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Block Magazine

Creativity has its place
Issue 25



BY: Sarah Steinberg

PHOTO BY: Justin Yong

Kwame Essien has distilled his creative philosophy into a three-letter acronym: FFW. It stands for “fun, funny and weird,” and he injects this into everything he does, whether it’s L’Oeuvre, his fashion-forward e-commerce site; a digital creative agency; or a soon-to-be-launched gallery. His office on Toronto’s King Street West, designed with help from Tom Chung, is maximalist and timeless. It’s also incredibly tidy.

Office space with desk, mac computer, chairs and large portrait photo on wall.

1. Hotaru Buoy Pendant Lamp
“Initially, we wanted a Noguchi, which was going to take 14 weeks. So we ended up going to Design Within Reach on King to get this bootleg version.”

2. Neva Wireko’s Blue Animal
“Neva wanted to capture toxic masculinity in the Black community, but to me, this is an artistic representation of myself. This was her first sell, which is shocking.”

3. Computer
“This is where the magic happens. This is where I conceive ideas. You can see Cat Tinder here, a digital game I conceived.”

4. Knit Doll
“My friend Habiba Esaad made and sold these, donating the proceeds to Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, a community health centre. I call him Fro Dawg, and he does my taxes.”

5. Novembre Magazine
“A huge inspiration of mine. I love how fun and weird it is. I try to employ a lot of the same ideas when I’m creating. If I don’t enjoy the process, then what’s the point?”

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