Bao Bab Arts Krafts and Jewellery is an independent business made by Kieth Hanley from Manchester, UK. This man contacted me via a mutual friend and requested my skills to create him a business card, logo and a website to which he had already designed his logo by hand. I liked the design he had drew of a bao bab tree and I set out to re-create this digitally in illustrator. His business consists of selecting hand made items that he chooses and imports into the UK from Africa. His idea is particularly unique as the items are hand made, by local villagers he has a connection to out there. All of their creations are different and their profit is fair trade meaning Kieth can bring authenticity to his stock, selling at the right prices to credit the artists.
This was a really great project for me to be involved with as I practised my drawing skills and designed a variety of different versions of the card for Kieth to pick from. I kept the tones warm using colours I associate with Africa like red, orange, yellow and African patterned prints.
As well as creating Kieth's logo we also scheduled in a few photoshoots in the MMU daylight studio which is really accessible and easy to use. The lighting equipment is efficient to move without wasting much time setting up and there is an option to have a white, grey or black back drop. For Keiths item's we wanted to use a clean clear backdrop to make his products stand out on his website.
Keith appeared with 2 huge boxes as I met him at the MMU entrance. I helped him carry the boxes inside and we began shooting straight away. In the daylight studio there is a table area and a spotlight that is specifically used for product photography. We used this space to capture macro shots of the jewellery and smaller items he had, whilst using the ground space for bigger collectable items such as tables and hand carved wooden stools. Keith set up one area whilst I did the next and one by one we got through the items over a 2 hour shoot. From here I then took the images, cleaned up any surface marks on the white backdrops before uploading them into the shell of a website.
This project has enabled me to support someones business idea in a creative way and has given me new opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise. I even suggested to Keith that in the future Bao Bab AKJ should start collaborating on films etc. He even mentioned the idea of making a documentary one day about the artists in Africa who make the products. This is something I would of course be interested in as travel and film is a big passion of mine. Making these sort of connections now holds endless opportunities in the future. I love what Keith is doing by connecting the UK with African culture, whilst supporting the local community there and investing in authentic crafts. His website has launched however he is currently waiting on the product information before he can begin selling online. I believe this business has the potential to be international as the audience you can reach via the internet is unlimited. I am looking forward to more work with Bao Bab Arts Krafts and Jewellery in the future.