Urban Naturaliste: A Senior Thesis Project
Urban Naturaliste is a digital and print publishing platform focused on providing content on healing and spirituality to communities of color. The focus of Urban Naturaliste is to connect healers, intuitives and spiritual thought leaders to those who are actively seeking to connect with their ancestral roots and heal their trauma.
Our mission is to fill the need for transformational healing and radical self-care in communities of color in the United States. We believe that when you heal yourself, you heal those around you which is why we have chosen to target millennials, the largest generation since the baby boomers.
Urban Naturaliste is not just a publishing platform, but a community that takes into account varying aspects of accessibility and strives to be accessible to those who need healing the most. Our hope is to bridge the socio-economic gap that exists in the healing community by creating a product that is accessible to lower income people of color while still carrying a taste and eye for design that could fit well in upscale retail environments. In a country where people of color are facing racial, gender-based, sexual orientation based and religious-based violence, the need to heal from these daily traumatic events is more necessary than ever. That is why Urban Naturaliste is inclusive of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and ethnicities, but chooses to center those which are the most marginalized by society.
As a brand, we recognize the power of the written word, which is why we have chosen to focus on designing digital and printed informational resources, as well as the in-person workshops that we host. We hope to engage a new audience and foster a love for kinetic interaction with print by creating interactive print materials such as tarot cards, illustrated workbooks, and ritual guides.
Lili’u is a creative, spiritual and multi-faceted woman who is trying to connect with the magic of her past while bringing her historical lineage into the modern design world. My interview with Lili’u was both insightful and affirming for the mission of Urban Naturaliste. When asked about her influences she talked a lot about family and ancestry, which is something that completely resonated with me but is also something I haven’t emphasized as much as I could in the branding of Urban Naturaliste. She also talked about how her creative process and spiritual practice are one, which I is something that I am trying to emphasize in the content created for Urban Naturaliste. This interview allowed me to speak to my demographic and really understand the kinds of questions they have and how I can meet those needs. Overall this gave me a face to face look at my demographic and an insight into the complexity of trying to hold on to cultural and ancestral roots while working and living in a modern post-colonial society.