Tag Archives: creatives

Creative Personality: Chika of Afrocentric Accessories

Someone in here is about to take the Fashion world by storm, I tell you. Chika is the dynamic brain behind a new and versatile line of accessories.

A passionate young man, his love for what he does is contagious. Chatting with him reminded me of this phrase – ‘If you can dream it, you can have it.’

The fashion status quo is getting transformed by the day. More Creatives are rising to the challenge and here we chat with one of the bolder ones. Enjoy!

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We’d love to meet you

My name is Chika Nwakanma. I am an entrepreneur and writer. I love the arts and sometimes like to fancy myself as an intellectual.

Give a brief introduction of your business endeavor

Afrocentric accessories is a fashion brand that employs local fabrics to explore creative fashionable designs. We started operating November last year, and so far the journey has been quite interesting and educative. Like our motto says, we are bringing in the African style of global fashion. This we hope to achieve by using local materials, craft and fabrics to come up with indigenous African fashion accessories.

Do u see yourself as a creative individual and at what point did this happen?

I would not say I started off seeing myself as a creative individual. I just know that I was inquisitive and always wanted to do something different from what others were doing. I was the type of guy that would want to make his own path through the forest than following an already designated way. I always resented the pre-condition of life or social patterns in whatever form. It was later in life and through maturity that I recognized those as elements of creativity.

What source(s) do you draw your inspiration from?

Everything around me – my environment, the way people relate with each other, the way they react to things, the dress codes, just anything. I believe in making the most of what you have. Look at the environment and seek ways to exploit it, to create things. I am like a sponge, I soak up whatever artistic or innovative ideas I come in contact with.

Describe your journey so far

Like I said earlier, it has been an educative process, which I think is very important in my quest to grow as an individual. Things started off slowly, but they are picking up. Our designs are getting attention and acceptance from people; but there is still a lot to be done.

How did you start/ get into what you do now?

Well, I just got tired of the normal 9-5 kind of life. I wanted to control my own life and decide my own pace. I did not want to be at the whims of someone who calls himself my boss or at the mercy of a monthly salary. Besides I thought if I put in half the effort I put into working for someone for myself, I would be better off. Though, I always knew that it would not be an easy road.

Did you receive any training?

Yes. I received a little bit of training in beading while I was in NYSC camp, and thereafter I got trained on Ankara accessories.

Did you get discouraged at any point?

Yes. At a time, it felt like I was just spending my money on a futile venture. But you have to realize that business is like a school of life. You are tested in all areas. Your patience, prudence, creativity and even morality is tested as an entrepreneur, you have to learn to be patient, position yourself and implement your strategies. You have to learn how to swim against the tide. Calm waters don’t make good sailors. It’s only your passion that would keep you going when you are discouraged. Don’t get into it unless your heart is in it.

What made you stick with it?

Passion. The desire to see the fruition of one’s ideas. The satisfaction that comes with seeing how other people can value your creation and design. The need to break free of the corporate slave cycle.

What sets your work apart from others in your niche?

Quality. What is worth doing is worth doing well. But of course, one cannot go the extra mile unless he has a passion for that thing. At Afrocentric accessories, we stand out from other fashion brands, first with our particular bias to local fabrics, craft and textiles; then, there’s the professionalism in the finished work and the quality of our products.

We don’t aim to be the run-of-the-mill type of designer that goes with the trend. We intend to be pacesetters and creators. That is why we are coming up with designs that would challenge our creativity. We are breaking down fashion borders that have conscripted the use of Ankara, batik, kente, and other African fabrics to a very limited spectrum.

Where do you plan to take this to?

Global. Think Louis Vuitton, think Calvin Klein, think Salvatore…. then think Afrocentric. In fact, we aim to be the African response to those brands.

We want to show that the same way linen, cotton and silk are used to create a whole lot of clothing and accessories, so we can do with local fabrics. African fashion and textiles cannot be held to such relic in this global age. We have to explore creative and innovative ways to using and wearing local textile, which is what Afrocentric accessories is all about.

What hurdles have you encountered and how are you dealing with them?

