Passengers inside Dakar’s city bus call “Car Rapide” Photo by @tomsaater #roadtrip#IB2014#@invisibleborders#lagossarajevo#africa#everydayafrica (at Dakar Senegal)

BOF Role Call: Olu Michael Odukoya, Art Director & Publisher

Olu Michael Odukoya is an art director, publisher and curator, who has worked with high profile brands and galleries, both independently and through his boutique creative agency OMO Creates.

I would recommend that anyone wanting to work in this field recognise that creativity is largely about problem-solving. Your work becomes part of a long chain of responses — you take in the stimuli around you and you look for a way to solve the problems that they present to you, and then you create your own new propositions. And maybe those, in turn, will be solved by another creative in the future. The key is learning to express other people’s experiences in such a way that they feel they’re reliving them: again, it’s all about being a good communicator. And respect — both earning it, and paying it.

Olu Michael Odukoya

“I am from Ghana. She’s from Nigeria. I came to Australia 11 years ago, she came 5. We’re going to be nurses.”




Sneak Peek of Brother Vellies Womens Spring/Summer 2014 collection. 

Saving up for these! Mmm….Lawd knows I need these!



Check out my very recent Interview with The Body Narratives! Seriouslyyyyyyy an awesome space. I am now a huge fan ever since I heard of The body narratives! Thank you so much for featuring me on your awesome space. <3 <3 <3 

Hana you’re an awesome lady!

Spread the word + Reblog + Support. :D


[Hana] When I first came across Jamilla Okubo's work, I felt an instant joy. Bright, colourful and bold with the use of African prints, her pieces offer both a celebration and a reclamation of black bodies. Today Jamilla tells us more about what inspires her and the stories she wants to tell through her prints and illustrations. 

1.Tell us a little about your work?

I really enjoy working with an array of mediums such as painting, digital/hand-painted prints, garments, and collaging. Color is definitely a key element in my work as well as prints. My work mainly focuses on subjects of the Diaspora because I just love the beauty within our culture and people. I just feel as though it is my duty to remind people of color that we have such a rich culture, and that we should love ourselves and one another. So I strive for my work to have a balance of conceptuality and beauty. These are two quotes that I live by when it comes to creating artwork:

"The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If i love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.”- James Baldwin

"The black artist is dangerous. Black art controls the “Negro’s” reality, negates negative influences, and creates positive images.”- Sonia Sanchez

2. What inspires you and what is your process?

I am heavily inspired by my background culture and experiences in life. My work is heavily fired by my emotions as well. Whether I am passionate or really angry about something, I use those feelings as an advantage to create from the heart and express myself. I am also inspired by other cultures. Being able to interact with people from all over the world and experience other cultures is a blessing.

Depending on the project that I am working on, I may gather inspiration photos from the internet or books, and create a moodboard (it’s a habit that I got from school, specifically fashion). Majority of the time I will randomly get inspired, whether it is from a movie or an incident that I saw on the news, I immediately start creating. I have a very odd way of working because, a lot of people always tell me “you work so much”, “you’re always creating something”, or “how do you have so much time to create?” Honestly I don’t!. When an idea sparks I immediately stop whatever I am doing and create what I envisioned at that moment.

3. Textile prints seem to play a key part in your prints and illustrations. What does this mean to you and is it telling of your own journey?

While attending Duke Ellington School of the Arts I was to create a 15-painting themed series for my senior year. As I found myself searching for inspiration I came across Africa Fashion Week NY for the first time. The textiles, beautiful african models, and vibrant expression of a culture I had been long disconnected from - struck a chord in me. From this I began my wandering - an earnest exploration of my history and ancestors. Blessed by a teacher by the name of Stanley Squirewell, seeing the fire in me as a young person, introduced me to a host of artists that continue to inspire me today: Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Wangenchi Mutu, Hank Willis Thomas, etc. I played with how to take these narratives of blackness and interpret them through my work, my craft.

4. As a designer, what does the body mean to you?

As a designer, the body is an external way to express oneself. Also, being able to interpret and express your inner self through clothing and accessories is a wonderful thing. It gives all people the opportunity to treat their body as a canvas and not have to worry about others perceptions or opinions. The body provides a landscape on which my aesthetic inevitable conclusions come to life.

5. What can we look out for in 2014?

Well hopefully if all goes as planned, I am working on having my second solo art show in June. But as of now I am focusing on school, so you will of course see what I am working on throughout the semester. I always find a way to link my school projects with my own work. I cannot speak of all that I am planning on doing because I don’t want to jinx myself. Just know that I am always working on something!

Aspiring Textile designer, Jamilla Okubo, is an African-American/Kenyan native from Washington, D.C. She is currently studying Integrated Fashion Design at Parsons the New School for Design. Jamilla’s prints invoke a life and sophistication in them. Constantly utilizing the vibrancies of African textiles to her advantage with color ways that would put a smile to both the viewer and wearer. Where her work gains depth lays in the subject matter of the prints. The prints, fun as they may be, acknowledge a deeper struggle which is rooted in black culture. She acknowledges the history, but similar to an upbeat song about heartbreak decides to shine a different light on the situation by claiming the story back for herself.

Follow her on: 
Portfolio Site: 

One of my favorite interviews w/ Hana from “The Body Narratives”. I love what they do!


Aurora James, creative director of Brother Vellies hopped off the plane in Kenya wearing William Okpo



Jessica Antola spent a month in photographing in Ethiopia. “The view of the countryside from the rough roads was astounding. The valleys and mountains raw in their beauty. But what consumed me were the people – strong and loud in dazzling technicolor, subtle with their proud and curious gazes, and ever self-adorned”.



Masai friends, Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Photographed by Jim Zuckerman.