Author: Khadijat Oseni

Err on the Side of Caution

Caution and creativity are two words that tend to live on opposite ends of the spectrum. There is a common myth that if you’re too cautious, you cannot be creative enough, and on the other hand, if you want to truly push the creative envelope, you must live with reckless abandon. This binary train of thought can actually disrupt the process of discovering your authentic voice within your work because fear is often pitted as the enemy. However, fear should just be seen as a subconscious caution signal you encounter on the road to discovering your next path. Similarly, just like the striking yellow and black color combinations of street signs strategically mounted ahead of the traveler, we can easily notice when we’re approaching a point where our fears are wrapping around our thoughts, hindering our next moves. These feelings act as internal flags regulating if the moves we’re about to make are inherently meaningful to us as well as the speeds at which we’re willing to drive past fear to actually risk succeeding. From …

A Moveable Feast: 4 Hearty Lessons from Food Book Fair

If the age-old phrase that “you are what you eat” manifests itself literally, I’d be one giant avocado rolling around the streets of New York City #deadsexy. All jokes aside, many of us don’t take the time out to recognize just how much food and the art of dining shape our collective identities, memories and social politics apart from the obvious physical implications food has on our waistlines. I got a quick reminder of just how significant each bite lends to food for thought when I accompanied the motley crew at Ace Hotel New York as they hosted this year’s Food Book Fair. Here are 4 hearty lessons I learned from foodies & bookworms alike: 1) “Come to the table with an empty stomach and leave with a full heart.” ~ Warren Bobrow aka “The Cocktail Whisper”  On opening night of the Food Book Fair, Warren Bobrow discussed his latest book, The Craft Cocktail Compendium, which encompasses a mixture of contemporary apothecary cocktails and silent nods to Robert Louis Stevenson.  I later struck up a …

On the Hunt for Inspiration

Hunting for inspiration as a creative can be quite a daunting task. We aimlessly search high and wide for this elusive buried treasure of thoughts everywhere we turn. Our eyes are constantly thirsty for knowledge and each twist and turn along the road feeds a sometimes insatiable, mental beast obsessively documenting every move. The thrill is stimulating but can be draining and counterproductive once we’ve come down from this trip. We may feel overwhelmed, broken and lost. It’s at this point that retracing our journeys, simplifying our process, and finding stillness is key. The act of just closing our eyes for a second to meditate can reveal a new perspective to appreciate the tiny moments and everyday elements that surround us. In stillness, we often find the answers we’ve been searching for the entire time. I recently discovered this very important lesson accidentally. I was in a hurry to get out the door, occupied by jumbled thoughts for future posts and couldn’t find my set of keys. Tearing apart a path before me, I finally …

Bronx Rising: No Commission and the Politics of Ownership

Sway may not have had the answers for Kanye when it came to finding a Medici family to support his dreams of creating art freely outside of the confines of rhymes, beats and breaks. However, hip hop artist & producer Swizz Beatz and his Dean Collection are fulfilling this patronage act in an unexpected arena- the high-brow world of art dealing. Through his No Commission: Art Performs series, Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean is helping both established and emerging artists like Swoon and Delphine Diallo bypass “the man” in the form of sales & gallery representation by empowering artists to display and sell their work directly to the highest stakeholders with no frills attached. The radical factor which some view as naive is that zero costs are associated with being included in his tightly curated shows along with having 100% of proceeds go straight to the artists’ pockets. Swizz’s philosophy behind this experimental model, “If you free the artist, you free the world,” stems from the idea of allowing living, working artists to enjoy the fruits …

6 Real Life Lessons from Adult Summer Camp

A few weeks ago, I was invited by uber-cool blogger, Kelley Louise of The Culture Collective, to be participate in the inaugural weekend of Camp Shock Top, an adult summer camp in partnership with Camp No Counselors and California brewery, Shock Top, with the simple motto of “living life unfiltered” while retreating back to childhood shenanigans with a host of strangers in the heart of The Adirondack Mountains. Here are notes from this nostalgic, pop-culture laden trip w/ a boozy twist… Summer’s here and the official adult in me envies every kid that easily yelled, “School’s out!” and cast all responsibilities aside until the fall. Instead, with 100+ emails sitting in my inbox queue, I’m contemplating the meaning of life while trying to devise an ultimate life hack that will bring back the glory days of being a kid with the added benefits of not being told what to do. Luckily, in comes Camp Shock Top, the latest adult summer camp collaboration with Camp No Counselors that’s aimed at bringing back that old loving feeling of …

