Since Bloomberg reported on the “Black art gold-rush” back in 2018, many African artists have enjoyed a swift boost in popularity. Especially with social media helping people with an internet connection reach the eyes and ears of anyone else with one, the benefits to developing and newly developed nations are easy to see. Crossing borders and hurdling cultural differences, a good piece of art speaks for itself and often sells for more than reasonable prices. When Godwin Champs Namuyimba found repute with his own exquisite talents, something caught fire and the desire to burn bright with his name spread around the artworld.
The rise in popularity for African artists meant that quality spoke louder than experience, and names that so far had not been seen in big exhibitions or selective showcases were able to stand shoulder to shoulder with more well-known creators. A bright future seemed available for so many who had previously been selling work for pedestrian prices to the mainstream. Being whisked away from the high street stall and into the classy and exclusive venues is a dream for many painters and other artists. When a trend takes place and you’ve positioned yourself well, then the odds are in your favour.
With a keen desire to reach some kind of professional standard when it comes to selling art, Namuyimba sought representation and support to raise his game. With an expert understanding of the scene and the way forward for artists in his position, Stjarna Art signed the artist to their books and took care of the process of production and resale. Previously to this arrangement, Namuyimba had worked with a French gallery however during the pandemic he was unable to complete his contract and his visa never materialised for his appearance at the exhibit. If it hadn’t been for Stjarna, Namuyimba may have suffered the same kinds of defeat due to finance and struggle.
During 2020 when Namuyimba’s work first went on sale in auction, his works received good coverage and reached several thousand dollars each. Collectors were very happy to pay decent sums for the so far little-known painter from Uganda. Even with a smudge on his backstory with unkept promises, the community seemed to be able to put it down to the stresses of covid and not the character of the individual. From spending time in a spartan apartment in Uganda with a few pieces of Belgian canvas he’d imported, and very little else, to receiving four and five figure sums for his hard work was a big leap. An advance was provided with a ten-painting deal which gave Namuyimba the tools he needed to thrive.
It didn’t stop there. When he discovered that he was an investment that art collectors saw value in, Namuyimba took his skills to as many beneficiaries as he could. A team of artists had enjoyed his work in the past and he was able to locate one in particular who pushed his financial situation into the next league. Receiving around $450,000 for 25 future works of size and quality, the artist was suddenly free from the constraints of financial dependency. With many conflicting projects that required his complete attention, it seemed that Namuyinba could sit back and get his head down to work.
Rumours of a seedy reputation in his old art scene began to rise, possibly from jealous peers who didn’t meet the standard, and these ultimately ended Namuyimba’s deal with Stjarna Art. It was fairly messy with a booked expo being let down in the process. With the breach of contract in place with third-party investors that gave Namuyimba such a large financial boost, and the unsavoury rumours, the art firm not only cut their ties but changed their history, one client claiming to never have represented the artist but only collaborated with him during 2020.
Perhaps the big take home sense from this artist's journey is that when you come from a community that has less experience in something, it’s easy to get lost and swept up by the forces at play there. We can sometimes get caught by the tide of expectation and eager anticipation offered by well-meaning players in the scene. Even then, we can make mistakes, upset a few people, and still find our way to the top of the mountain. It just takes the courage to keep moving forward.
It's been a long few days for all of us, the seasons are changing and so is the world around us. In times like these, it's always a good idea to sit back for a while and gather your thoughts. It's in the quiet moments and times of relaxation that we have some of our best ideas. In Britain, and in several places around the world, a cup of tea is the universal symbol for this activity. Brewing tea has been a popular pastime for millennia, with origins in China and India, now tea leaves are grown all over the warm enough world. Rather that using the dusty teabag, many tea connoisseurs prefer to make their favourite drink with loose leaves. Even then, a couple of teabags go into a pot just as well. When you make tea in the cup the teabag often drips over the counter as it makes its way to the bin and there's always a chance of it tearing when you stir it. A pot is the cleaner, more refined option and we should all get one. Have a look at some of these fancy teapots that people are using.
The classic and original. Cast iron and made to last, you can boil it on a hob to make hot water and you can infuse anything you want to. If you want to drink tea like the upper crust of times gone by then this is just perfect.
Love for the bees. If you like your tea sweet or if you simply love honey, then a bee design teapot exists for your enjoyment. The bright yellow colours of this Price and Kensington teapot light up the golden tea with extra nectar for that anticipated cup and setting.
