Himid's work when I visited the Cotton: Global Threads exhibition last year. Luckily for us all, you can have a look on the exhibition site. I love her series "Kangas From The Lost Sample Book" (kangas never cease to inspire – they influenced the Afri-love graphics and a game design project which we're currently working on at Asilia and should be able to share soon). I also absolutely love her collage portraits. 

Continue reading “Inspired by Lubaina Himid’s Kanga Paintings and Collage Portraits”

The 9 most popular Afri-love posts in 2010

Dimitra-Tzanos-For-the-love-of-Africa-Buffalo

I started this blog in June this year as an outlet for my passion for Africa and for the arts, culture and self-investigation. I've thoroughly enjoyed the many hours I've put into creating the content and I'm ever grateful for all the time you've put into reading, commenting, appreciating and sharing.

I posted a similar round-up a little while ago, on the blog's 5 month anniversary (yes, arbitrary I know). It does make a bit more sense to do so at the end of the year so, particularly for the benefit of all the new readers (welcome!), here are the 9 posts that were most visited in 2010. Common themes: art, hair and fashion…

1. 
Inspired by Dimitra Tzanos whose Greek and South African experiences were brought together in her design project "For the Love of Africa" (image above)

2.
Le Coil: photography celebrating the beauty of afro hair 

Le-Coil-portrait-on-blue

3.
The debut post in the Afri-love interview series: a spotlight on Chief Nyamweya, the artist behind Emergency Web Comic

6a013483832c3b970c013488bdb3d6970c-800wi


4.
The bold and beautiful Africa-inspired accessories designed by Rachel Stewart

6a013483832c3b970c013488bdbbc7970c-800wi

5.
An interview with enterprising designer, Mkuki Bgoya of Kina Klothing

Mkuki-Bgoya

6.
Pilgrimages: illustration inspired by the ambitious literary project; writing interrogating the limits of our self-knowledge

Pilgrimages-taster

7.
The first post chronicling the third round of my natural hair journey 

Before before picture

8.
An interview with Lesley of Ododo Originals whose passion is in full bloom

Lesley-of-Ododo-Originals

9.
Female Relations: a peek at a painting series I recently exhibited

Bibi

———————————————————————————

Images from top: design by Dimitra Tzanos; photo by Jamala Johns; illustration by Chief Nyamweya; photo courtesy Rachel Stewart; photo courtesy Mkuki Bgoya; illustrations by Lulu Kitololo; photo by Lulu Kitololo; photo courtesy of Lesley/Ododo Originals; painting by Lulu Kitololo.

Fatric Bewong: painting the sounds of nature

Fatric-Bewong-Song-Around-the-Globe-lo-res

Ghanaian artist, Fatric Bewong, generously shares her work and process with Afri-love. Working in Tarkwa, in the Western Region of Ghana, Fatric's current work is inspired by paying attention to the sounds of nature. Though famous for its rich mineral wealth, Fatric says that Tarkwa should be noted for its daily – ritual even – afternoon rainfall, falling always between 2 and 3pm.

"The more attention I paid to it, the more I was interested in hearing the intricate details of the drops. It was complex but all was harmonious. The sound of the wind and the rain was soothing, calm and not intrusive. It made me more reflective. That was the moment I started giving more thought to the sounds of nature, so they could inspire my paintings. I deliberately allow the sounds to influence my work. The pitch, the tempo, the melodies and the choruses, all being created by a multitude of animate and inanimate beings take their positions on my canvases in a careful, respectful and loving manner."

Continue reading “Fatric Bewong: painting the sounds of nature”