a powerful big cat

about me

{pronunciation:} fah-BAY-koo fah-too-MEE-shay

{pronouns:} he / him

firstly, i’m a human being.

with all the beauty + mess + gaps + glory that involves.

imperfect. but growing.

some days i appreciate that. some days, less so.

and, while human, i do my evolving best to be humane.

i’m also a son.

and a grandson.

offspring of my Ancestors.

an adoptee.

caretaker of an internet famous cathead named after a bass player in a punk band.

i’m someone who values hope.

the real kind.
with roots.
not the empty rahrah! kind.

forever curious.

still.
almost always.

i’m a poetic pragmatist.

i appreciate beauty-that-builds.

a people-loving introvert.

diligent listener-to-future-selves.

mine.
and yours.

someone who feels a lot + thinks too much, but builds anyway.

a student of devotion.

believes in Grace.

takes no shit.

i’m not {always} easy.

but i’m effective.

a black and white photo of fabeku fatunmise

photo: runa bird

next: i’m an artist.

i don’t remember a time when i wasn’t making art.

art-as-painting.
art-as-writing.
art-as-jewelry-making.
art-as-design.
art-as-cooking.
art-as-body-modification.
art-as-divination.
art-as-loving.
art-as-business.
art-as-community.

i make art because it makes more sense to me than anything ever has.

i make art because i don’t like who-and-how i am when i don’t.

i make art to see + to understand + to let go + to lift + to invoke + to reshape + to reconcile.

i make art because child-me didn’t think future-me could keep making art.

i make art because my dad couldn’t.

i make art because my root belief is that the world needs more creative humans inhabiting their creativity.

more now than ever.

i make art because it’s the way i know what’s real + true + enduring + meaningful.

i make art because it’s how i know what love looks like + where truth lives.

it’s how i see soul.

i’ve spent tens of thousands of hours making marks.

and, now, after so much that wasn’t this, i’m happy with the art i make.

i’m at peace with it.

i’m proud of it.

i appreciate what it is + why it is + what it does + where it comes from.

and i know, intimately. from lived experience, how to help other people get there, too.

that my art has looked like so many things speaks to a commitment to + covenant with creativity-in-all-forms, in-all-people.

an unapologetic-and-unwavering dedication to the
exquisite generative impulse in me + you + god + life + world, more
fierce + more sustained + more beautiful than nearly anything else i’ve known.

to me, at the core, art isn’t about the form it takes.

an artist isn’t {only} someone who puts paint on canvas or sets words to music.

creativity isn’t the domain of the chosen.

it’s for anyone who chooses.

being alive is art.

and.

i’m a teacher.

i’ve been teaching for over thirty years.

sitting both one-on-one + with groups of students numbering into the hundreds-at-a-time.

i’ve taught on all facets of business building + divination + deep animist work + finding-and-feeding the soul of your artmaking {whatever your art is} + identity work + hono(u)ring the Elevated Ancestors + several forms of spiritual practice + so much more.

the pull to teach has been like a magnet since i was young.

recognized by friends + family + Elders.

for me, teaching is never about data.

there are bigger things happening when we sit together.

at the roots, there’s a homage-and-call to lineage, to transmission, to elevation, to community.

support in a way that makes your world different, better.

that makes community stronger + more real.
that gives you a clearer felt sense of who you are at your core.
that expands your sense of possibility.
that extends your ability to reach-and-do.
and that offers respect to the mighty-and-wise teachers who’ve taught me.

that’s why i teach.

and.

i’m also a business consultant.

over the last decade-or-so, i’ve worked with literally thousands of extraordinary creative humans from all around the world to build thriving businesses that actually work.

meaning they get built well, on strong foundations.

and they make good money in good ways.

and they’re sustainable.

all while bypassing all the gross marketing blahblah + breaking or ignoring almost every you-have-to-do-it-this-way rule.

because you don’t.

most important of all, these businesses are deeply coherent.

meaning true-to-you, real-for-you.

they feel like home.

wholly lined up with yourself + your way + your soul.

and, really, the focus isn’t just having a coherent business.

it’s being a fully coherent human.

i’ve worked with everyone from painters + chefs + fashion designers + writers + graphic geniuses + very-literal rockstars + psychologists + spiritual practitioners + poets + teachers-of-many-things.

and i’ve helped people at every level of business.

from just-started to fully-rooted.

i started doing consulting with creative humans because, when i was building the origins of this business years ago, i had to make the map from the ground up.

none of the advice fit me.

none of the strategies felt right.

so, i created all the maps + models + core building materials i needed from scratch.

which became the foundation of what i share with people who want a successful business, however you define success for you.

this body of work is different.

not the usual stuff you’ve seen a thousand times.

it has a different lineage.

different roots.

it’s precisely calibrated to the deepest roots of you.

it has to be.

and, most of all, it works.

i’ve been invited to teach on a number of literal-and-metaphorical stages + included in a number of books + interviewed on countless podcasts + even featured on the cover of a magazine.

i teach what i’ve lived + what i know.

because there’s inimitable power in lived experience.

and.

i’m a diviner.

i saw my first deck of tarot cards when i was nine.

they belonged to my friend’s mom.

from the second i saw them, i felt like they held the all the secrets of all the worlds.

a couple years later i had my own deck.

the Barbara Walker tarot.

i would sit under the covers, all night, looking at one card after another.