Sometimes simplicity is the best way forward. A uniform and modest design brings this unassuming two-cup teapot to your kitchen. If it's just you and a friend or you happen to be in the mood for a double serving, you can save yourself some trouble and make it all in one pot.
Is it more than just tea you're drinking there? If you prefer not to say then you can give subtle hints with this every day is Halloween witches' brew teapot. Who knows what mysterious powers it will invoke when you stir up a storm?
If the Daleks have been trying to exterminate you or the Cybermen have been trying to delete you, or if the Master has been playing tricks with your head, then maybe it's time to make tea in a Tardis. The thing is, how much tea can you put in it? If it's anything like a real Tardis then you'll have a swimming pool in there.
You know what rhymes with tea? Geometry. That's why this geometric design looks great and is very fitting for the purpose. The fresh minty colours with a hint of sunshine gives an uplifting effect. A high-class design is seen in the shape in which early 20th century vibes mingle with modern sentimentality.
Now this time we really do back in time. It feels like an episode of Poirot with this sleek and enchanting black teapot. The intricate design can be admired while you wait for the infusion to work its magic.
Stylish and sturdy, this London Pottery polka-dot teapot is a classic design and shape. You can fit several cups in this generous ceramic and give your home a slightly rustic and down-to-earth feeling.
Hop to it, put the kettle on! This frog and tadpoles pot and cup set is perfect for pond lovers and nature fans. If you like getting out in the wild from time to time and enjoy the sights and sounds of the great outdoors then perhaps this is right up your street?
Just enough for one, this mug and pot set makes the perfect amount for a ten minute break and keeps everything neat and tidy too. This Sass and Belle Folk Floral teapot is an ideal gift to show someone that they really do matter.
Do you need some tealeaves? Why not visit Art of Tea for a great selection of many delicious varieties. Before October 21st? Enter AFFILIATE15 for 15% off.
Creativity is about finding new ways to look at things and then acting on them according to the novel thinking. Metaphors and flow-charts can be created that guide us through processes and progress, images and stories can be created to apply knowledge across universal circles. Courage is about action, moving through the anxiety and fear by stating your ideas, acting on them, and speaking up when needed. We solve problems by being creative and the right solutions take account of the whole situation. The way forward is directed by the reality of the entire situation and the limitations that it applies. A goal can be in any direction provided it lubricates healthy society and culture. Resistances and frictions are the opportunities for creative input and novel ways of taking responsibility.
It takes courage to be able to look at the whole situation and not just the situation from your perspective. Other people will have their own versions of the story and their own ideas about what the end results should look like. The behaviours and systems that result in the situation will be rooted in a dynamic and shifting consensus that always needs to be addressed. It may feel like our views are the ones that are important because of the way we think about them however society is a complex system of many people who each have their own direct reasoning with an equally as vibrant passion for their experience.
Because of the possible conflicts of interest and ideal, it’s important to be confident and know your intrinsic worth. Being spoken over and dismissed is a possibility and you need to be prepared to address this calmly and confidently. A creative solution may require new methods of communication and expression that speaks to others in ways they recognise and can respect. The same works for us, too. We may conflict with the interests and ideals of others and be a source of friction and resistance. Understanding the reasoning for their ideas can be difficult if we’re passionate about their antithesis. Because society involves the fluid working of diverse groups, it’s best to look for the logic and ration in their argument and then using that to make your point sound more valid. We need to address the light of it and not the shadow of it as its hardly ever our intention to cast the shadow even though it’s inevitable.
Everyone is a human being with a distinctive history and set of mental pictures that define the way they behave and the things they aspire towards. We all have our own pain points that cause us distress and we have reward senses that help us achieve personal success. These things vary from person to person and community to community. Because we don’t necessarily think and feel in the same way it can be difficult for us to get the idea someone is trying to portray. This means we must be available to humanise situations and accept the rich tapestry on offer rather than tick a box or simply deny relevance. If it’s relevant to them then it’s relevant to the bigger situation they are a part of in equal measure. It can be brave to let go of our predispositions and allow ourselves to validate another person’s point of view.
The grey areas are where the definition between what is right, or legal, and what is wrong, or illegal. Right things are affirmative for the culture of the situation and legal things are universal fail-safes. What is legal may not necessarily be right for you or your situation, so these areas become grey in that there is no clear guidance. We need to make space for these grey areas and confront them with our positive attitude towards growth. Each of us has a line drawn that defines what is acceptable and what is not, the combination of these lines needs to manage to stay parallel with the majority without overcrossing the minority and cutting them out. In social dynamics, no lines can be drawn but methods and language are necessary areas of creative collaboration.
