Creative Entrepreneurship 2017 Class IX Profiles: Isaac Miriri

Nairobi Arts: (http://www.nairobiarts.com/) Header Shot


Profile

Isaac


Name: Isaac Miriri
Occupation: Founder and Publisher NairobiArts.com
Website: http://www.nairobiarts.com/
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/nairobiarts/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/artsnairobi
Location: Nairobi

Creative Enterprise Bio
The NairobiArts.com is a one-stop shop for arts information in Nairobi and Kenya.

It’s the guide to finding original contemporary African art … arts and crafts … bronzes … African gifts and more.
We endeavor to guide people on where to find the relevant visual arts, artists … art and cultural organizations … galleries and art centers … artists’collectives … and more.

Hence the NairobiArts.com comes in to satisfy the need for arts information and a guide into the Kenya arts.

Creative Life-cycle
I have been within the arts in Nairobi as a photographer and writer since 2005.

It wasn’t always this way … I changed careers midlife, from electrical installation work to photography and freelance journalism.

I started by enrolling for a long distance photography course with the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP).
I bought my first film camera then.

Once that was on I met some photographer friend who was doing events photography … but geared towards selling the photos to individuals attending the event (paparazzi) and not as the official event photographer.

I hated that with a passion … I had this different idea about some other sort of photography.

Within the same time I started contemplating about writing … especially where I didn’t have to go on location to do the kind of work that photography entailed.

Connections within the Arts Industry
Around the same year I went into photography I started attending art events in Nairobi.

These were art exhibitions, music concerts, and whatever else art event was available.

This helped in making connections within the arts industry.

It’s also the time I met Christian Randrianampifazy … the then Deputy Director of Alliance Française in Nairobi.
He was taking photos in an art exhibition there. We connected immediately.
We later went on to work together in the Kenya Month of Photography project that took place there for several years.

The project was his brainchild. I participated in it as an organizer together with a few other local photographers.
We introduced monthly photo critique forums and activities that culminated in month long photography exhibitions in June each year.
And photography workshops that catered for amateur photographers … and an advanced one that catered mainly for professional photographers.
We worked with different curators and photographers within this period.

Work With Various Artists and Organizations
I worked closely with art photographer James Muriuki in the 2010 Kenya Month of Photography Exhibition. He curated the Sustain-Ability Photo Installation.

I’ve also worked with him and his partner, visual artist Syowia Kyambi helping with some of their various art projects.

We worked together in their ‘Layers Art Exhibition’ that showed at the Nairobi National Museum in December 2012.
I worked closely with Syowia during her ‘Between Us Art Installation’ that took place at the GoDown Arts Centre in June – July of 2014.

I also worked with Ogova Ondego in the Lola Kenya Screen Film Festival for the Youths and Children for several years.
This was during the August festival and the monthly Lola Kenya Screen Film forums at the Goethe Institut Nairobi.

I also worked with Harsita Waters, Anne Wamai and others of the Alliance Française in Nairobi.

I have worked with foreign artists, photographers and journalists in various capacities.

Writing About the Arts in Nairobi
Sometime after starting my photography journey … I enrolled in a Freelance Journalism Course with the Writers Bureau of Manchester City.
This was a result of being in the arts and wanting to do something different that could include photography for my articles on the arts.
I’ve previously published articles about the arts in the People Daily Newspaper, ArtMatters.info and Africancolours.com.
I’m currently involved with creating content for the www.NairobiArts.com arts website that brings together the arts information in Nairobi.
I previously created my first information website http://www.kenyasights.com/ it carries information about Kenya.

Vision
Inform and entertain through arts

Mission
The mission of the NairobiArts.com is to be one of Kenya’s leading providers of information and entertainment about the arts in the country.

Using the online space for content delivery through the written word … photography, and video.

