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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Global Influences
Design

International Artist Feature: Kenya

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Welcome back to our International Artist Series.

Today we're catching up with five incredible artists from Kenya, home of incredible art, food, wildlife, and people in the heart of East Africa. I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered great responses.

Alutheartist

First up is Alutheartist from Nairobi, Kenya. A graphic designer and self-taught illustrator, Al's dope illustrations feature a cool, laid-back style with bold colors.

Check out his work below or see more in his portfolio.

Masks

Living in Kenya is awesome. I am a Kenyan by birth. I love the mix of the urban and rural environment. Fancy some sun and sand? Go to the world renowned beaches of Mombasa, Lamu and Malindi. Fancy seeing some wildlife? Visit the national parks and game reserves! The sense of freedom, opportunity for adventure, and physical beauty of the place are what propel my love for Kenya.
Masks
Masks

Gang

Kenyan culture is a fascinating way of life that blends the traditions of thousands of years of African social evolution with the modern influences of the 20th century. The multifaceted culture of Kenya is expressed in different forms. Combined with other traditions, these forms of expression and lifestyle form an identity that is uniquely Kenyan. The blend and diversity in culture is what influences me to create and add to the ever growing culture. 
Gang
Gang

Masks 2

Masks 2
Masks 2

Lil Uzi Vert

Even though Kenya may have less art galleries than many other countries, it has invaluable artistic wealth. We're a community that continuously uplifts and supports each other by sharing knowledge, collaborating and giving feedback. The art community here is flourishing in diversity.
Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert

Dante Metaphor

Dante is a digital artist specializing in 3D and motion graphics design in Nairobi, Kenya. His work features insane 3D illustrations of epic titles, tech concepts and more.

Check out his work below or see more in his portfolio.

Africa Rise

I love living in Kenya because of the people and diverse culture. We have 42 ethnic communities here so the diversity in the art and culture scene is amazing.
Africa Rise
Africa Rise

Maasai Mech

I draw a lot of inspiration from traditional cultural artwork and also from local artists who I find absolutely amazing.
Maasai Mech
Maasai Mech

iPhone 8 Concept

iPhone 8 Concept
iPhone 8 Concept

Neo Nairobi Droid

The art community is not huge but it's rapidly growing. We have some very talented artists in all genres, from traditional painters and sculptors to more recently very talented digital artists. It would be nice to see more Kenyan artists featured in foreign publications though I'm sure it will happen soon.
Neo Nairobi Droid
Neo Nairobi Droid

Nyambura Kariuki

Nyambura is a digital artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her delightful illustrations feature fashionable characters with magical personalities.

Check out her work below or see more in her portfolio.

Eclectic

I love the weather here! It's generally warm and well-behaved throughout the year because we're so close to the equator. Also, healthy food is relatively cheap. I can have a full meal with vegetables and all for as little as 40 US cents depending on where I am, in and around Nairobi.
Eclectic
Eclectic

AfroPunk

Kenyan culture has influenced my work with its humor and color. Life can get hectic, to put it mildly, here. We cope by laughing irreverently at everything and anything. Despite the hardships, millennials here want to identify with global pop culture and I try to inject our point of view into that larger canvas.
AfroPunk
AfroPunk

Definitely for Fatties

Definitely for Fatties
Definitely for Fatties

Black Girl Magic

The art community here is vibrant and energetic. But before you can get the opportunity to create art purely, you'll really struggle. A lot of us have second careers or more "viable" degrees in order to keep bills paid. This year I intend to grow my own voice by doing more personal projects.
Black Girl Magic
Black Girl Magic

Paul Karanja

Next up is Paul Karanja, a multidisciplinary graphic designer and art director based in Nairobi, Kenya. He creates fantastic logos and branding packages comprised of great style and minimalist details.

Check out his work below or see more in his portfolio.

Logos & Marks: Kenyatta University Hospital

There is a rich style of art which creates a great environment for any artist to grow in here. My work is all about helping brands stand out through the use of well-thought branding and visual identities.
Logos  Marks Kenyatta University Hospital
Logos & Marks: Kenyatta University Hospital

Kenyatta University Hospital Branding

I am a great believer of less is more. I like to observe a lot and use my surroundings as inspiration. Particularly with color, I love how well harmonized color is in nature. I also love studying African patterns and prints.
Kenyatta University Hospital Branding
Kenyatta University Hospital Branding

Nendo Logo and Icons

Nendo Logo and Icons
Nendo Logo and Icons

Nendo Branding

Fine Art, Photography and Design are the most active fields of art here but there are creatives pushing the envelope in other fields too. With my passion for branding I hope I can encourage more people to join the space, and change the branding scene in Kenya, particularly in Nairobi.
Nendo Branding
Nendo Branding

Kelvin Shani

Kelvin is a multifaceted artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. His animation style is fun and energetic and makes for the perfect companion to his children's book illustrations.

Check out his work below or see more in his portfolio.

Animation Backgrounds and Props

Kenya and its culture are evolving every day. Ideals that were okay in the yester-years are getting challenged by factors both in and outside of the country. I derive inspiration from this.
Animation Backgrounds and Props
Animation Backgrounds and Props

Illustration

I connect with a strong desire to change the current status quo. The need to engage, question and challenge this fuels me to seek new ways of telling stories that empower others and showcase our diversity to the world.
Illustration
Illustration

Animation Background

Animation Background
Animation Background

Illustration

Many people have set up their own individual shops. These are good places to grow and discover what you want to do. I feel there should be more collaborations to change the current way of how people interact with each other creatively and reconnect with their culture. If we can achieve only a fragment of this, then other people will take charge and we will be able to move forward.
Illustration
Illustration

Eddie Akatch

Eddie is a passionate graphic designer from Nairobi, Kenya. From stunning automotive and architectural designs to bold text effects, his creativity allows him to dabble in a little of everything.

Check out his work below or see more in his portfolio.

Mercedes Benz SLS AMG

In Kenya, it's sunny most days and just when you've had enough, the rain comes and cools everything down.
Mercedes Benz SLS AMG
Mercedes Benz SLS AMG

White Kitchen

We find laughter where most find hurt. We come together when it matters the most, and especially now in the digital age Kenyans are bolder and deciding to live their best lives because...what else can we do?
White Kitchen
White Kitchen

Maserati

Maserati
Maserati

AK Creative Logo

When I first started back in 2007, I was in the banking industry. All I had was my beat up old desktop computer and moderately okay internet. Slowly but surely places like ADCC (Art Directors and Copywriters Club of Kenya) and creative forums on social media popped up and we finally had a place to talk about it all. We need more of us out here to make Kenya not just a tech hub, but also an art and design paradise.
AK Creative Logo
AK Creative Logo

Many thanks to the artists who took time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below:

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