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Art on denim!

Denim art collection has gained huge popularity as an idea of wearing one-of-a-kind piece of art appealed to many customers.

A splash of colour can inject new life into anything. So are artists, if you fancy, creative designers. We are captivated by the meticulous paintings they create on vintage denim, demonstrating their ability to fuse art and fashion.The lines that define what art is these days are so blurred. Some artists are popular because someone sees potential in them, and it is all very subjective. The same goes to fashion. Some people dress practically, and that is not art. But other people dress for fashion and to express their personalities, and that is art!

These artists do custom, hand painted denim jackets bringing art to the world of fashion hence creating the ultimate unique and expressive look. Some jackets are painted or painted and hand stitched embroidered. We are now far from the times when a piece of denim was just some durable jeans that the last centuries workers used to wear. Now denim, like most of the fabrics in the industry, it used to make a statement, and goes far beyond that concept: so far that we can talk about artistic denim.
When we look at the origin and history of denim, we realise that it was indeed designed to be a durable piece of clothing. Made for the working class, it had forcibly to be that way. What no one probably expected, at that time, was that the piece of clothing that Levi Strauss made popular, would be such a fashionable fabric.

In the last century, from being used in cowboy movies, to its importance as military clothing in the Second World War, or its association to the hippie movement, jeans popularity has always risen. It was a people’s fabric that was later reutilized by designers all over the world. More and more people started to use denim due to its durability, but also due to the cool effects they could do in denim. After world war two, the use in Europe increased dramatically. This fabric was so great that, even when it ripped due to the hard conditions that it was used for, the effect that those ripped jeans produced, was just cool. 
When fashion designers started to look at denim as a great fabric that they could use, all the game changed.

They started to see which things look good, such as the ageing processes, how to replicate it. They found out how denim could be used, not only with a great sense of durability, but also with a great sense of fashion: and that’s how artistic denim started to get shape. Artistic denim refers to the art of using denim and appeared several decades after the first denim examples were made. The constant learning about how a piece of denim could be worked, coloured and shaped into different forms by denim innovation specialists that made denim artistry possible. That can make jeans amazing pieces of art.

That and the creator’s innovative ideas using denim. And the result couldn’t be better: something with fashion sense, that shows your personality, durable and that you will love. I came across one designer who I feel is dynamic, spontaneous, feisty, fearless, extrovert and a trendsetter. This young man has all it takes to be called ‘’an innovative individual of the now century’’ because, he is just incredible! He does remarkable art works on denim, on walls and even on your body. He is a jack of all trades; he is a body-art artist, motivational speaker and a photographer. Let’s just declare him ‘’hustler of the year’’ once and for all.

In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, an artistic, versatile 22-year-old Price Tom is a Limkokwing 4th year student pursing his degree on Industrial Design, who does art part time. ‘’I would choose art over industrial design any day because art was my calling. It had always shown since my tender age and I started painting on clothes back in 2017. I basically started off with painting shows in 2015 then over the years I started painting on denim jackets. The idea came about when I realised that I live in a country where my beloved people do not really appreciate art much especially canvas art and pencil drawings and as an artists, I bestowed it upon me to find solutions to embed art into Batswana’s brain and hearts.

I did my research and figured out that people are trapped in the fashion era hence why I decided to put art and fashion together. It worked wonders. People loved my denim paintings and that made them to see that I do canvas paintings and pencil drawings too. My idea worked pretty well an di started painting blazers, dresses and caps’’ he told Weekend Life reporter in Gaborone this week. Tom underlined that he loves painting on canvas more than on clothes. ‘’This is because painting on canvas allows me to share my melancholic stories through my use of color and my subjects whereas painting on jackets I only do to gain recognition from the masses and I am  happy that it works. It only limits me because most of the times I have to do what satisfies the client, I enjoy panting better when the client allows me to fly on the wings of my creativity.

For me art is more spiritual. We artists have visions of how we want our paintings to look like and we share the unseen, unknown with the world by bringing them to life’’
He further indicated that painting on denim allows color fanatics to play around with different colors and also helps one to understand colors better and how they best work with each other. ‘’I have always been fascinated and intrigued by color because it is the best way of communicating with people how I see the world and my mood’’ he whispered. ‘’When I paint on canvas I usually use color to so express my emotions. Most of my paintings have a lot of color blue because most of my life I known and encountered was sadness and you know how blue is referred to as a sad color. My inspiration is my late mother. I paint as a way of mourning her, as a way of showing her that I’m still listening and it’s a way of paying tribute to her. 

