When I grow up I want to be just like you
There's nothing better than women supporting women and I'm especially here for black women supporting black women. In this post I will be fan-girling over 5 black illustrators that I'm completely obsessed with and if you haven't already seen their work, I would suggest you checking them out.
Shae/ She is This
Shae is the creator of She Is This, based in Atlanta. Her illustrations are all about women of colour embracing everything that comes with their skin and celebrating it. Her illustrations are super colourful and fun. Her unique drawing style is what initially drew my eye to her amazing work. I absolutely adore her mix of colours and prints, making her work playful and positive. She has an online store where her prints are available for purchase. Her littles collection could be a great addition to a young girls room, as they feature cute outfits, positive text on the clothing and a range of natural hair hairstyles. The other lovely touch with her pieces is that they are all named, i.e. Nella, Jayda, Tiana.
If you'd like to check out more of her work, her website is: https://www.sheisthis.com/
Instagram - sheisthisdesigns
Jade Purple Brown
Jade Purple Brown is a New York based artist. Her work is also super bright and playful. She creates work with the intent to promote messages of optimism and embracing your individuality. She also created an illustrated book which features 50 quotes by inspiring women, named Words To Live By. She has collaborated with some big brands, such as Nike, Toyota and Sephora. Although her illustrations may have quite simple elements, she is really effective in the way she puts them together. And her colour theory is amazing, making the pieces very pleasing to the eye and inspiring me to grab my tablet and start drawing.
If you'd like to check out more of her work, her website is: https://jadepurplebrown.com/
Instagram - jadepurplebrown
Her book is available via- Words To Live By
Alexis Eke is a Toronto based illustrator. Her work has a more contemporary feel, featuring more muted colours. Her work explores strong black women and their relationship with God. The white lines featured in her pieces are meant to represent the connection between our influences, actions and ourselves, as well as the idea of "walking in the light" which is spoken about in John 11:10. Her pieces have a very powerful weight behind them and I feel this is due to how strong her beliefs are and the questions she asks both of herself and of us as the viewers. She asks us to reflect on ourselves and think about all the things that affect us and whether they are positively affecting us. Her work is heavily influenced by traditional Japanese art and renaissance portraits. Her work evokes quite a serene, tranquil feel with an aesthetically pleasing elegance you can't help but gravitate towards.
If you would like to check out more of her work, her website is: https://www.alexiseke.com/
Instagram - alexis.eke
Mlle Belamour is an artist based in France. Her work is more embellished than the previous illustrators I have discussed as she also incorporates text into the majority of her pieces as well as a more detailed focus on the background. Creating a scene rather than just a character design. Her colour scheme relies heavily on quite earthy colours with a lot of rich browns and greens. She posts her illustrations in both French and English with most of the wording spoken as if from the illustrated woman within the piece. Mlle is one of my Instagram finds that I was really happy with coming across. Her pieces come across quite sassy and has a great vibe about them.
If you'd like to check out more of her work, you can via her Instagram - mllebelamour
Art by Princella
Princella is a digital artist based in Russia. Her Instagram feed has a really beautiful flow to it with her working in predominantly brown, beige and sand tones. Her work champions black women and self love, with her warm tones in the background and characters creating a very pleasing symmetry. Her feed is well constructed and as a fellow illustrator I find her work truly inspiring and motivating. Her composition always works really well, as although the majority of her backgrounds are quite simple they are positioned in the best way to interact and highlight the illustrated woman.
If you'd like to check out more of her work, you can via her Instagram - artbyprincella
Having such great artists/illustrators to follow and absorb their work helps to motivate me when it comes to my own illustrations. Viewing their work evokes an insistence that I want to create work to their standard and incites the motivation to do so. As I continue to illustrate, I become more confident in my work and as they say, practice makes perfect. (Not that I believe in perfection so i'd rather say that I get to a point where I feel absolute pride in my work.)
Sera Rae - growing and soon to be glowing