And, it's wrap, homies
I won't write too much, because between moving countries and setting this event up, I've barely had any sleep. Thank you so much for coming. The energy was impeccable, I couldn't have asked for anything better. We sold out of all our stock! Intense right!?!!??!?! This means that there are now no more copies in the physical Fashaddict store, but postcards and prints are still available for sale in my online store, and now with free shipping on all orders. www.sheridakuffour.com/shop Thank you so so much again, I'm very grateful. Regular posting will continue in September.
It's currently 10.30pm, I'm sat on my mother's couch watching CSI, and full up with rice and stew. I cannot believe this year so far. To say it's been/is a whirlwind is an understatement. If you follow me anywhere on social media, then you'll know that I've been exhausting all areas with my art. I've never done this before! What I mean is, I've never been this shameless in promotion of myself or my art as I have been in the last 5 days (and guys, it's EXHAUSTING, I'm tired of my own voice). From opening my shop last week, to trying to spread the word, and doing all the background work. I haven't really stopped. And this exhibition is no exception. Next week, I'm having an exhibition. I'm doing this with zero money, and really no plan—I'm just gonna to wing it. I got offered the space so last minute and I could either turn it down in fear of not being able to do it for lack of money, or say yes and sort the rest out later. Evidently, I chose the latter. Back in March, I flippantly joked about having an exhibition/party for all my friends. If you know me in real life then you'll know that this is so not me. I've never hosted a party or an event of any kind, so this is a whole new thing for me.
"Also didn't someone say to do one thing everyday that scares you?"
Also didn't someone say to do one thing everyday that scares you? Well, it suffice to say that this is definitely frightning me. Nevertheless, it's important I press on. Today my sweet mother bought me some frames for the exhibition. When I told her I'd opened my shop, she kinda laughed and said "okay". Bless her. She's so invested in seeing me through this graphic design career. She gets that. She "gets" graphic design, it's tangible, it's something she can explain it, and even add her commentary to art movements or brand identities. But when I told her about my illustration exhibition and shop, she looked at me like "what are you up to now Sherida?". To be honest, I don't really know what I'm up to. I've always regarded myself as a graphic designer and nothing else. But for the first time, I'm coming around to the idea that I might actually be an illustrator too...and an art director...as well a photographer. In the design industry, it's something of a taboo to be a jack of all trades, because you're seen as undecided. At least that's what I've found in London. Plus, the truth is, sometimes I don't think I have the authority to claim all these "titles".
"Who knows what comes next after these small beginnings"
But I'm digressing massively. What I mean to say is, I'm tapping into owning this multi-disciplined lifestyle. This shop, this exhibition, is a manifestation of tiny thoughts planted by my friends and you my readers! From little comments here on this blog from people as close as Berlin to as far as Russia, thank you. 7 years blogging and counting. On to the next aye! Who knows what comes next after these small beginnings. Some books? Some cool collaborations? Some creative videos maybe? The possibilities are truly endless.
Come celebrate, dance to some 90s music, drink some cheap wine and eat haribos, because we're all young and too broke to afford fancy Wine from South Africa and posh french canapés. be sure to follow my instagram, and twitter for regular updates!
Twitter, Snapchat & Instagram: @sheridada
See you real soon.
On the women that make up this collection
Zipporah (Red) was the first one. She was the first name of the pack. I knew I wanted to draw somebody called that name. In the Bible, Zipporah was the wife of Moses, and daughter (adopted, I've always assumed) of Midianite Priest, Jethro. She's only mentioned a few times, but her name means 'Sparrow' or 'Little Bird'. It was then that I picked up a book by Marek E. Halter called 'Zipporah'. It was a fiction novel about Zipporah's life or how it might've gone. Of course, there was no real biblical basis, but I was instantly drawn to the her story of rejection. Throughout her life, her dark skin places her firmly in the bosom of an outsider. She's fierce and loyal but stubborn, hot tempered and very deeply vulnerable. In many ways, it was the first time that I saw myself in any of my illustrations. It's why she remains my favourite piece I've ever done.
"Throughout her life, her dark skin places her firmly in the bosom of an outsider."
As for Noa (Pink), the idea for her came much much later. I loved creating her, but for some reason she didn't quite stick. She felt too out of place compared to the others I'd illustrated. She was too playful, too young almost. It was then when I was randomly reading Numbers 27, that I came across this story about a man called Zelophehad who passed away, leaving five daughters behind. In the absence of a male heir, these five daughters fought and petitioned for their inheritance because there was no male to carry the inheritance. By fighting this traditional custom, and going against society's male grip on their destinies, these five women, and particularly Noa—who was the speaker refused to be robbed of what was rightfully theirs.
Ultimately, I created these characters based on women in the Bible whose stories I find most interesting. For me, being able a Christian and a feminist are so deeply intertwined. I discovered so much of myself, that is, being black, and being a woman when I converted to Christianity. I found me, my passions, and compassions in Him. It's a very odd thing to say in this climate we're currently in, but it's something I've never been more sure of.
