I met makeup artist Sinnita Akello aka Cultured Ego in Nairobi last year working on a POSITIVE IMPACT project for awesome and ethical brand, The Good is Good. Sinnita’s rich spirit and energy were contagious alongside her serious talent which has her working with the rising stars of Africa’s creative scene.. As seen here for BLACK, a collaboration with photographer Thandwie Muriu. Sinnita answered some questions for us. Enjoy. X
What’s your background and what led you to a career as a makeup artist?
My back ground is in art and I have enjoyed creativity since I can remember. I did a foundation in Art and then moved into Visual Communications – my canvas changed from paper, to screen, to skin.
What is exciting you about your work at the moment? Can you give us a little insight into the fashion industry in Africa currently.
The exciting thing about my current practice is all the collaborations I am working on with creatives across Africa including Nairobi, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The fashion industry here is moving forward at lightening speed and our fashion designers are doing a incredible job representing their heritage in both the local and global markets.
A gratitude session, an Instagram session and hot lemon water, in that order!
Food from the gods?
Early bird or Night owl?
I could be both dependent on my motivation but mostly early bird.
OMD so many! But whichever one, British Hip Hop artist Giggs was on it!
Mutual respect for one another! Not because of who you are, what you are or what you have achieved but simply because we are all human.
Who inspired you on this creative path?
First up Would be my mum, she got me to believe in creating my own brand and business rather than working for someone else. Also, moving back to Kenya has really inspired me! I believe that the limitations here made space for creativity. When I first moved back there wasn’t much available to create avant grade looks, which helped to spark the question, “I see this in my mind but I don’t have the tools to achieve it. How can I do this?” Since then, I have executed a plethora of creative and body-art looks with a lot of experimentation and not much else. As time has moved forward the demand for these products has grown and exciting products from all over are now available. I have invested in some new products but stick to my usual tricks in some cases just to bring on some inspiration.
Who is inspiring you currently?
So many people, all of the people around me really.. Sunny Dolat is an amazing Kenyan stylist and Creative Director whose creative intelligence inspires some of my aesthetics. I love his minimalist style and his left of center twist especially. Kenyan photographer Osborne Macharia, and Stylist// Set Designer Kevo Abbra really challenge me to think outside the box and create aesthetics that are relative to our environment, heritage and culture.
How do you work through rough spots, anxiety or blockages in your creative practice? I try to relax through rough spots, I step back from the situation for a day, if it isn’t urgent, do some house chores or just have a lazy day. When it comes to anxiety I try to hang out with close friends, so that I am out of my head. Blockages.. Travel is the key, ain’t no thing like different scenery to get you inspired. Truth.
Photographer: Thandiwe Muriu
Model: Anita Barbara
MUA: Sinitta Akello
IG @ culturedego