The Scoop - Lineo Kakole

Welcome, please introduce yourself. 
Lineo Kakole (better known as Dinewo or on Instagram as is a content creator, brand and experience designer, and the founder of Plus27Club, an undertaking connecting local creatives and entrepreneurs with skill challenges, resources, and a community of like-minded freelancers. This Pretoria-based brand whiz and certified geek-snack is also a creative collaborator and co-host on ‘Borotho,’ an upcoming podcast focused on breaking bread with African creators and innovators.

A multidisciplinary creative with an unquenchable passion for learning, inspired by the adage that you don’t honestly know something until you can teach it to someone else, Lineo has always been open about learning in public. Her pursuit of a fulfilling creative career has always been marked by a blend of learning with teaching to create succinct bites of valuable content and experiences for her online community of creatives and entrepreneurs.

When she’s not building bomb-ass brands or helping other creatives refine their craft and charge their worth, you can find Lineo doing leg-day every day, drinking water and twerking to Plan B by Megan Thee Stallion.

What Qualification do you have?
Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication Design

Your company name?

Please supply us with all your digital links/handles and hashtags.

What inspired you to start your own company/business?
My journey has been wild, I started my business. After completing my degree at Open Window, I became a full-time pastor and creative director at a local church. While there, I managed a small team of graphic designers and videographers. Together we created content for social media, film and television, as well as digital and print communication. I was responsible for concept development, marketing material development and supporting print and digital collateral for all events and campaigns: at a church for three years.

The work environment was highly harmful, and I often worked between 16 and 36-hour shifts. In 2020, everything reached a boiling point, and I ended up in the ICU.  I knew everything had to change. I resigned with no prospects, plans or relevant agency experience. I settled for a junior designer role at a small agency and started freelancing in March 2021 to generate a decent income, but more importantly, carve out the kind of career I actually wanted.

I took to social media to find clients. I participated in brief challenges, completing passion projects that would help me create a portfolio resembling the work I wanted to do. I was doing something I like to call “Learning in public.” Instead of waiting for perfection, experience and expertise, I chronicled the highs and lows of my freelancing and entrepreneurial journey, growing a community of like-minded local creatives and connecting to clients that resonated with me.

Can you give us a bit of a bio on your company?
The internet permeates every part of our daily lives. Our purchase decisions have shifted, influenced by the constant inpouring of purchase options and opportunities. Perhaps your granny bought a product simply for its utility, but today people signal personal identity through brand preferences. Meaning is the new act of production. We want brands to be ‘human,’ with feelings and beliefs behind them. We’re constantly looking for stories that confirm the way we see ourselves. Today, I, through, craft meaningful brands for creatives, content marketers and internet entrepreneurs. My services include brand discovery, identity design, responsive website design and campaign and content strategy development.

Any favourite Hobbies?
My favourite activities include twerking, reading, buying myself flowers and critiquing human behaviour (yeah, I do that for fun). I’m addicted to coffee, finding new ways to never have to leave my apartment and listening to music instead of going to therapy.

Who inspires you in your practice?
I don’t think I have one person who inspires me. I am inspired by the reach of Karabo Poppy’s creative career, Fungi Dube’s appreciation for and dedication to Africa, Imani Elliss’ zeal for platforming black creativity, Lotta Niemenen’s minimal design style, Jessica Walsh’s commitment to colour, Nandi Dlepu’s deep connection to local creatives and community building, and Puno Puno’s embrace of what she terms “slashies”: multidisciplinary creatives proficient at many things, who embrace their seemingly conflicting interests, bringing them together to add value and novelty to the world. Also, Chris Do. I was so close to being a real girl’s girl, but Chris Do’s entrepreneurial mind is unmatched.

Problems and insults inspire me too. My toxic trait is that nothing inspires me more than people think I can’t do something. Tell me I can’t; because I can and I will. Observing culture and human behaviour has always been part of my personality. I remember being the kid that always asked: why. Finding answers has always been at the root of everything that inspires me.

