Posts Tagged ‘art’

collaborations between the arts and any other sector, make me happy; as i have mentioned here and here  :- )* so, i am loving the new limited edition cans of Campbell’s Soup that draw inspiration from Andy Warhol’s famous work on the same. love!

happy, inspired week!

love, love, m


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many shades of yellow.

What’s your favourite colour beloved? I’m currently in love with YELLOW. Completely. I want to change my sitting room wall to yellow. I want to wear it – accessories and clothes that are organic-egg-yolk-yellow! Love.

Just the other day I was thinking about it and realised that my favourite colour has changed or changes over time. I wonder if this is the case for everyone – that our favourite colours change with our life; situations; experiences; place of being; age… Curious.

I once asked my daughter, Sweetpea, this question and got a response that was kinda like this… “Green… Pink… Purple… Blue… Red… Yellow…” on and on. Wasn’t sure if she doesn’t understand the word favourite or that she just loves them all! :- )* I figured she loves them all.

So beloved, what about you? What’s your current favourite colour?

Have a bright and sunshiny week, the colour of yellow :- )*

Love, love, m

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Inspiration 1: Creative Collaborations: i love collaborations that bring seemingly unrelated sectors together towards a great cause and/or have a great story to tell. i stumbled on this one between the obama campaign and fashion designers : RUNWAY TO WIN: to raise funds towards the campaign, the designers have each made a special piece for sale. i love, love this project.

by beyonce and tina knowles

for further reading: here’s a link to a great article that looks at the support of the fashion industry for the obamas

inspiration 2: while we’re on the Obama’s…. Mrs O makes the list. It’s been a while since i checked out Mrs-O.com, the site dedicated to Michelle Obama’s fashion – what she wears almost every day. Then i did and seriously, very nice! Besides her beautiful clothes and great fashion choices, I am constantly inspired by how healthy and glowing she looks.

inspiration  3: Following your passion: I recently learnt that one of my favourite uncles has started taking flying classes. He turned sixty not too long ago and says he’s always wanted to fly so why not? The wise doc and I are both inspired by his choice.

Wishing you an inspired week!

Love, love, m

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its a public holiday here in kenya tomorrow and the fantastic beat of this whitney houston classic, done by glee, and the fun, easy, sexy dancing resonates with my early friday feeling! enjoy.

and keeping with the dance and celebration theme, tomorrow, binyavanga wainaina’s book – One Day I Will Write About This Place – is finally launching here in kenya. i have really been looking forward to this so will definately be there. I also love, love that the cool Just A Band will be DJing for the event. Book launch plus DJ set? Very nice plan.

And you beloveds, plans for the long weekend (if you’re in kenya)? I wish you dancing and celebration of your beautiful life!

Love, love, m

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Over the weekend, I attended Mumbi Kaigwa’s performance of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads: Her Big Chance and Bed Among the Lentils at the Michael Joseph Centre. The poster for it said: “In a retrospective celebrating 40 years of performance” and that’s one of the main reasons that I went: 40 years of acting? That is very impressive and I wanted to be part of celebrating that. (She had her first public acting role at the age of 10). The performances were monologues (solo plays) and I remember saying to my sis, “I have absolutely no idea what to expect”. All I knew was that if Mumbi was doing it, it was going to be worth watching because she’s a stellar actor*. (“*Actor – because you wouldn’t call a female doctor a doctoress” she writes in the programme.  Love it!)

I enjoyed the performances and had many moments of chuckling, wanting to laugh out loud, smiling with the woman I sat next to who I met as we waited for the show to begin. Her with the long, smart, shiny dreads and the calm easy energy, drinking a Tusker light… Of the two monologues, I enjoyed the second more, probably because that character was deeper, more complex. She asked questions that few voice, like questioning if her husband the Vicar actually believes in God! Whoever asks questions like this? Isn’t it always assumed? I liked how it reveals where redemption can come from – in the woman’s case, from an extramarital relationship with a young Indian shopkeeper.

The first monologue was interesting mostly because it had Mumbi taking on this character who is so completely not-her – a rather silly, kinda naive-ish, frivolous woman who’s not very smart really – and watching that stage transformation of Mumbi made it intriguing. The common link between the women and the pieces were the themes of isolation and loneliness evident in both pieces.