wanting to speak the language.
wanting to decode the mysteries.

i fell in love with divination.

a love affair that continues to this day.

i’ve spent the last several decades doing a deep dive into oracular language and mechanics + the practice of divination + what makes that practice effective {and what doesnt}.

a significant part of my education on effective divination has come through learning the Ifa’Orisa tradition, from the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria, from Indigenous + Indigenously-trained Elders.

through that, coupled with my initiation into that tradition, i learned several oracles found in Ifa practice.

these are some of the most complex + beautiful + potent + effective systems of divination that i’ve ever seen.

profound on all levels.

and, through the years, i’ve divined with everything i could get my hands on.

tarot cards.
playing cards.
dominoes.
candles.
stones.
found objects.
{for starters.}

i’ve also created a number of oracle systems, including a complex system of dice divination i constructed in the mid-90s that’s still in use today.

i taught this dice oracle to a couple hundred students in an extended training a handful of years ago.

and, beyond divination in the way we usually think of it, i know art-as-oracle.

i understand how to work in an oracular way with the marks you make.

whatever form those marks take.

i have deep lived experience in engaging with mark making as the source of the answers {and usually some brilliant questions} that move you forward – deeper – in real-and-meaningful ways.

how to sit, in deep listening together, with the marks you make + the inspiration behind them for insight + wisdom + guidance + concrete how-to that can’t be accessed in other ways.

this comes, in part, from a lifetime of my own mark making where my art + my spiritual practice has never been separate.

i’m alive today because of divination.

and it’s one of the cornerstones of my work + my world.

and.

i’m an author.

with two books – nonfiction + poetry – traditionally published.

and, over the last couple of decades, i’ve self-published several other projects.

i wrote my first book in third grade.

it was about monsters.

with full colo(u)r illustrations.

and a brown furry cover.

right now, i’m working to bring three more books – a nonfiction work + two volumes of art-and-poetry – to life.

and.

i’m a dauntless creative collaborator.

firmly in your corner with unshakable support.

and the willingness + skills to go to the roots of the literal essence of your creativity.

of what it is.
what it wants to be.
the voice behind it.
the source(s) of that voice.
what it has to say.
why it wants to say it.
how it wants to move through you + into the world.
{if that’s what you want it to do.}
and how to fully inhabit the potency of creative presence.

i have over forty years of mark making in my bones.

i know where-and-why-and-how we soar in our creative building.

and why we sink.

and how to sort that with speed.

i also know how to get to the non-metaphorical soul of your creative work.

how to engage in deep oracular conversations with it as a primary source of wisdom + guidance + truth.

and how to orient yourself to that soul so that you can live in + live from that space in all the ways you want.

i also have a gift for knowing where the gold is.

in what do + how you do it + what you say {and what you dont}.

and when we know where the gold is, we know what coherence looks like.

which, ultimately, is everything.

and the only thing.

facets

we all contain multitudes.

i tattooed myself {twice} when i was thirteen.

since then i’ve gotten thirty-something more tattoos.

my favo(u)rite shoes are sunshine yellow All Stars.

i like haute cuisine.

and instant mashed potatoes.

i’ve been friends with my first friend for 43 years.

we met in pre-school.

i know the Ancestors are always with us + that love never dies.

i’m glad i live in a world where cherry blossoms + fireflies + ajoite exist.

i love the word lewà.

and diaphanous.

and also cafuné + pulchritudinous.

polaroids make me feel nostalgic.

when i’m writing, i always read back whatever i wrote out loud in a very bad British accent.

i’m not British.

i could spend hours {and-hours-and-hours} looking at rocks.

fancy rocks.
regular rocks.
any rock.

i think, in some parallel-somewhere, there’s some parallel-me that’s a chef.

i make the most extraordinary peanut butter fudge.

once i wandered into a creek + found thousands of monarch butterflies sitting in the branches of a tree.

i found a holey stone in that same creek, on that same day.

Thelonious Monk sounds like a miracle.

lineage

a river does not flow and forget its source” — Yoruba proverb

none of us exist alone.

we all come from lineages that form the roots of who we are.

that shape the marks we make by the marks they’ve made.

i carry + am carried by

river + thunder
my Elevated Ancestors
Esin Orisa Ibile
Oba Adebolu Fatunmise
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Joey Ramone
Austin Osman Spare
Iya Adunni Olorisa
spray paint + gold leaf
Wassily Kandinsky
creek clay
Kentucky agate
J. Ruth Gendler
my dad’s dream
Salvador Dalí
Poly Styrene
clove cigarettes way-back-when
old skool record stores
Yusef Komunyakaa
Big Sur
Joan Miró
Ouattara Watts
black eyeliner + Doc Martens
Linton Kwesi Johnson
Akae Beka
William Burroughs
John Coltrane

questions i'm thinking on

how do we reorient, individually + communally, personally + professionally, as we move through this global moment?

how do we keep loving more?

where are the gaps in our understanding of {true} community + how do we skillfully fill them?

how do we root ourselves more richly in a sustained lived experience of the enduring love + healing power + unceasing support of our Elevated Ancestors?

who are we when we make the highest octave of the art that’s ours to make? what do we have to let go of to do that? what do we have to embrace?

if you’re interested in collaborating or bringing some art home, please be in touch.

i’m happy to hear from you + i reply to emails within 48 hours.

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