She was the one who introduced me to painting and drawing when I was young, she assisted me in drawing and at one point she helped me with my first art accolades, it’s a pity she never lived long enough to witness me become the champion that I’m turning out to be but I’m certain that she’s watching me’’ Painting on denim doesn’t wash off, so I learnt! The paint Tom uses is suitable for most fabrics. The longevity of the work depends on how well the client takes care of it just like any other clothing from the shop. ‘’I have people who still rock my paintings that I did as back then in 2017 and they still look brand new. Art is invertible. It is mortal. When I paint on denim jackets or blazers, I usually do what the client wants or sometimes I ask them to me surprise them. Sometimes I buy jackets, paint and sell them ready made’’ Tom noted that social media is a platform he uses to attract customers.

He is not wrong! Most businesses, hustlers and artists have turned to social media to market, promote and sell their products and services. If you an entrepreneur and on this era you don’t have either a page or a personal account on social where you sell your stuff, you might as well quit. This is the 21st century and you ought to move with the times. ‘’Social media has been doing a good job for a lot of creative out there and sometimes I go out there and show people my work even though most of the time school limits me. Soon it won’t be something to worry about as I am on my final lap. I’ll have enough time to focus on my art and meet my customers, and even pitch proposals to government as I have been doing lately’’

‘’I recently did four canvas paintings for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and I’ve worked with a lot of people and different companies over 3 years period that I’ve painting and that has boosted my portfolio and connections with important people. Just like any other creative, Tom has a plan to diverse as much as possible because the whole idea is to make art that’s timeless.

Recently, he directed and wrote scripts for 2 music videos which are doing well so far. During his spare time, he enjoys reading as it helps him to remain relevant throughout the years. ‘’What I figured most people lack is consistency and research. I don’t want those two to ever die out in me.’’

 

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WeekendLife

5 consideration for your Marketing strategy in 2022

12th January 2022

‘The world of marketing is getting confusing,’ this is the sentiment from many marketers who find themselves in the middle of rising digitization and online migration driven by increased connectivity and a pandemic that dictated reduced physical interactions.

According to the Harvard Business Review, customers’ increased discernment, demand for great service experience and the ability to raise ‘a storm’ of complaints online about brands, is reshaping the role of marketing.

In today’s world of brand management, the constant consideration should be agility. This means actually listening to customer sentiment, being flexible with your creative design, messaging, placements and budgets.

Here are a few more pointers to discuss in your 2022 marketing strategy sessions.

  1. Budgeting needs to change: Event based budgeting, allocations based on calendar activities rather strategic impact initiatives, is a thing of the past. If the pandemic taught us anything is that uncertainty for people gatherings is something we need to live with. Furthermore, a lot of this type of marketing is barely linked to specific value beyond brand awareness. It’s time to disrupt yourselves by really evaluating value. In a digitizing world, a marketing budget should be reflective of the overall business direction.
  2. Outdoor is not dead, it just needs creativity: As the world was locked downed due to covid-19, one key consequence was that we were forced to spend more time in doors. As such, many of the billboards had no eyes on them. However, as things

open up, it’s time for brands to challenge billboard companies to create experiential advertising. Like ‘the floating cat’ in Tokyo, a 3-D anamorphic outdoor ad, billboards can be engaging and exciting for those who cross paths with them. Outdoor advertising needs to be reimagined to drive brand ‘stickiness’ in a bold manner.

  1. Thought leadership needs to be genuine: The pressure for relevancy has driven many executives into taking up video and word based content to be seen as authorities and subject matter experts. Begs the question, is it genuine? Does the person you are putting in front of the camera genuinely care to be a source of knowledge and consistently share insights. Thought leaders have an intrinsic drive to share information. It is not just based on one’s position in an organisation. So for 2022, look deeply within for talent that have authentic perspectives they can contribute to public discourse for the benefit of your brand.
  2. Influencers, do you really need them?: This is a question many brand managers have to scratch their heads over every time they go-to-market. In an effort to be seen as a cool and relevant, many brands, large and small have jumped on the influencer bandwagon to drive awareness. The world over influencers have presented brands with a new platform for awareness by using their personalities to market to their followers. Think Kim Kardashian, Mihlali Ndamase, Mjamica, they all have legion of followers who engage with their content on their social media pages. As a brand manager, your job is to be discerning and ensure brand fit. In doing research, look beyond the numbers: audit their historic content type, look into the engagements, do their followers actually engage based on the content subject? Is their tone of engagement relevant to your brand? That is what will answer the question… does your brand need them.
  3. It’s time to take the ROI conversation seriously: This is more of a self-preservation tip. Measuring marketing activity and impact has for many brands been a half-baked approach. For greater impact in 2022, marketing teams need to introspect and fully embrace the technologies. Digital and social media platforms have presented us an opportunity to actually measure our efforts. So insights, listening and automation tools need to be added to your technology stack for you to better reports on your impact.  Get closer to sales and service teams, as your efforts often have a direct bearing on their output.

