Look up and look out in 2015

Life, OpinionAfro RetroComment

Stop looking at your belly button; Look up and look out!

"A New Year, A New you, A New AFRORETRO"

That was the title of the first blog of 2014. As the 2015 slowly trundles along I feel compelled to write a blog to start this year on the right foot.

To be honest I am having quite a tough January. Last year was such a rollicking roller coaster of a year, with our feet hardly touching the ground. we appeared in loads of Pop-up events and markets. We did workshops at Lambeth Country Show, Africa Utopia, The Royal Court & FabLab London. We launched the School of Uganglish during our residency at Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects Africa.

After some well deserved rest I felt apprehensive about staring another manic year. Part of me wanted to hibernate and reorganise my jewellery collection and wardrobe for the next 6 weeks and only speak to people who arrived at my door carrying cheese and wine -but life and work pushes us forward.

However I seemed to have stumbled upon a sure fix for the January Blues. Last Wednesday the lovely folk at Makerhood invited us and fellow maker workshop practitioner Carol of Carol's Creative Workshops to talk to makers about the ins and outs of setting up workshops.

It was a well attended meeting and with a great supportive atmosphere. As we went through all our prepared topics and gems of wisdom from 'Prep and Planning' to 'Delivery and Aftercare' I realised how much experience we have in this field. Not only through AFRORETRO but also through Lilly's work at The Science Museum and my work as a drama facilitator. The questions flowed and we literally had to be ushered out of the building.

photography by Lenny Carter

photography by Lenny Carter

The room was buzzing with ideas and creativity, as we were leaving one maker approached us and thanked us for the workshop. She said she'd been thinking about holding workshops for awhile but didn't know where to start, but after this she felt inspired and equipped to give it ago. I was completely humbled that our experience and knowledge could inspire a fellow creative. It got me completely buzzing and back on my front foot raring to go for whatever 2015 will hold.

In the new year there is a lot of hype about resolutions, diets, detoxes and the like. We are told to focus on ourselves to improve yourselves, cleanse ourselves change ourselves. What I have found out is the best way to start the new is to look out to others, inspire someone else or help someone else. The energy you give out will return to you tenfold and it feels way better than any detox!!

If you are a creative or maker living or working in Lambeth and would like more information about joining Makerhood please visit their website here.

To contact Lenny and to view more of her photography and design work please click here.