Portfolio

Guys looking at a Joseph Bertiers Painting depicting the Kenya political power sharing eventof 2008 at the Goethe Institut Nairobi

Walter Lindner – the then German Ambassador to Kenya viewing a Joseph Bertiers Painting depicting the Kenya political power sharing eventof 2008 at the Goethe Institut Nairobi

A lady admiring paintings – ‘Nairobi Catwalkers’ – mixed media on canvas by MaryAnn Muthoni and ‘Feeling the Butterflies’ – oil on canvas by Peter Elungat exhibiting at the Alliance Française in Nairobi

Performance during the KigeziNdoto: A Hook For Dreams Musical at the Alliance Française de Nairobi

Kenyan Musician Suzanna Owiyo playing Nyatiti – 8 stringed African Musical Instrument of the Luo community of Kenya at the Alliance Française in Nairobi

Kenyan Musician Suzanna Owiyo holding Nyatiti – 8 stringed African Musical Instrument of the Luo community of Kenya with Aly Keita – Exceptional Balafon Player and Musician at the Alliance Française in Nairobi

All the photos are by Isaac Miriri.

18 Month Plan
• Make NairobiArts.com the go-to place for relevant information about the Nairobi Arts
• Make it a leading arts guide for the Kenya Visual Arts
• Document the arts within these current times
• The Creative Entrepreneurship Course have helped shape the journey of the NairobiArts.com.

There are some seemingly small and mundane steps that go into making this creative venture a success.
These are some of the things that I’m embarking on going forward.

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Posted in Photographer, Publisher, Writer | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Creative Entrepreneurship 2017 Class IX Profiles: Sarah Ntiro


Profile
Name: Sarah Ntiro
Occupation: Visual Artist (acrylic on canvas) and novice Talent Manager
Brand Name: Sama Paints
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samapaintings/
Instagram: @samapaints

Bio and Life cycle
I was born in an artistic family, my grandfather was as fine artist and an art professor in the early 80’s, my father played in a Jazz band and my mother dabbles in both interior décor as well as landscaping. It was basically inevitable for me to be an artist too.

While I was in university I had two businesses one was a pizza and burger delivery service, I made these for other university students. The second was a jewelry business. This wasn’t intended to be a business; I started making jewelry because I could never find pieces that spoke to me. Everything in the market was very generic thus I made pieces that I would have liked to find. Once I started wearing my work people that I met everywhere wanted to know where I got them and asked to buy them off me. That was basically the start of the Sama Brand.

Oh a little side note: The origin of the name SAMA… Several years ago I was introduced to a Japanese anime series called Bleach (which I got obsessed with). Sama is a more polite version of the word Sensei which basically means teacher when used after a person’s name. I am that weird person that has a lot of information to share so I thought that it would be fitting to call my brand Sama as I love to share knowledge with people.

Sama Paints made its debut in October of 2015 when someone cornered me to make a painting as a donation at a fundraising. The painting that I made sold for Ksh. 5,000. I was genuinely surprised that anyone would want to buy my work let alone for that amount of money. Following that night, I got several requests and thus Sama Paints was born.

Other than canvas paintings, I customize shoes and kiondo backpacks. I am also working with other artists to create a network where artists swap skills and knowledge instead of exchanging cash. We would like to create a platform where one can learn anything without having to spend exorbitantly in formal institutions while there is someone who can teach you practically.

As I build myself as a visual artist one of my main goals is help other artists gain visibility so that the ones that come after Sama paints do not have to go through the heartache and disappointment of not getting the right clientele for their work. One of the activities that I have initiated is being a talent manager. At the moment I am working with two artists, The Heat dealer (Fess Sila) and Beraccah Kisia.

Vision
To be the leading organization creating visibility for artists (particularly musical and visual) in their nascent stages of growth by providing a platform for showcasing their work to an art enthusiastic audience.

Mission
To ease the struggle that Visual and Musical artists have in getting visibility and sales in the Nairobi market.

Portfolio

Paintings

Paintings

Market

sama paints

Shoes

Kiondo

12-18 PLAN
– Relaunch Sama Affair, and find a regular and popular location to hold the event.
– Ensure that all Sama products are trending by December 2017
– Ensure that talentmanaged by Sama have at least three paying gigs a month
– Register the company name, and go through all the legal processes.