Our fashion sense when it comes to local fabrics. People still think that if you wear an Ankara sneakers, you must match it. Women still think that an Ankara bag must go with a complimentary dress. This is the type of mentality we are trying to counter with our designs.

Then there is also the problem of skilled personnel. They do not deliver on time and are never short of excuses. I just don’t understand how people can be so complacent and nonchalant after collecting money for unrendered services.

What habits of yours would you say contribute to your creative output?

Inquisitiveness, the tendency  to find my own way instead of waiting or relying on other people, the willingness to try new ideas. All these contributed to my creative output

How do you see the level of creativity and innovation in our society?

Nigerians are very creative people. There is no doubt about this. What I have a grouse with is the wastefulness of our creativity. We do not want to harness our potentials. We are always waiting for someone or something. Be it the government, pastor, miracle, rich relative, boyfriend, husband, children, wife, we are always passing the buck to someone else’s table. We do not want to accept responsibility for our lives or the outcome of it. The moment we begin to accept responsibility, things would change

Do you have a mentor in the business or people whose works you respect?

I do not have any mentor. But I admire the work of other designers. People like Christie Brown, Ava Morrison, Ohenma and Design for love. I also admire Estee Lauder for suceesfully managing 27 world class brands and the LVMH group which also owns over 30 brands including Thomas Pink, Moet & Chandon, Bulgari, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hennessy and others.

How would you encourage aspiring creative business owners?

Never give up. It’s a fight to the finish. Today’s global brands were the products of someone’s idea. Why should yours be any different?

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And there you have the Afrocentric guy! Chika looks forward to your feedback and questions. Do make use of the comment box.

He may be contacted on +2348157605889 or +2348060793263. Email him on afrocentric.accessories2013@gmail.com. You need more of him – Visit www.afrocen3ic.com or make a stop at 5, Maduike way, Off Akerele road by randle junction, Surulere, Lagos.

‘I am like a sponge, I soak up whatever artistic or innovative ideas I come in contact with’ – Chika

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A Pschological View: 17 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

Research has suggested that creativity involves the coming together of a multitude of traits, behaviors and social influences in a single person.

“It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.”

While there’s no “typical” creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. Here are 18 things they do differently.

1. They daydream.

daydreaming2

According to Kaufman and psychologist Rebecca L. McMillan, who co-authored a paper titled “Ode To Positive Constructive Daydreaming,” mind-wandering can aid in the process of “creative incubation.” And of course, many of us know from experience that our best ideas come seemingly out of the blue when our minds are elsewhere.

Although daydreaming may seem mindless, a 2012 studysuggested it could actually involve a highly engaged brain state — daydreaming can lead to sudden connections and insights because it’s related to our ability to recall information in the face of distractions. Neuroscientists have also found that daydreaming involves the same brain processes associated with imagination and creativity

2. They observe everything.

The world is a creative person’s oyster — they see possibilities everywhere and are constantly taking in information that becomes fodder for creative expression. As Henry James is widely quoted, a writer is someone on whom “nothing is lost.”

3. They work the hours that work for them.

Many great artists have said that they do their best work either very early in the morning or late at night. Vladimir Nabokov started writing immediately after he woke up at 6 or 7 a.m., and Frank Lloyd Wright made a practice of waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and working for several hours before heading back to bed. No matter when it is, individuals with high creative output will often figure out what time it is that their minds start firing up, and structure their days accordingly.

Read My Post: Routines or Not?

4. They take time for solitude.

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone,” wrote the American existential psychologist Rollo May.

Artists and creatives are often stereotyped as being loners, and while this may not actually be the case, solitude can be the key to producing their best work. For Kaufman, this links back to daydreaming — we need to give ourselves the time alone to simply allow our minds to wander.

“You need to get in touch with that inner monologue to be able to express it,” he says. “It’s hard to find that inner creative voice if you’re … not getting in touch with yourself and reflecting on yourself.”

5. They turn life’s obstacles around.

Many of the most iconic stories and songs of all time have been inspired by gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak — and the silver lining of these challenges is that they may have been the catalyst to create great art.