Lastly, remember that visibility needs to lead to action for your marketing to become a value centre.

 

Modiri Mogende is a Managing Director at Launch Comms, with over 10 years’ experience in media, PR and marketing, he holds a BA and a PgD in Digital Marketing.   

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WeekendLife

Coal still King

15th December 2021
Coal still King

More than 40 countries have committed to shift away from coal in pledges made at the COP26 climate summit. Botswana on the other hand has different plans.

Some 850 Kilometres South West of the capital city Gaborone, lies a winding sandy landscape with wind worn- formations on the horizon accompanied by the harsh sun. The Kalahari Desert is conspicuous in the area.  Here one finds BORAVAST a cluster of villages; Bokspits, Rappelspan, Vaalhoek and Struizendum.

Although the desert is expected to be barren and brown, green blobs occupy the landscape. These are Mesquite a Prosopis species locally referred to as Sexanana. An invasive tree species that has successfully colonised the area all thanks to its properties that enable it to release a toxin to suppress growth of nearby competing plants.

This has resulted in the replacement of most of the indigenous vegetation in the area, forming dense thorn bushes. Circumstantial evidence suggests that it may also be lowering important fresh-water aquifers and clogging boreholes with its extensive root system. This has seriously led to degraded rangelands and reduced biodiversity.

BORAVAST has found a loophole by clearing the species. The clearance is to generate income for the community whilst also ensuring rehabilitation of the landscape to increase continued flow of ecosystem goods and services, simultaneously promoting of livelihoods.

The BORAVAST community is on a mission to create a backbone for the national economy through the community project as they believe that they have the potential to scale up and produce opportunities for local businesses to participate in the value chain of the national economy.

According to BORAVAST Trust Vice Chairman Gideon Martin: “The project has been dormant since 2015, however during the 2019/20 financial year, the Trust resuscitated the projects operations under the sponsorship of the UNDP (Kgalagadi and Ghanzi Drylands Ecosystem Project).

Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has also jumped into the band wagon by presenting machinery, office equipment and branding assets worth more than 1 million pula to the BORAVAST Trust. The Department of Forestry has also chipped in with P464 000.To date there are only two operational value chain business being charcoal and fodder production in BORAVAST. Our charcoal product has been tested and competes with coal from Morupule, our fodder is also of high nutritional quality.”

A member of the trust describes the charcoal making process: “Charcoal is made by heating wood from Sexanana to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. This is done with ancient technology of building a fire in a pit, then bury it in the ground. The result is that the wood partially combusts, removing water and impurities and leaving behind mostly pure carbon.

The tricky part is to maintain the heat at a temperature that is appropriate to avoid the wood turning into ash. It is a tedious and risky process as we also have to be on the look out to contain the fire to avoid wild fires. We sit by the pots hours on end to ensure all goes well on the other hand, Charcoal burning produces large amounts of Carbon Monoxide (CO) which is harmful to us when exposed to very high levels.”

In his blog Kobus Venter an activist states that, “these are signs that governments are trying to regulate the industry by introducing more efficient charcoal-making kilns and establishing plantations to ensure sustainability of the timber source. In Namibia, millions of hectares of encroachment bush is being converted to charcoal and sold to neighbouring South Africa as barbecue charcoal.

South Africa itself (according to the most recent South Africa Yearbook) is plagued with alien plant infestations, totalling more than 10 million hectares, about eight percent (8%) of the country’s land surface area. The rate of spread is alarming and their numbers are projected to double over the next 15 years.  More recently Vuthisa Technologies started to convert slashed invasives into charcoal and biochar using Emission Reducing Biochar kilns in a project known as the Vuthisa Biochar Initiative.”

