In celebration of the launch of their latest female-focused silhouette, ARKYN, adidas Originals South Africa turned to Lulama Wolf to conceptualize and create a local lookbook while also sharing her perspective on culture, creativity and individuality.
Led by a group of cultural visionaries including singer/songwriter Kelela, artist Ana Kras, musician and photographer Syv de Blare, vocalist and songwriter Ian Isiah and moderated by artist, poet and author Cleo Wade, the second #TLKS series held in New York, explored the topics of self-expression, the impact of culture on creativity, and what it means to truly be authentic today.
Following this panel discussion we sat down with Lulama Wolf to weigh in on the conversation and get her insight within a South African context.
Self-expression requires so much bravery – How have you found the courage to start creating and sharing your art?
Self-expression happens naturally, what requires bravery, in my opinion, is sharing your art and the ability to create. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded and inspired by some of the greatest artist’s of my time and have learned through their work, about bravery. It becomes a self-confidence issue when an artist has to share their creation with the world and what ever happens after that shouldn’t matter a great deal. As an emerging artist in an industry as tight gripped as the art industry, bravery is compulsory.
As an emerging female artist in South Africa, what motivates you in moments of self-doubt?
Self-doubt motivates me. I have had moments of imperfection while creating and those moments mean the most to me because I am never aware of the beauty that my moments of self-doubt create. I have been painting for most of my life and learning the art of pottery for about 4 months and that has taught me to be more expressive with the things I’d like to share.
How are you balancing what you keep IRL and what you share on social media with regards to your artistic journey? How important is keeping your online community informed with what you are up to while you create?
My online presence as artist vs. my online presence as a digital content creator are different because I am more cautious about what I put out artistically as it is more personal and tells a more intricate story which I’d love to be experienced offline first, followed by online at a later stage. I consider myself very lucky to balance the two and still maintain my understanding and love for art.
How does culture influence you as well as what you are create and how do you stay true to yourself in this process?
Culture is a prominent influence in how I get to know myself as artist, I am a Xhosa woman exposed to different cultures and that has helped the bulk of my work. One can argue if art shapes the mood of culture or if culture shapes the perspective of art but I believe that they do affect each other as it is a gateway to touch on environmental and societal issues and those issues rest on the backbone of culture.
How best do you see the adidas brand empowering those on their creative journey?
I have been working with adidas for about 3 years and what I appreciate about the brand is that it gives you freedom of expression and creative control. It inspires a creative to create a momentum that most lifestyle brands don’t offer because it isn’t all about them. adidas has tailored it’s aesthetic to support those that are on a creative journey because that makes the brand relatable and diverse.
#TLKS is a global platform, which inspires creators to initiate an open dialogue and share their perspectives on various topics. The diverse panel and conversation is inspired by the core values of the ARKYN campaign, celebrating the multi-faceted, creative mindset. The full TLKS and Q&A can be found on the adidas Originals youtube:
Creative Director & Model – Lulama Wolf – @lulamawolf
Photographer – Andile Buka – @buka_andile
Make-up Artist – Khumo Ngwenya – @mkasouthafricabeauty
Assistant stylist- Azania Forest – @azaniaforest