Posted in Artists, Manager, Visual Artist | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Creative Entrepreneurship 2017 Class IX Profiles: Wendi Ndaki Mutisya

http://www.wendiartit.com/2016/10/his-swift-hands-quick-sketching.html

Swift Graffiti creating a portrait of Wendi

Profile

Wendi Ndaki


Name: Wendi Ndaki Mutisya
Occupations: Digital Marketer, Storyteller through (drawings, words-{blogging} and videos-{animations})
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Social Media:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wendiartit/ ,
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/wendiartit/,
Twitter https://twitter.com/wendiartit .
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyL0Oxm1hSQ

Blog: http://www.wendiartit.com/
URL Link to the Cover Photo

Creative Life-cycle / Bio
My journey as an artist started at a very tender age. I would spend a lot of time watching and drawing cartoons and comic book characters. According to my mother my love for cartoons was one of a kind. She says that I was so glued to the TV that I couldn’t hear the world around me.

My family was very supportive; my mother encouraged my drawing skills by buying me art material like sketch pads and color pencils. My uncle and aunt would also occasionally join me in my art world. I still remember how my uncle would sketch out cars for me and tell me to try and draw them on my own. Those small, simple acts of love and care stuck with me and went a long way in nurturing my artistry.

I still remember how glad I was to see art as part of the courses being offered in St. George’s Girls Secondary School, Nairobi. While in high school, I was so drawn to the art room that due to my constant presence in the room during breaks my art teachers made me the custodian of the art room keys.

I would later be awarded second position drawing category, for a portrait I did for an art competition. That was one of the reasons why I took up portraiture as my main and favorite art form. That along with the fact that I also love working on the human form. I use the pointillism/ dotted art technique on my portraits because although it is a very time consuming technique I find it soothing and my clients seem to love the output more compared to my pencil pieces.

I started blogging in 2015. It was a means to express my introverted self as well as showcase my artwork. I also wanted to use it as a platform to introduce people to other artists and their pieces, as well as talk about animations and how technology is affecting the arts. I would later realize that I actually really enjoyed writing about art, artists and my experiences and thoughts in general. In May 2017 I got accepted to be part of the Storymoja Festival bloggers. I am currently also a member of the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) and the association occasionally shares my work on its social media platforms.

My love for cartoons was the main reason behind discovering my artistic talent. It would later get amplified in United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) where I studied Information Systems Technology a fusion of business and technology. The course helped me realize that I could combine my passion for computers and drawing as well as my deep love for animations and become an animator. The idea of the fusion of art and technology is what inspired my brand name Wendi Art IT.

So late 2016 after graduating from USIU-A, I enrolled for animation classes at Shang Tao Media Arts College where I did a certificate in 3D animation. I intend to use my animation skills for video marketing as well as for creating entertaining educational content and animated movies.

To further these intentions I was fortunate to be part of a free 2 month digital marketing training by Kuza Biashara in partnership with SITA and International Trade Center early this year. I am currently practicing my skills as an animator and digital marketer in Securex Agencies Africa (K) Limited. My journey as an animator and a digital marketer is still in its infancy stage but I believe I am on the right track.

Vision
An animation company that believes in the power of stories and contributes to the African society through uplifting animations that tell stories that promote Africa, African artists and encourage timeless learning.

Mission
To use video with a focus on animation :-
• To promote African artists through sharing their inspiring life stories,
• To show the artist’s creative processes thus enhancing an appreciation and understanding of the value of artists pieces, and
• To bring artistic pieces like paintings and poetry into life through animations

To enhance timeless learning through
• Heartwarming animated movies that shed a positive light around Africa, are relatable and leave lasting impressions
• Targeted animated tutorials and
• Fun, skill building games.

Portfolio

Fena Gitu-Wendi Art IT

Ice Cube-Wendi Art IT

Portrait by Wendi Art IT

Trevor Noah by Wendi-Art-IT

Yemi Alade Wendi Art IT

18 Month Plan
My 18 month plan revolves around focusing my efforts on improving on my animation and video marketing skills.