However, charcoal is the primary energy source for urban Africa, but its production is widely informal and unregulated. Consequently, charcoal is entwined with violence against nature through rampant deforestation and violence against vulnerable rural communities, fuelling violent political economies of conflict and extraction.

As they are violently dispossessed of forests and land, communities living in production areas face destruction of their cultural heritage, embodied in nature, and the conditions for economic and political dignity. This undermines possibilities for sustainable peace.

Natural Resource Management in the Kgalagadi landscape is characterized by competition and conflict between conservation goals, economic development and the preservation of livelihoods.

Economic development inevitably leads to trade-offs between land uses, and requires choices to be made between the conversion of forests into anthropogenic land uses such as agriculture, on the one hand, and maintaining natural forests with their inherent ecosystem services.

Botswana to realize its national priorities in environmental management focusing on managing the trade-off between income generation and environmental sustainability. The trade-offs between development and environmental sustainability are becoming more evident in the form of threats to fauna and flora, air pollution and water pollution. Ensuring that sustainable resource extraction levels are within the capacity of the environment to assimilate and regenerate is a key concern.

Global Energy Monitor (GEM) that develops and shares information on energy projects in support of the worldwide movement for clean energy. Has revealed in their 2021 report titled “Deep Trouble; Tracking Global Coal Mine Proposals” that Botswana has 6 Coal Mine Development Projects.

It continues; “The Special Report on 1.5°C by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that CO2 emissions from coal use needs to fall 50 to 80% by 2030 to keep warming well below 2°C. If proposed new mines open as intended, the CO2 emissions from combustion will be equivalent to 4,639 Mt a year, a 14% increase over global CO2 emissions in 2020 (34,100 Mt), barring declines elsewhere.

In addition, the mines will leak an estimated 13.5 Mt of methane each year from broken coal seams and surrounding rock strata, based on coal mine depth and the gas content of the coal seam. Combined, the annual greenhouse gas emissions from proposed coal mines will be between 5,000 and 5,800 Mt of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) each year (for CO2e100 and CO2e20, respectively), comparable to the annual CO2 emissions of the United States (5,100 Mt). The build out of new mines, therefore, raises serious concerns about meeting the Paris climate agreement.”

Science continues to confirm the urgency of climate crisis. The main issue now is that the  ‘super powers’ are now realising their contribution to climate change and are devising means to halt the repercussions. Now enters the matter of climate justice; those who are least responsible for climate change suffer the ,most, Botswana has not fully utilised her coal reserves and coal production from wood yet the world is about to phase them out. What about the BORAVAST Trust trying to make a living?  The question of the day would be whether an energy transition will be possible in the near future considering that Botswana uses her physical wealth ( coal ) to grow her economy?

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WeekendLife

The King’s journal 

23rd November 2021
Kgafela Kgafela II

This book is a true-life story of an African King based in South Africa. The Last Frontier is a resistance stand by Bakgatla Ba Kgafela tribe and its line of Kings from 1885 against a dark force called ‘western democracy’ that is insidiously destroying lives, peoples, nations and threatens to wipe away whole civilizations in Africa.

The story flows through four important episodes of history, beginning in about 1885 when Bechuanaland Protectorate was formed. This section briefly reveals interactions between Kgosi Linchwe 1 and the British Colonial Government, leading to the establishment of Bakgatla Reserve by Proclamations of 1899 – 1904.

The second episode deals with Kgosi Molefi’s interaction with the British Colonial Government in the period of 1929-36. The third episode records Kgosi Linchwe II’s interactions with the British Colonial Government and black elites of Bechuanaland. It covers the period of 1964-66, leading to Botswana’s independence. Kgosi Linchwe ii resisted the unlawful expropriation of his country (Bakgatla Reserve) by Sir Seretse Kgama’s government of 1966 to no avail. He wrote letters of objection (December 1965) to Her Majesty the Queen of England, which are reproduced in this book.

The fourth episode covers the period between Kgafela Kgafela II’s crowning as King of Bakgatla in 2008 to 2021. It is a drama of the author’s resistance to the present-day Botswana Government, a continuation of Bakgatla Kings’ objection against losing Bakgatla country to the Kgama dynasty assisted by the British Government since 1885. The story is told with reference to authentic letters, documents, and Court records generated during the period of 1885-2019. There is plenty of education in history, law, and politics contained in The Last Frontier for everyone to learn something and enjoy.   

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