- Relocating back home to Kenya, after 16 years of living abroad in the US and in the UK
- Totally transforming my business after 6 years and having the guts to TRULY pursue my passions and dreams
- Preparing for motherhood
My homegirl and fellow artist, Lulu Kitololo, is one quarter of a group looking to unscramble Africa. Lulu, along with photographers Mutua Matheka and Joe Were, and storyteller/filmmaker Josh Kisamwa will be taking a road-trip across southern Africa where they will explore and document their discoveries in 10 countries and 13 cities (all in 15,000 km which is about 9,300 miles). For the project, entitled Unscrambling Africa, their goal is to document the "stories, people, sub-cultures, and environment" of the continent showing a different perspective from what is typically shown.
This project will only happen with our support. The team launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the expenses for the trip. If you want to see and support "images of Africa, by Africans, in Africa" then check out their Kickstarter video and page here.
Recently, artist Christa David made the leap and decided to leave her job to pursue a career as a full-time artist. She shares about her new artist-life experiences and latest inspirations on her blog where she captures her excursions into gallery exhibitions and how she navigates her new found freedom.
When you finish catching up on her blog posts, pop over to her online shop and gallery and get a glimpse of her beautiful collages, prints, and paintings. I love her exploration of color, emotion, and layering of textures.
I'm eyeing several of her collages for my own collection. These would make perfect holiday gifts, too.
Women Who Project is a new interview series highlighting women of color we admire and who inspire us in art and design. Interviews are conducted by guest author, educator, and artist Tanekeya Word.
Born and based in London, UK, Nikki Farquharson is equal parts feminist and video gamer, digital and analog artist. Having specialized in graphic design, and earning a degree in 2008, she chose to focus on hand drawn patterned illustrations and typography. Her attention to detail is extraordinary and shows the magic of what can be achieved with rudimentary tools and skilled hands. Nikki has a list of notable clients Adidas, MAC Cosmetics, Malibu Rum, Benefit Cosmetics and Fujifilm.
Tell us the backstory, of how you arrived at creating a bespoke greeting card line?
For years I've been illustrating patterns to be applied to products for other people and clients. At the start of 2016, I decided to focus wholly on creating artwork for products for my own online store. Not just art prints which I already have experience in, but useable items such as stationery, colouring books and head wraps. All of these products (and more) are currently in the making, but I recently decided to prioritise greeting cards in order to bring these to my shop first.
How has this project brought you closer to becoming you?
There is so much liberation in being in absolute full control of what you create. I believe I have a distinct style, especially within a space where so much popular artwork within the industry is produced digitally, but it can still become diluted if it is heavily art-directed by the client. I've done lots of self-initiated projects in the past, but this is the first time I'm really taking it seriously and on a much larger scale. I really want to create a brand and business from the art that I have created from scratch with no dictation from others. There is such a freedom in that. Read more...
How are you all feeling?
I feel confused. Unaligned. And distracted.
During this time it is easy to feel powerless, defeated, and anxious. And most of all fearful. But don't be distracted by the fear.
I refuse to be fearful, I refuse to feel powerless.
After we feel our feelings. After the shock and grief. After the dust settles a bit, I hope that we can take a moment to remember the light within us all to keep going, and to focus on what can be done. We can always be uplifting, we can organize and initiate. We can activate, we can create, we can speak, write, design, teach, demonstrate, listen, talk, help, hug, cry, pray, serve...
There is always something we can do. Every single little action counts.
So again, after the shock, after the grief please remember we are never powerless. We have the power to decide how to move forward: in fear or in love.
I can't remember exactly how Kaira Akita (of the new podcast The Inspired Interim) and I met but when we did it was an instant creative connection. Our career paths are so different, she's an actress/producer and I'm an illustrator/author, yet we have found so many parallels in our experiences as we continue on this creative journey. LA, this Thursday we are so exited to share with you our story, some advice, the challenges, and triumphs at a special Becoming Me launch event. Join us for a an evening celebration in the beautiful loft-space at A Toast 2 Artistry in downtown LA. Click here for more details and tickets and hope to see you there.
Oakland!!! Join printmaker, surface designer, and teacher Jen Hewett and I this Saturday for a discussion about entrepreneurship, creativity, and self-care.
Copies of Becoming Me will be available for purchase, and I'll be hanging out to chat and sign.
Next stop after Oakland is LA. For more information about that event click here.
I hope to see you there!
A little while ago my homegirl Hadiya sent me a link to a limited edition notebook created by Moleskine in collaboration with 40 Acres (and a Mule) celebrating the 30 anniversary of She's Gotta Have It. Being a fan, I was intrigued. So I bookmarked it with plans to purchase later. Then a mutual friend showed me her copy and I immediately went online to order one.
The notebook is a limited run of 3,000 and each copy sent by 40 Acres is signed by Spike Lee. AND you get a set of stickers with references from the film. This is a must-have collector's item and makes a great gift. Get yours before they are all gone, which I'm surprised they aren't already sold out!
This last week since the launch of Becoming Me has been phenomenal. The first signing was at a Barnes & Noble in my hometown (a big thank you to all who came out). Next I was off to Stamford, CT for a talk about writing down big dreams with 65 teens at the Ferguson Library. Then I had the honor of speaking at my alma mater, Tyler School of Art—which was totally surreal because as I was standing there I remembered being on the other side, a design student learning from the speakers who visited. It has been such a treat to connect with people who have supported my work over the years, and being able to share my story with young people. Here are a few photos from the events.
Ferguson Library Signing
The book tour road trip officially starts next Tuesday with my first stop in Detroit at Tulani Rose. It's my first time in the city and I can't wait! For the event RSVP here. Visit my book tour page for more information on upcoming events in Chicago, Oakland, and LA. I hope to see you soon!
Tyler School of Art Signing
Becoming Me is here! Today is my publication birthday and to celebrate I'm sharing some paper goodies that can be used in the book. There are hints of these patterns I created for Becoming Me and I'm making them available for you to download for free for the next 48 hours. You can also download my collection of collage bits (sparkly diamonds and juicy lips). These were edited from the book but I am making them available to you. Use them to collage in the book or on your own art projects. Have fun making art! And please share with me what you create, you can post on Instagram using the #BecomingMe or #BecomingMeBook.
Download of this item entitles the user for personal and group use. Download of this item does not entitle the user to mass-reproduce the images (either digitally or in print) for sale.
Becoming Me comes out tomorrow, and I am thrilled to announce dates for the book tour. More information to come about each event, but please check out this link for some details. Los Angeles we have something special in store for you, this is a special ticketed event, so save the date. And Detroit, please be sure to RSVP.
While visiting Santa Cruz, CA a few months ago, a friend and I stumbled upon a boutique that carried this lovely brand. Osei-duro is a vibrant fashion collection of textiles from Ghana, Peru, and India. We both fell in love with their rich prints and styles.