We are all unique, not one of us can be completely likened to another. Another person is another story, another background, and another vibrant patchwork of experience that shapes who they are. If we speak up for ourselves and our perspective, we’re usually not acting as a spokesperson for our demographic, but as our own voice. When a person has a view, it’s their view. It’s not the view of their skin colour, their sexual preference, or their age. When we get used to the idea that there are no inherent patterns we can stereotype then although the workload increases exponentially, the validity and reach of what we do will be a lot more precise and a lot less confrontational or abrasive.
It is often human nature to make guesses and assumptions based on what we know from seemingly similar situations. Sometimes this will happen to you and your experience and input can be side-lined in favour of a textbook version. We all know how hurtful this can be, when our senses are overwritten by others because they would rather believe in an intangible archetype, or their own personal experience based on a completely different story. If you’re watching the Matrix and you see the same cat you know they’ve changed something but if you’re watching Tom and Jerry, you know it’s something to do with the mouse. Seeing the same cat twice has many meanings, and the things in real life are just as diverse in their meanings. We need to have the courage to listen and validate everyone’s own experience of meaning and symbolism as these things directly affect the way we feel and our ability to work together.
When we work together towards a common goal of progress and peace, conflict resolution and easier living methods, those in our group are our allies. They’re not mirror images of ourselves. In national politics, allies don’t get involved in the internal affairs of their counterparts. The laws and systems that go on within each allied nation are their own business and only soft pressure is applied across borders. People are like this, too. We are allied with those around us who work towards a common goal. We’re not charged with governing them but with helping them create a joint vision and action plan that considers their unique style and ethos.
It takes courage to work alongside unique individuals towards a common goal. At first, we know nothing about each other and nothing about what each other want to achieve. This is frightening to accept as not knowing is a source of real anxiety. Having the courage to start at the beginning and assess exactly what needs to be done from the start via a setting that comes from a different backstory requires time and patience. It might be easy to assume that we want the same things as other people and other cultures because we feel strongly about it. We imagine the other people sharing those feelings. Feelings are based on experience and history as much as right and wrong so it’s not possible to fully know what someone else will perceive when given new ideas. We get the job done better when we have the courage you start at the very beginning and accept not knowing.
When designing future process and output, whether it is artistic or not, it’s important to speak your true voice. In the same way we must humanise others and accept their experiences verbatim, the same can be said for yourself. It might be easier to lean back on common examples and well-known statements that point at your situation but when we find our own words and describe our experience and desires for ourselves, we can uncover unique and particular elements that so far have been in the blind-spot. Stating our own needs and moving towards them via the existing framework is sometimes a challenge. The world was designed by others with their own individual needs so aligning the various systems at play to achieve your own goals challenges the experience others may want to rely on.
Toxic safety is where we settle for something that is unhelpful or contrary to our goals and objectives but provides stability and security. We can be working for a company that doesn’t listen to your needs or has a culture of aggressive motivation that can cause stress and depression if you’re not suited to it. The opposite may be true in which your organisation relies on self-guided and mature objectives and open concise communication where you would prefer a more hierarchical and assertive style to work with. The organisations and the cooperative groupings we work within are not always the best place for us, it requires a lot of courage to break from this and go out in search of the better option. Knowing our virtues and demonstrating them at each given opportunity will result in a compatibility with those who are likeminded. Standing up for what you believe in, and vocalising concerns, is frightening for most of us.
Courage is about bring brave and working through the sense of fear and anxiety. It require a stable and grounded mindset with enough time to address fleeting sensations that stand in the way. We need a slow and steady walk towards the objective with a guided and open-minded approach. Unifying the whole to produce a clear vision and direction everyone can agree on requires putting the information in place and giving people the opportunity to address it from their own perspective. Being able to play our part and then sit back while the community takes in our input and responds in their own time means letting go of the immediate desire to move forward. We need to remove the blinkers and see things from the bigger picture. This can be frightening as suddenly the scope of our purpose is extended by a large degree however the opportunities and available directions mean this mindset provides the best chance of growth. Creativity uses the ingredients available and makes something that is viable to all viewpoints, either as an address to an issue or a solution to one. We need both if we are going to solve our problems and discovering them on a holistic scale means taking a selfless and impersonal systemic approach as well as listening to ourselves and taking our own experience seriously. You need two eyes open, one to look outside and one to look within.
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