Postcards from the Edge

Dignity above all else speaks volumes. Inside our hearts, we are all born kings and queens… Spotted this underserved king on the streets of Varanasi and was instantly moved by his regal stature. I decided to not focus on his eyes because his struggle is not mine to interpret. But, observing him within this moment gave me an undeniable sense of calm about whatever was to come and his stillness was as vibrant as the noise within the streets… xo KO   Varanasi // Uttar Pradesh, India   Instagram | Twitter  

An Introvert’s Guide to Travel

Fun Fact: I’m an extroverted introvert…the worst kind possible because no one begs to think we exist. I’m equally fueled by human interaction as much as I am easily drained by said social interactions. A little part of me dies whenever I have to commit to plans, peel myself off the couch, say bye to my #bae, Netflix to head outside and interact with people…especially lots of random people! Once I get out of my own way and dart into the world, I of course couldn’t imagine a life without exploring but the steps getting there can be quite treacherous depending on my mood. I’ve found that one of the best remedies comes from building in mini breaks between commutes to fully recharge before immersing in social situations. Here are some fun ways that I’ve found helpful with hanging onto “me-time” while navigating through various points of my journey… OVERSIZED HEADPHONES Not only made for blocking out the wails of screaming babies, oversized headphones are also a stylish way of placing a visual do-not-disturb sign …

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How to Recover from Rose-Colored Glasses

We’ve all had this fantasy at some point in our lives. You meet a dashing stranger in passing and spark an instant, soul-searing connection. On this fateful day, you chat for hours and imagine how you’ve never encountered each other before but are certain you’ve met in a past life. Dopamine and euphoria cloud your better judgment and your instincts become heavily reliant on emotions and the “feels” of falling fast and hard in love – though often times it’s a whole lotta lust! Like the hopeless romantic you are, you decide to be spontaneous despite what logic tells you and agree to hit the road together on a quest to turn this fairy tale into a reality of sweet nothings. This all sounds beautiful in theory but can realistically turn into the biggest nightmare of a first date if you ignore certain cautionary signs along the way. I’ve been down this road before hopping on a plane and traveling out west for a weekend with a guy I only met just shy of a …

The Road Home: Marching from Selma to Montgomery

One plane. Two feet. Three breaths. Four different thoughts flickering back and forth like a light bulb spiraling out of energy. Step after step after step definitions of purpose circle my brain as I move from point A to B, trepidation to resolve. I had been tapped by the State of Alabama and the National Park Service to partake in their 50th Anniversary Walking Classroom where 300 people from across all U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, would congregate and reenact the historic Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights – 54 miles for five days straight. We would learn and document firsthand experiences from some of the original foot soldiers, like Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Frederick D. Reese who walked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, and I was afraid of debasing a legacy that made relatively cold, still gravel appear like shiny rose petals beneath my feet. This was holy ground, and I was sullied in this matrimony of thought as freedom of choice is something that I’ve tasted all my …

Candid Chats w/ KO

Last year at BlogHer15’s Experts Among Us conference in New York City, I met fellow blogger, Liv of Unbelievably Human and we connected on travel and life experiences. I invited Liv to be a part of my #100DaysofConfessions project and she equally had a few questions of her own for me regarding thoughts on travel and self-love. View our candid conversation below! Has travel always been apart of your background? or Did something call you to Travel? Travel has always been in my genes and from birth I’ve been nomadic due to having parents from different cultural backgrounds creating a delicate tight rope between America and Africa. Tracing where I was born and raised always turns into a geography lesson of sorts with the most frequent stints in California, New York and Nigeria so roaming has always been a natural extension of who I am at my core. However, despite my frequent movement as a child, I truly didn’t appreciate the character growth that stems from travel until my junior year in college when I …