I'm so incredibly excited to announce the opening of my very own art shop! After years of loving nagging by my friends and you, my readers, I thought it was about time to open up my own situation on the innernetz.
So, at present, there are only 50 prints for sale. And once that's gone, That's it! as in, there won't ever (never say never though) be another Tabitha (orange bae) or another Zipporah (red Boo). I did this because I think it's important, to stay growing. I love These five chicks, but at some point, some other Characters with different life stories will have to be told to.
&Dahlia, &Phineas Fletcher, &Garance.
Dahlia (Blue), Phineas Fletcher (Red) & Garance (Yellow).
Which one were you? Out of your clique, I mean. At 10 years old and standing at a proud 5.ft 6, I was one of the tallest out of my group of friends. We rolled into primary school like we owned the place, and me, the "big one" automatically assigned the Rotweiler of the group, always walked to the right of the hallway. It's a roll that I didn't always succeed in as my tough exterior made for my soft insides and resulted in me cussing someone out then running away and crying. Yet now at 23 and actually shrinking at a rapid pace (I'M NOW 5ft.5 GUYS AND THE SHORTEST OF ALL MY FRIENDS WTF!!!) I'm definitely not the Rotweiler anymore, to my relief. You do notice that labels matter less and less as you grow up. Instead, you come to realise that you aren't a person that's into one specific thing or has one particular trait, like "the angry one", "the scary one", "the nice one" etc.. Because this is not the Spice Girls audition and nobody needs to have their own special label to really fit in anywhere anymore...Except I'd still claim that "Scary Spice" label. She was hot, and I had the biggest crush on her.
Mildly inspired by Phineas from Phineas & Ferb
Following on from my previous post, I present to you Phineas Fletcher. I adore him. The colours, the hair, the shade detailing, I think it's come together quite nicely. However, I've been thinking lately, I'd like to venture out from just drawing heads. I like concentrating on faces because it's just so much fun, and its easy to really get emotion across—and also I think it's my style, so to speak. But it doesn't hurt to add a few skills to what you do.
Not my favourite.
I very rarely share illustrations I'm not pleased with, this here is an exception. I'm quite disappointed with how this came out for more reasons than one. Firstly, despite the bright colours I used, it all feels really flat and not very exciting. I always aim for the monsters to have some character, or how do I say this, a certain..."je ne sais quoi", if you will. I rushed this one out, I hadn't drawn anyhing in ages and just wanted to have something done. It looks quite rushed and I think you can tell—her lips are crooked, a little too pursed for my liking. The hair is too coifed at the top and the shade of orange for her hair was was not dark enough, as it doesn't quite match the vibrancy of the blue and yellows. Constructive feedback is good, I reckon. I definitely know what not to do the next time round. I do have another little madam in the making that I will share with you once it's all done and I'm happy with it.
Otherwise, I hope you're super. xox
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
I, for the life of me, cannot recall why this piece of literature has never crossed my path. I initially saw the magnificent foil-blocked and fiery red cover and gasped at how beautiful it was. "I'm gonna buy it" I swore to myself, "I don't care if it's an encyclopedia of world famous toupés (because who wouldn't want an encyclopedia of world famous toupés?). I was in Libreria, just of Brick Lane this week and if you've been there recently, you know there is this magnificent new book shop that has opened. I love book shops as it is, but this one, oh my sweetness, it's just a gem isn't it. It's got this large glass wall at the back of the shop that makes you think the store is larger than what it actually is! And then the staff—what amazing knowledgable and passionate people. We spent the best of 30 minutes talking about all things dark and dystopian. As I was paying for the books I'd chosen, I clocked this beautiful red book, sitting high up on the furthest shelf. The lady at the till saw me glaring and told me it was none other than Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte! It was then that I decided that this was fate. I've never read Jane Eyre, but I've heard so so much about it so I look forward to reading this...and decorating my living space too of course. ;)
This is lowkey (*highkey*) the most design-ery thing I've done this year. Soofiya, Natasha and I always have the most compelling conversations about design, race and gender and how they all work in our professions. So we decided about 3 months ago to record one of our conversations, and just the other week, we did. As I was editing this, I thought, woah, how incredible is it to have friends that know you, love you and share your passions, as well as career aspects. I have a blogpost in the works about University, graduation and the likes so I don't want to bore you with all the details until it's complete.
For now, give the podcast a listen, and tweet (@sheridada) or email (email@example.com) me your thoughts!
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"We gather...and we scatter"
The term “fightclub” according to modern society doesn't sound like a chorus of chest-thumping chicks in the middle of London, much less a bunch of praying women in Wembley arena. Riding right off the bat of my previous post, where detailed the events of the Colour Conference. So why am I telling you this? I think being vocal about world injustice is very important, particularly if you're of faith like I am. By partnering with charities like A21, an anti-human trafficing charity, the Colour Conference aims to equip women with the information to actually go out there and do something about gender-specific violence. So we gathered at this conference, all 9000 of us, and then we scattered into our respective parts of the world to make a difference.