When people think of arts, they imagine the artists and sculptors. Sometimes they include the photographers and writers and poet. But there is another kind of art that Blessing Akinsunmade engages in. It is the creating of fashion accessories and stationery with African prints. Some of her works include earrings, notepads, ties and purses. She and her staff of two work to meet growing demands in Osun and Ondo state. They also supply to other states in the country via their online platform www.kraftbymade.lubumi.com
How did it all start? What brought you into the world of Africa print-themed craft making?
I figured out a need to shine a spotlight on our cultural heritage. A lot of foreign cultures seem to have drifted our attention from The African culture. This is not to say that we should not embrace other cultures. But we should learn to also appreciate our own.
All I want to project through my Craft work is a balance. The goal is to project a sense of belonging to a culture while adapting to change.
If there is anything that brought me into the world of African print-themed craft it is that I am a proud African willing to show to the world how beautiful my culture looks and to also disapprove some wrong perception of what African is all about.
How was the general reception when you started? How much support did you get from the art community?
The reception was quite encouraging because I make my craft work very attractive. People were surprised at the accessories I create because they never knew it could be ”Africanized” and even if it was known in the past my bringing it to reality serves as a form of remembrance.
The support wasn’t so bad because from my end I had that emotional and psychological support though the financial support is minimal but I know with time everything would be balanced.
Some people believe that art crafts are not as stunning as artworks because drawing/painting requires more planning, skill and effort. What do you think about that?
This is an outright fallacy. Every work of art requires skill, planning and effort to make it look quite attractive. The craft is not an exception of these art works because without good skills of creativity craft ais just a rumbled Art without planning.
Have you delved into painting or drawing? if yes, how was your experience?
It was a great experience in fact I started with drawing and painting before I considered Crafting. It is something I really have passion for and doing what you have passion for is the real deal.