An emerging field of psychology called post-traumatic growth is suggesting that many people are able to use their hardships and early-life trauma for substantial creative growth. Specifically, researchers have found that trauma can help people to grow in the areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, personal strength, and — most importantly for creativity — seeing new possibilities in life.

6. They seek out new experiences.

Creative people love to expose themselves to new experiences, sensations and states of mind — and this openness is a significant predictor of creative output.

“Openness to experience is consistently the strongest predictor of creative achievement,” says Kaufman. “This consists of lots of different facets, but they’re all related to each other: Intellectual curiosity, thrill seeking, openness to your emotions, openness to fantasy. The thing that brings them all together is a drive for cognitive and behavioral exploration of the world, your inner world and your outer world.”

7. They “fail up.”

Resilience is practically a prerequisite for creative success, says Kaufman. Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives — at least the successful ones — learn not to take failure so personally.

“Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often,” Forbes contributor Steven Kotler wrote in a piece on Einstein’s creative genius.

8. They ask the big questions.

Creative people are insatiably curious — they generally opt to live the examined life, and even as they get older, maintain a sense of curiosity about life. Whether through intense conversation or solitary mind-wandering, creatives look at the world around them and want to know why, and how, it is the way it is.

9. They people-watch.

Observant by nature and curious about the lives of others, creative types often love to people-watch — and they may generate some of their best ideas from it.

10. They take risks.

Part of doing creative work is taking risks, and many creative types thrive off of taking risks in various aspects of their lives.

“There is a deep and meaningful connection between risk taking and creativity and it’s one that’s often overlooked,” contributor Steven Kotler wrote in Forbes. “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing.

11. They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.

Nietzsche believed that one’s life and the world should be viewed as a work of art. Creative types may be more likely to see the world this way, and to constantly seek opportunities for self-expression in everyday life.

12. They follow their true passions.

Creative people tend to be intrinsically motivated — meaning that they’re motivated to act from some internal desire, rather than a desire for external reward or recognition. Psychologists have shown that creative people are energized by challenging activities, a sign of intrinsic motivation, and the research suggests that simply thinking of intrinsic reasons to perform an activity may be enough to boost creativity.

13. They get out of their own heads.

Kaufman argues that another purpose of daydreaming is to help us to get out of our own limited perspective and explore other ways of thinking, which can be an important asset to creative work.

“Daydreaming has evolved to allow us to let go of the present,” says Kaufman. “The same brain network associated with daydreaming is the brain network associated with theory of mind — I like calling it the ‘imagination brain network’ — it allows you to imagine your future self, but it also allows you to imagine what someone else is thinking.”

14. They lose track of the time.

Creative types may find that when they’re writing, dancing, painting or expressing themselves in another way, they get “in the zone,” or what’s known as a flow state, which can help them to create at their highest level. Flow is a mental state when an individual transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness. When someone is in this state, they’re practically immune to any internal or external pressures and distractions that could hinder their performance.

You get into the flow state when you’re performing an activity you enjoy that you’re good at, but that also challenges you — as any good creative project does.

15. They surround themselves with beauty.

Creatives tend to have excellent taste, and as a result, they enjoy being surrounded by beauty.

16. They connect the dots.

If there’s one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it’s the ability to see possibilities where others don’t — or, in other words, vision. Many great artists and writers have said that creativity is simply the ability to connect the dots that others might never think to connect.

Read My Post: Connecting The Dots… Let’s learn from the masters

17. They constantly shake things up.

Diversity of experience, more than anything else, is critical to creativity, says Kaufman. Creatives like to shake things up, experience new things, and avoid anything that makes life more monotonous or mundane.

Adapted from SOURCE

Research has suggested that creativity involves the coming together of a multitude of traits, behaviors and social influences in a single person.

“It’s actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self,” Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University who has spent years researching creativity, told The Huffington Post. “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.”

While there’s no “typical” creative type, there are some tell-tale characteristics and behaviors of highly creative people. Here are 18 things they do differently.

They daydream.

– See more at: http://www.creativitypost.com/psychology/18_things_highly_creative_people_do_differently1#sthash.qPhu0d9a.dpuf