I intend to achieve this by:-
• Re-branding
• Formally registering the animation company
• Getting further training in video production with a focus on animation.
• Creating a strong portfolio for video marketing
• Collaborating with other artists within and outside my cohort

Posted in Marketing, Storyteller, Techie | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Creative Entrepreneurship 2017 Class IX Profiles: Martie Mtange

Martie Mtange


Profile
Name: Martie Mtange
Occupation: Creative Project Manager; Cocktail Mixologist; Writer
Location base: Nairobi city

Online Presence
Website: http://www.growmyhustle.com
Blog URL: mtangemartie.wordpress.com

Social Media Platforms
Facebook: Martie Mtange and GrowMyHustle
Twitter: @martierialman
Instagram: @martierialman and @gmhafrica

Artist Biography

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” – Steve Jobs.

This quote really resonated with me the first time I heard it because it’s so true. I have always felt guilty because I’ve acted, and sang, done bead work, and curated, and made sculptures, and mixed cocktails, and baked, and directed school plays, and written short stories and poetry and taught English in a primary school. I think I’ve really tried everything, and this is why I feel guilty, because where one artist can say they’re a master visual artist, I have no license to say the same because I haven’t spent as much time and effort perfecting the craft as they have.

All I can say confidently is that I’ve always been capable of expressing myself through whatever medium I’m given. I’ve acted as “Okonkwo” from Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”; I’ve reported, written and blogged for “The StoryMoja Festival”, written for the “Lost Coast Review”, mixed cocktails for private events as well as mixed during “Creative Garage” events, mixed cocktails during the Food Euphoria Festival; I’ve worked with finding exhibition opportunities for visual artists such as Richard Njogu and Clavers Odhiambo;

I’ve been a photographer and curator at Ari Africa which was formerly known as the African Heritage Design Company, and I’ve hosted a book salon event called “Kiko Creative’s Salon” where reading enthusiasts would meet monthly to discuss particular topics and books of interest, among other ventures.

I’ve never really been one to confine others or myself, and this is why I believe that if I can do it, then why not?

Creative Life-cycle
The 8-4-4 system has its downfalls but it actually taught me several things in retrospect. I first discovered my bias for writing and reading while I was in Class 6 when we first started writing compositions. I remember I would read the newspapers, looking for interesting stories, like if a building caught fire, or a man killed his whole family before taking his whole life, or if a politician was kidnapped and his/her corpse was found in a forest. These stories had always intrigued me because I would wonder, what might have happened before your body reached where it was found? So I would recreate the events that led to that moment, playing out different scenarios and expressing my theories on the composition page, re-living the moment as if I was the one who had been kidnapped or butchered.

Later on as I developed my capacity to write, I was awarded the honor of being “Top in English in Kenya” for my AS-Levels and “Top in General Paper” in Kenya for my A-levels the next year. I don’t like saying this but it was kind of the validation that I needed to continue writing, and I guess from that point on I’ve always been writing. People don’t always like what I write, but I’m okay with that because I’m not an entertainer, I’m a thinker. So if I help anyone who reads my writing to think, then I’ve achieved what I wanted.

That said, I didn’t stop with writing. During my high school years, I did a lot of visual art. I was no good at painting but I was good at pencil work and charcoal and sculpting. In fact my final year project in high school was a resin sculpture of a woman that my family was very proud of. So proud that it’s seated atop the chimney in our home, smiling by itself. I wipe the dust off every now and then.

Throughout my university years I mixed cocktails for money, and I was pretty good at it, I still am actually, and I still do it, and it brings me a lot of happiness, or highs. Literally. I like the look of shock people get after tasting my cocktails; it’s like they’re surprised that I could actually do that.

During my university internship, I went to work at the African Heritage Design Company as a curator because I was trying to find out how upcoming visual artists can exploit the opportunities abroad since at home art wasn’t exactly popping. I’ve always believed that artists are too valuable to sleep hungry, so I was looking for ways on how we can all eat together.

Currently, I’ve set up a site where creative entrepreneurs can upload their projects here (www.growmyhustle.com) and get funding directly from their fan-base and customers. I believe that artists should never sleep hungry and so I’ve taken it upon myself to make sure that those I come into contact never have to. We shall work on ways of making all our art profitable together and make sure that artists are thriving by any means necessary.

