“Diversity is the spice of life,” as the saying goes — and I whole-heartedly agree. In addition to my design and coding projects (my “work”), I have several other creative “side” projects — some ongoing, others completed — that have all contributed in some form to my work and design sensibility. Here are a few recent/notable examples:
Book Project: Djoliba Crossing
Djoliba Crossing: Journeys into West African Music and Culture, is a book written and illustrated by Dave Kobrenski. (182 pages, with over 70 full color illustrations)
“Between 2001 and 2013, I traveled extensively in West Africa to study the traditional music and culture of the Malinké people of Guinea. Being immersed in the culture of remote African villages forced me to reckon with my notions of the Africa I thought I knew, and challenged my perceptions of the world we live in...”
Djoliba Crossing is a celebration of Mande culture, as well as an adventure tale of cultural discovery…and of seeking one’s own identity far from home. Filled with narrative stories and historical research, and illustrated with the author’s own drawings, paintings, and music transcriptions, Djoliba Crossing depicts a beautiful and often strange land balancing between the world of its ancient traditions and the frontier of modern ideals — and chronicles an artist’s journey deep into realms of the unexpected.
Dave Kobrenski: Art and Music
An ongoing collection of my original drawings and paintings can be found on my website, davekobrenski.com.
Most recently, I completed work on a series of drawings depicting people I met while traveling in remote regions of Guinea, West Africa. This particular collection is named The Kouyasidia Project, after the name of one of the villages where I spent a considerable amount of time.
A full write-up about this project, and the people/travels that inspired it, is published on Medium.com here.
Kassa Flute Co.
While living in West Africa, I studied the traditional Fula flute with a master of the tradition, named Lancine Condé. In addition to spending many years learning the repertoire of Malinké music played on this beautiful instrument, I learned how to make the flutes themselves.
In 2014 I started a company & website devoted to the craft of making these flutes, and flutes can be custom-ordered from the site!
Learn more about the Kassa Flute Co. at kassaflutes.com