Posts | The Alchemist Bar, Nairobi | Faces of the Alchemist [ FOA ]


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Meet 34 year old Nuri Abdur-Rauf, she is a graphic designer, visual storyteller and a typographer from Atlanta Georgia. It is her first time in Kenya.

” And alot of my design work focuses on typography, letters. I started an Instagram series called ‘Girls with difficult names’ and I basically highlight girl names that are hard to say or pronounce or are spelled uniquely, just to bring out their non-ubiquity and to say that not everyone has to have a name that rolls off the tongue easily. The project is inspired by a poem called ‘The Birth Name by Warsan Shire’ . I have been doing names of celebrities and notable people as well, and I think I am up to about 30 names now. Put them up on my Instagram as well as this tumblr blog I’m in Kenya on a sort of working vacation, I am collaborating on a few projects with my friend Lulu.

I don’t necessarily create typefaces, but I just have an interest in words and letters this the project. I actually started out as a journalist, it’s what I have my degree in, then I decided I really didn’t want to write after I got it. Got an internship at a magazine in the arts and photo department and I fell in love with the art behind photoshoots and magazine layouts, so I went back to school for graphic design and realized I could mix my knowledge in journalism with graphic design by focusing on typography to create something truly special.

I listen to alot, but as far as genres go, we can talk about R&B, soul, hip-hop, samba, jazz, oh man, so many different things! Favorite artist of all time is Outkast, Alice Smith and Robert Glasper. Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Snarky Puppy! Also a Fela fan.

Good conversation, good friends, good music make me happy, and generally just being able to be myself, all the layers. The good, the bad the ugly, and feeling comfortable in a space that allows me to be.. well me.

I have only been at the Alchemist 15 minutes, and I like how it’s an oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city outside.

If I was stuck on an island with 3 things they’d be sketchpad or book, an iPod and a way off the island!