In a TED Talk in 2013, Emilie Wapnick identified a certain group of people that I resonate with. They’re called “Multipotentialites” which basically means people who thrive in many different fields because they learn fast, are adaptable and committed not to one discipline, but to learning and doing. I’ve embraced my reality, and I know I can do all these things I apply myself to. My most recent ventures have all been geared towards helping other people succeed in their disciplines, and this gives me satisfaction and a sense of purpose because I’m not dealing with just one kind of art, I’m dealing with all kinds of artists.

I’m currently dealing with a writer, a fashion designer and a health events planner. I’m learning new things every day, I’m still writing and making cocktails and that’s what makes my life so meaningful right now.

Mission
To make my talent and that of other creatives profitable.

Vision
To communicate and leverage the value in any art form in a sustainable way. A world where artists do not sleep hungry.

Portfolio

African Artifacts – Curating

Screen Shots of Poetry

How NOT to be a WOMAN

Poetry..

Poetry…

Cocktails

12-18 month plan
• To get more projects on the site and ensure their success
• To get more cocktail gigs
• To write for online literary magazines
• To start a platform where artists with projects can share their stories

Posted in Manager, Mixologist, Writer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creative Entrepreneurship 2017 Class IX Profiles: Marie Ainomugisha

Photograph of Sarah Waiswa (@lafrohemien) by myself

Profile

Marie


Name: Marie Ainomugisha
Occupations: Photographer, Blogger, Contributor and Digital Influencer

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Nationality: Ugandan

Website: http://soafricane.com/

Social Media
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/soafricane/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/soafricane/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soafricane/

Creative Lifecycle & Bio
According to the creative lifecycle we were shown in class I find myself drawn towards the public recognition phase and I think I’ve sat there for about a year now. My photography path dates back to 2015 when I asked my mother for a camera as a Christmas gift instead of a new iPhone which I badly needed after holding onto my old Sony for around 3 years. My mother questioned this choice since all I had done was complain about my old phone each time we spoke. She agreed to buy me a camera and I chose the Sony A6000 because of its great specs and portability.

I went to Ngong hills with a few friends to shot-test my camera but the images were not to my liking. I decided to research a lot more on the camera functions, lenses and master Lightroom as my editing app. Thankfully, I was already part of the instagrammers community at the time and I had talented friends to learn from at instameets so it was almost a breeze practicing and perfecting my craft. I started taking self-portraits at the laundry bay in my building’s rooftop and with time my friends and followers started asking to model for me. It was a fun time of finding voice and creating beautiful portraits while learning aspects of lighting and location.

I love to collaborate and I never turned down any chance to do so when asked by fellow photographers on Instagram. I remember being called to shoot with Gareth Pon (@garethpon) at KICC in 2016 with a few greats like Mutua Matheka (@truthslinger), Samir Dave (@samdave69), Sarah Waiswa (@lafrohemien) etc. by my friend Neema (@thebongolese). It was inspiring talking to someone so great in the industry and learning tips to progress in my field of work. He encouraged me to blog more since at the time I was very dormant on SOAFRICANE.COM.

After a few months of planning, I worked with stylist Brian Msafiri (@brianmsafiri) on my very first fashion photography project. This opened doors for me and I was invited to the Creative Nations summit at DusitD2 in November 2016.

Taking advice from Gareth Pon, I advanced with my content creation on the blog and posted a lot more recipes, restaurant reviews, travel blogposts, and natural hair content. I gained lots of subscribers and managed to score a few sponsors for an East African giveaway in December 2016.

I bought more photography gear as well as a dynamic website theme that portrays all I stand for on one page. I also got the opportunity to write sponsored content for international travel magazines such as Irinajo, OnSheGoes and TasteMakers Africa in 2017. I’ve focused more on digital influencing and content creation in 2017 than on fashion photography but I hope to find a great balance like one of my role models, Lyra Aoko (@lyraoko).

Portfolio

Portrait of Alvin Lee

Potraits collage – friends & acquaintances

Travel Photography – Amboseli collage

Travel collage Lamu

Travel collage Mauritius

Fashion collage


Vision
My vision is to produce beautiful photos and riveting online content that resonates with African youth and contributes to the African identity and story.

