13 September 2014

Miss Yetunde by TNP Scribble

Miss Yetunde is one of several drawings of women with freeform locs in my collection. I am absolutely crazy about natural hair and locs in particular and find that I just can't stop drawing them. Tbh, there is hardly any representation of real ‪#‎blackhair‬ or ‪#‎blackart‬ out there in the main stream, so this is my little contribution.

My ladies are not meant to be perfect, but I aim to emphasise their African beauty with strong features and loads of natural hair.

If I cannot come up with a name for my drawing, I like to get my sons involved, and they have helped to ‘christen’ some of my drawings with African names.

It's nice to have a choice and to see images of ladies who look like me, readily available on all these products that would otherwise be non-existent.

12 September 2014

Loc Update - (4.5 yrs)

This is what my locs look like at 4yrs and 6 months. Yes, we have come a long way and I'm still glad with the decision to loc my hair, because it takes the fuss out of styling and worrying about the health or appearance of my hair, while saving me so much time and money too. Which means I now have more freedom of expression, and feel less encumbered with the drama of 'fitting in', but can devote my time to being my complete self.

The main change is in the length, because in the past I never really noticed any substantial difference until now. My locs have some pretty good 'hang time' down my back, looks fuller and feels heavier. There are several flat locs but no dragons, because I have made a conscious effort to separate them on a regular basis.

Separating Locs
In separating my locs, I try not to do it so often, but when I do, it’s always on damp hair. I do it very gently, to avoid unnecessary breakage which could compromise the health of the loc later down the line.

I also go for longer periods (months) without adding any conditioner, but when I do; it's watered down to a very thin consistency in a spray bottle, and applied as a leave in. This allows time for my hair to do its own thing for a while without the conditioner encumbering the locing process. In between my not using conditioner, I like to use tea rinses and coconut oil as alternatives.

I still freeform, but don't look like your typical freeform 'dread head' because of the texture of my hair. The only way you can tell that I freeform is from the thick roots, flat locs and abundant frizz. I love my frizz, and learnt to embrace it very early on in my loc journey because I never liked the look of freshly twisted locs on me.

Maturing Locs
Even with all the growth they have achieved, my locs feel lighter than they look, mainly because of the lack of build-up. As they mature they get more compact and this could feel like they are thinning, but they are only doing what they are supposed to do with age. So, I always try to keep the more mature parts of the loc supple, by soaking in water with essential oils. This will help promote healthy ends and ensure that they are not being neglected.

So that's the brief update, looking forward to what the future holds. Feel free to ask any questions. :)

10 September 2014

New designs for TNP Scribble

Despite multitasking on numerous projects, coupled with home life, I do think I'm on a bit of a creative roll right now.  I'm focusing all my efforts on revamping the Scribble store with some fresh designs, while this creative streak is on full blast, because it may be over any day now. Then I can get back to my writing again.

Thought I should pop in to share some of the new digital designs I have created with you, for a quick taster of what is coming up this season.

I'm very pleased with the results so far, but please let me know your thoughts. Join me on the TNP Scribble fanpage, it would be great to hear from you. :)

7 September 2014

My Scribble is My Art.

If you have been a frequent visitor to my blog, then you will know that I love to be creative and therefore have several projects on the go. That's just the sort of person that I am, having grown up in a house full of girls and being the middle child meant that I just happened to learn a little bit of this and that.

I was the one who could sew, change the fuse and fix the plug. I could plait hair, trim my Dad's nails and iron his favourite suit to perfection. I could bake with old milk tins on a kerosene stove and fix the broken tape on a cassette. Tie knots, pick up bugs and beat-up annoying boys. I could do almost anything I put my mind to doing.

So, as I have already mentioned in previous posts, one of these projects is called TNP Scribble. 'Scribble' because I have never taken myself too seriously when it comes to my art, and so I tend to call my doodling...scribble. However after selling a few pieces, I must say that it's not that bad for a self-taught accomplishment. I think we all have potential, if we are only brave enough to explore it.