What did you major in at OW?
Communication Design and Interaction Design

When did you graduate?
Apr 2018

How do you get past a creative block?
I don’t believe in “Creative block,” at least not in the way people traditionally use the term. When struggling to create, it always points to something larger than any project I am working on. Creative block to me means my routine, health and happiness are impaired in one or another area of my life. If my concept development ability is stuck, I look at my sleep first, then water intake, exercise, friendships and relationships and sometimes social media habits. I have a personal mood board on Pinterest where I save things that inspire joy, remind me of milestones I’d like to reach and demonstrate what a happy life looks like for me. Overcoming creative block usually means finding out what’s disturbing my life at large and getting realigned with what I want my whole life to be. Then the magic flows.

What lessons have you learned when working with difficult clients?
I don’t think any client is “difficult.” When I’ve experienced challenging projects and working dynamics with a client, it’s usually because I did not qualify the client before taking them on. Knowing your worth as a service provider is something most creatives are not familiar with. My greatest lesson in freelancing and entrepreneurship over the past year is: not everyone is for you, and you’re not for everyone. Doing the work early to ensure you’re working with clients you’re truly aligned with will save you from “difficult” clients.

Describe your creative process.
I’m pretty methodical. All of my processes are documented, which is the key to me having the budding career I have now. I work with apps like Dubsado and Asana to automate my process so that I always know what to do next. Sometimes, what people call “creative block” is just a case of not knowing what to do next because you work out of your head instead of using a tried and tested to-do list. Ironically, the rigidity of my process allows me to use all of my creative capacity on concept development and creating instead of wasting brain space by constantly stressing about what to do next.

How do you stay informed on“ industry/practice” and trends?
Aside from my natural tendency towards observing and critiquing human behaviour and culture, I read; a lot, and I’m not talking about just books. I read articles and use a nifty app called Pocket to organise articles relevant to key industry trends, client projects I’m working on and topics of interest, like Artificial Intelligence and its impact on creativity and marketing or overlapping fashion trends. Fashion trends and graphic design trends are almost always and sync. This is so convenient for me because I love fashion and follow fashion trends to help me sus out what to expect in branding and user experience design.

What are your favourite songs at the moment?
In the first place, we have Plan B by Megan The Stallion. Next, F*ck Y’all (feat SiR) by Arin Ray. Dlala by Zingah, Earth is Ghetto by Alliah Sheffllied, and before I go on forever, I’ll close with The World is Yours by AKA.

Interesting Podcasts?
01 Financial Feminist by Her First 100k (Tori Dunlap)
02 Morning Brew by Lwazi Madonsela
03 Better: The Brand Designer Podcast by Jen Davis & Esther Knox-Dekoning
04 Bootstrapped Stories by Guillaume Moubeche
05 Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel by Esther Perel Global Media & Gimlet

Most binge-worthy Series?
Squidgame. That’s the last time I binged anything.

Favourite free online resources?
I haven’t used free resources in so long. I’ve found the things that work for me and am happy to invest in them. I create content and creative career advice for creatives on my page and run a brief practice community called @plus27club for free. Those are my favourite FREE online resources, and I HIGHLY recommend you try them.

Go-to creative snack?
Salami Sticks from Woolworths Food. Period. I also snack on expensive chocolate and apples.

Any New Year’s resolutions?
To be happy. I’m not even short: my one resolve for 2023 is happiness.

How do you balance your personal artistic expression with client work?
I work with people who run businesses I would’ve started if I wasn’t a designer and whose personal taste and artistic expression align with mine. This automatically makes client collaboration more enjoyable because we like similar things. Being vocal and open on social media has allowed e to be discovered by prospective clients who’ve fallen in love with my style and expertise long before project kickoff and view working with me as a privilege. Working with people who respect you and are actually paying you for YOUR artistic expression establishes a healthy dynamic and makes compromise on both sides much smoother.

What alternative career path would you follow if you weren’t creative?
I would be a Financial Manager. I was actually accepted at TUKS for a degree in Financial Management but decided to go to Open Window’s orientation week instead in 2015.

Advice for those who are starting their own business/freelance journey?
Start. Most of us always “starting”, but we never “start.” I know that getting real-world experience is mandatory at Open Window in 3rd year, but When I was studying at Open Window, I started working in 2nd year after I had gained decent enough skills from first year. One thing that I didn’t do that I would add to that is: share your work. The earlier you start and share, the better your chance of succeeding as a freelancer. My biggest challenge as a freelancer (ironically) is financial and business acumen. Had I started and shared my work before I was financially responsible for myself, it would have been much easier to find my flow and create momentum in my career without worrying about paying bills every month.