Mission
My mission is to create beautiful fashion, travel and documentary photos and videos from around Africa that showcase our true identity and story as told by one of us.

It’s also my mission to host SOAFRICANE.COM as a content engagement platform with contributors and content creators like myself from across the African continent.

18-month plan
• Indulging in more collaborative work with fashion designers, bloggers of all spheres, visual artists, fellow photographers and other creatives in my cohort.
• Expanding on my travel scope, as well as shooting more travel and documentary content from places I visit.
• Turning SOAFRICANE.COM into an African youth content contributors’ platform on lifestyle, fashion, travel, current affairs etc. as well as starting a podcast and video channel on the platform’s creative content.

Posted in Blogger, Contributor, Digital Influencer, Photographer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creative Entrepreneurship 2017 Class IX Profiles: Erastus Mwonjoria Hinga


Profile

Erastus

Name: Erastus Mwonjoria Hinga
Occupation: Scriptwriter, Poet, Blogger
Location/ Base: Currently located at Githurai 45

Social Media
Facebook: Hinga Mwonjoria
Twitter: @HingaMwonjoria

Website: hingamwonjoria.wordpress.com

YouTube Links
Gaterina: Link
Njuka Kahora: Link
Mburuguto: Link

Creative Enterprise Bio
I started off as a poet in 2013 then decided to give my words a voice on stage through performance poetry and spoken word. Spoken word and performance poetry didn’t quite work out for me as I am more of an introvert.

Concurrently, I also started blogging at hingamwonjoria.wordpress.com. But it was in 2015 when I attended the Kenya Scriptwriters Guild pioneer workshop and found a home in telling stories through the screen. I have written several kikuyu screenplays that have been produced and aired on Inooro TV. I’m also working on producing my first two short films. The first one, Wounded Rose, is on domestic violence and the second, The Lost Bible, will be a coming of age story of a boy who is almost lured into crime.

Vision
A generation that sees beyond the superficial and takes action to uproot the ills in our society.

Mission
To tell written and audio-visual stories that encourage and trigger people to think independently and broadly beyond cultural and societal expectations while caring for each other as humans.

Portfolio

From a Chemist to a Poet + Karate Black Belt Holder

Poetry

Kill Me Oh Queen!

I Do Know

Script Writing

Promos

Writings
At Magunga.com – link

Interviews featured in: ATV Kenya

12-18 months plan
In the next 12 to 18 months, I hope to have produced my short films. I also hope have mastered screenwriting.
Finally, I hope to commercialize my blog so that I can write full time.

Posted in Blogger, Poet, Script Writer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Creative Entrepreneurship 2017 Class IX Profiles: Yunus Mohammed

Claw Collectables

Profile

Yunus


Name: Yunus Mohammed
Art Discipline:Stylist/Fashion-preneur
Location: Nairobi

Social Media
Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/ClawCollectables/

Bio
Fashion has been an intrinsic part of my life since my parents co-owned a promotional materials enterprise since I was young and ended learning screen printing during the school holidays and eventually learned how to stitch due to boredom after finishing high school and started my own t-shirt line under the name Next Universe but later had close shop due to the unavailability of quality fabrics at affordable prices.

I finally ended up as a thrifter due to the proximity of the thrift market and the availability of high end fashion and numerous concept materials to work with which led me to settling on being a stylist.

I now co-own a shoe store called Claw Collectables specializing in ladies and occasionally men’s shoes that are rare to find hence the name Claw Collectables.

Vision
The acceptance of street-inspired and contemporary fashion into the mainstream fashion scene

Mission
to provide thought provoking and personalized fashion items

Portfolio

Shoes

Sneakers

More Sneakers

Leather Shoes

Open Shoes

Air Walks

18 Months plan
• Collaborate with visual artists in conceptual processes of contemporary designs
• Infuse street art into couture goods
• Re-brand and revamp my clothing line to suite the new fashion terrain defined by ‘fit cut phenomena’
• Venture into the bespoke field of artsy mens and ladies evening and cold season trench and long coats

Posted in Fashion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment