A few days ago on Instagram I posted a picture of the new candle lid labels for the new upcoming collection. The name of this collection is “ile” The designs and scents in this collection are inspired by my travels to Nigeria this past summer, I really wanted to capture what it felt like to return to Nigeria after being away for over a decade, 13 years to be exact. I relocated to Nigeria when I was 8 years old and lived there for 2 years and I came to the States when I was 10 years in 2003. I consider Nigeria home because its where my family hails from and the 2 years I spent in Nigeria really formed me and my values.
ile means home in the Yoruba language. The ile collection captures the essence of experiencing Nigeria for the first time and because my family comes from the Yoruba tribe, the scents in this collection are nostalgic of what it is like to experience the Southern culture of Nigeria, particularly the Yoruba culture. This collection is truly my perspective however I feel that many others can relate to this perspective. The scents range from the aroma of the sweet baked bread that is often sold on the roads of Lagos streets to the scents of the everyday hustlers you could both on and off the Lagos Island. I’ll share more about the names of each scent soon.
In Nigeria while I got to connect with family members and old friends I had truly missed, I also got to explore as though I was a tourist and visited places like the Nike Art Gallery, a free admission art gallery featuring the works of notable Nigerian artists and places like The Jazzhole and Terra Kulture, both great places to see indie musicians and plays, meet new people and learn more about various Nigerian cultures.
After being in Nigeria for 3 weeks I returned to the States inspired by the works of arts I had seen and experienced and by my conversations with the people I had met and reconnected with. All of this left me motivated to continue learning and working on my own pattern designs. For each scent in the ile collection I’ve been making patterns using my hand drawn sketches of objects such as African drums, calabashes, Palm Trees, hut homes and cowrie shells.
The process started with these doodles
Then I digitized them and played around with different colors
While none of the above prints actually made the cut, it was really great to see my work come to life and I’m excited not only to see the final versions as labels on the candles but also to possibly to turn them into fabrics for pillows, coasters, and other cool home decor projects.
And here’s a little sneak peak of a design that did make the cut, this pattern is called Kanju which means hustle in Yoruba.
Feel free to use any of my patterns as wallpapers for your phones and laptops, if you’d like to. And I can’t wait to share the rest of the collection with you.