I love to draw things that I can relate to, so this means there will always be an element of my Christian faith, music, performance, culture or black heritage, visible in my art. Recently, I have been exploring mixed media, creating a simple collage with mediums like fabric/fp, graphite and watercolour on sketch paper or boards.

Most days I prefer to wake up very early, while the sun is still down and the house is peaceful, but I can't sleep because there's this image in my head that needs to be transferred onto paper. On other day's I get so engrossed in what I'm doing, that once I start drawing, I forget to eat. The aim is to keep on pushing, until I hone my craft.

My art may not be to everyone's taste, but for the few who do get it, makes it so worthwhile.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. 
- Thomas Merton

4 September 2014

Soaking Locs, avoiding Mould and Build-up.

During the summer months I tend to wash my locs more frequently because they air dry faster in the warmer months. Apart from the luxury of frequent washes, this is the best time to get as many rinses done, incorporating some natural hair treatment in preparation for the colder months.

One of my favourite ways of achieving this is by soaking my locs in a bowl of hot water, and adding ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) with some essential oils. Your locs can benefit from getting a good soak once in a while, especially if you don't use a bowl to wash your hair and just shampoo under the shower. I have found that by doing this my locs get that extra deep clean to remove the excessive oils embedded in the locs or any lingering residue that might remain from the use of hair products, shampoo and conditioner.

Over the years I have learnt to be extremely careful with what goes into my hair because of build-up. The first thing to remember about loc care is that whatever goes into your locs must be easy to wash out. Our Afro kinky hair is like a sponge, and thirsty locs will soak up all the product it can take, but getting it all out is a whole other ball game.
Imagine a really oily sponge, and how much washing up liquid and hot water it takes to get it clean again...well our hair can be ten times worse than that.

Build-up can be your worst nightmare, especially if you don't catch it in time and it becomes an eyesore. Many have resulted to cutting off their locs, because they couldn't get rid of the build-up which had gone unnoticed until the irreparable damage had been done.

Signs of severe build-up

  • Greyish or dull looking locs.
  • Heavy locs, weighed down by the accumulation of product residue
  • Locs that take too long to dry, whatever the weather.
  • Stiff or hard feeling locs.
  • Build up can also lead to mould because of damp or soggy locs.
  • Smelly hair.

How to avoid build-up

  • Use a residue free shampoo. Avoid shampoos with Parabens. Methylparaben and Propylparaben. Sodium lauryl/Laureth/Coco sulfate, Phthalate, or Butylene glycol. They will be less sudsy to what you are used to, but they are safer and your hair will thank you for it in the end.
  • Water down any products that you do use, so that it can wash out easily.
  • Always rinse hair thoroughly after a shampoo or condition.
  • Avoid excessive use of oil, as this can also cause build-up and attract dirt.

How to avoid mould

  • Dry your hair thoroughly.
  • If you air dry, then wash your hair earlier in the day to give enough time to completely dry.
  • Do not go to bed with damp hair.
  • Do not wrap up damp hair with no room to air dry.
  • Do not use dirty or damp towels on your locs.
  • Add Teatree oil to your spray bottle to combat bacteria.

How to soak your locs

  • Fill a bowl with hot water. This will help breakdown any build-up.
  • Add ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar). This will help balance your hairs PH and also kills bacteria, cut through grease and breakdown build-up.
  • Add Teatree oil (or any essential oil of your choice). This will help combat any bacteria and give a nice aroma.
  • Soak your locs, ensuring all hair is immersed in water (be careful to avoid burning your scalp) until water is slightly tepid. The steam will also open the pores and stimulate the scalp.
  • Rinse hair with cold water. This will close the hair cuticle and help give the hair a natural healthy shine.

If we learn to minimise the amount of products we use in the first place, making sure the ingredients are safe and easy to wash out, then it will make our loccare regimen much more hassle free.  Your locs should be light, supple, with a natural healthy shine and smell.

Hope this helps :)

27 August 2014

Work in progress (part 3) - TNP Scribble

Another quick update to show you the finished results.

Miss Turbanista

Busty Baby

Hausa Man 

To find out more about these pieces and the characters behind their faces, please check out my community fan page here. You can also follow my Tumblr page for more #blackart.