Hello!  I hope you are staying well.

I’ve been busy both in the studio and also helping several UN agencies with their design and communications here in Malawi.

I happen to find Malawi to be one of the most inspiring places on Earth because it has natural beauty, self-reliant and friendly people, diverse wildlife, colorful textiles and fabrics, and vibrant arts and crafts.

The past few months have been a busy whirlwind of teaching, mentoring, and making art in the studio.

First, let me give you the studio updates…

The Nature of Inspiring Malawi and East Africa- Balm For the Creative Soul…

I recently made a new drawing that was started on the road in rural Zambia and completed in Lilongwe where the only leopards are on TV. (View some pics of our safari…)

A drawing I made thanks to inspiring Malawi and Zambia

Leopards are known across cultures for their unique and striking appearance. They are often associated with strength, independence, self-reliance, courage, instinct, beauty, and power.

If you’d like a closer look at this drawing (and want to play with my website’s fun tools that let you preview it on your own wall,) come see this spotted hipster here.

A Few of My Favorite Things….

birds of inspiring Malawi
See more works in progress here

Here are the humble beginnings of a drawing of six of my favorite Malawian birds: red bishop, blue waxbill, kingfisher, yellow bellied sunbird, lilac breasted roller, and a beeeater.

It will be infinitely more colorful… and a minimalist’s worst nightmare!

elephant art family portrait -inspiring Malawi

I’ve also been making progress on the four elephant carving family portrait series.

I’m slowly getting there, but I think this family portrait of my husband (*now with tusks!), my sons, and I depicted as carved wooden elephants will be done in a few days.🐘

The background is inspired by chitenje wrapped bottle caps and many are symbols, memories, places we have lived, aspirations, personal jokes, and stories important to us as a family and as individuals.

What do I mean? Well, take this bottle cap for instance:

bottle caps chitenje

When we used to live in Italy, my husband Michael used to rely on me to speak the majority of our Italian. (Our workplaces mainly used English.)

So if we needed a plumber, wanted a table at a restaurant, or just discuss how potty training was going at our sons’ daycare, it usually fell to me to communicate.

One day he was brave and made a reservation for a table at a favorite trattoria. He often confused the words in Italian for outside (fuori) and flowers (fiori). When he booked our table, he accidentally said the equivalent of “Please can we have a table at 8:00? Flowers!” But what he really wanted was a table outside.

The poor waiter on the phone was confused, but when we arrived, we had a lovely table. It was outside and the only one with a giant floral bouquet on it! LOL!

Should you be interested in ever commissioning a portrait or artwork of your very own that would be unique and one of a kind, come have a look at my commissions page and let’s chat.

The “#1 Ladies’ Creative Agency”

I’ve been a huge fan of “The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” book and now TV series that takes place in Botswana.

-Such a big fan, that I like to pretend I have my own “Ladies’ Creative Agency” which I guess I do these days…

I am over the moon because I have been working with the ten graduates of the 5-month Digital Media Accelerator program I created and ran in 2021.

These grads are assisting me with graphic design, illustration, social media graphics, animation, video, and everything in between for UNDP, UNFPA, and others. It’s so wonderful to be able to guide students in these roles and teach them on the job so they can build their portfolios and add to their CVs.

Here are two grads, Natalia and Prince taking photos at UNFPA’s recent Strategic Planning Meeting on April 13.

Well, that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading and have a great week. And Happy May!

All best wishes,

P.S. Let’s connect on Instagram where you can see some behind-the-scenes work in progress.