At the end of the show, Mumbi returned to the stage (as herself of course) and welcomed the audience to ask questions.  I liked this very much and it opened up into an insightful conversation. I would definitely recommend this approach for all performance pieces and possibly even visual arts exhibitions that are interested in their audience reactions and responses. Some of the things I didn’t know that came out of the conversation were the fact that for several years, Mumbi had worked in a UN-agency in a job that had nothing to do with performance and acting! And eventually, she had to get out and follow her heart – something that she feels deeply about. And out of that was born one of her own works “Voice of the Dream”. When someone asked whether one is able to make a living as an actor, she explained that it does not allow for a luxurious lifestyle and underscored that by saying something along the lines of: “something tells me that we’re not here [in life] to make money”; there really must be more to life than the amount of money we make. Agreed!

Mumbi says that she is now focusing entirely on acting, whereus in the recent past she has been doing more and more training, directing, producing, administration for her organisation The Arts Canvas etc. I do hope she does even more of what she acknowledges in the programme as her first love writing: “So after a “life” in theatre, the jury’s in: the theatre is my first love”. I am already looking forward to her next performance.

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I’ve been on a search for inspiration and trolling the web (excellent source) and fashion magazines (another great source), I stumbled across various stuff that got me. Here’s what i found…

Fashion often does it for me. So…  ONE – The blue on these Giuseppe Zanotti heels on the edge here…

TWO – I’ve always loved murals so this project RE:Construction is right up my inspiration alley. And I love when grants are given to meaningful public art projects! Nice. Read more about it here and here

THREE – Festivals and places that bring together creativity, the arts in fabulous fun ways. The Vogue Festival 2012 sounds fantastic – how i wish i could be there! Read about it here.

FOUR – All things African fabric incorporated into contemporary, super-smart, funky style. Bestow Elan who I stumbled on at Big Cartel does it right!

FIVE – Something about the arts and the kenyan artists who are doing it right…

what about you beloveds? what stuff’s inspiring you at the moment?

have an inspired, creative weekend!

love, love, m

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Events that require mingling with strangers can be a bit intimidating. I was at such an event yesterday and though I wasn’t sure what to expect, it turned out to be a really wonderful time. I picked up a few tips on the art of mingling from noticing other people and also noticing my own reaction and responses to things. So, here are SFL tips for mingling well.

First, a note on hosting: I walked in and immediately the host, whom I had never met, walked over to me, stretched out his hand in welcome, introduced himself and introduced me to the main guest of the event. Immediately I felt more comfortable in the space. If you are hosting a party/ event/ concert/ gathering – meet your guests personally. Introduce yourself, welcome them, introduce them to someone else. Makes all the difference!

On to Tip One: When I was introduced to the main guest and I told her which organisation I was from, she immediately told me something about it from reading she had done on it. I was impressed that she had taken the time to know more and it was that much easier to chat with her. Tip: if you can learn something about other guests or even the host before the event, take the time to. (And this applies to formal interactions like interviews, meetings, funding conversations etc)

Tip Two: A colleague in the arts that I haven’t seen in a long time came in and joined our conversation after which I had an opportunity to chat with him. So we got into an animated catch-up session which could have gone on forever. At some point we both realised we needed to end our conversation or we would miss out on meeting other people. Tip: The familiar is always easier; its comfort zone. Refuse it though and force yourself to move on to other new people. You really never know what connection you will make.

Tip Three: The main guest at the event was really very good at this meet-and-greet thing. She carried it off rather smoothly. (Nice! Kinda like M of South Africa.) At one point as I was chatting with another group of peeps, she walked over, greeted everyone and on identifying the people she hadn’t had a one-on-one chat with, she said something along the lines of, “I haven’t heard about you and your work yet. Tell me about it”. Biggest Tip: invite others to talk about themselves, their passion, and their work. It opens up the conversation and makes people feel important and more likely to open up.

Tip Four: As you invite people to talk about themselves, if you’d be interested to continue the conversation, ask them what would be the best way to stay in touch. Show that you are interested and will make the effort to continue the contact. If possible, avoid asking them to make the effort to follow you or find you or look you up. Why I say this: I was talking to a new person (stranger) and as I heard more about his work, he then told me his twitter handle and asked me to follow him. I didn’t like that much because he was essentially asking me to do the work of continuing the conversation rather than offering to continue the contact himself. It would have been much more powerful if he had asked for my twitter handle (or email or card…) and offered to follow. That would have more likely inspired me to want to reciprocate the action and stay in touch. Tip: offer to do the work of continuing the conversation and contact and you are much more likely to have a positive response when you do.

Have a lovely, connected, social Wednesday!

And while you’re at it, here’s a fun quiz to figure out the kind of first impression you make! Take it. It’s fun!

Love, love, m

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