Celebrating 30 Illustrators, Painters, and Artists of the African Diaspora
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1. My name is Odera Igbokwe. I am a fantasy illustrator and you might know me from projects such as my redesigns from the cast of Sailor Moon/Melanin Mythologies.
I launched Melanin Mythologies to help create more visibility for people of color in fantasy and science fiction. You can check it out here.
What prompted this project was exploring the spectrum of amazing illustration and artwork coming from people of the African Diaspora. This curated collection features african americans, africans, afrolatinos, mixed people, and work as diverse and beautiful as the magical intersectional people highlighted.
This is a sample of the collection, but you can find more detailed and personal writeups of each artist here. Be sure to follow each of the artists who are absolutely spectacular. And you can follow me on Tumblr, FB, Instagram, or Twitter.
2. Thomas Blackshear is an illustration legend. Check out his radiant oil painting called “Night In Day.”
Blackshear now creates a line of spectacular figurines called Ebony Visions.
3. Louis Mailou Jones is one of the founding mothers of the Harlem Renaissance who lead the way for many painters, illustrators and art educators today.
Lois Mailou Jones
4. Aaron Douglas, is a master of telling stories with his iconic imagery. We can’t speak of black illustrators or the Harlem Rennaissance without mentioning his legacy.
"Aspiration" by Aaron Douglas
5. Leo and Diane Dillon, the dynamic duo who create absolutely magic book illustrations.
The Dillons are illustration royalty. Be sure to check out their legacy and breadth of artwork.
Rest in peace and rest in power, Leo Dillon.
6. K.L. Ricks is a contemporary freelance illustrator and cartoonist.
7. Wangechi Mutu creates haunting works, transmutates bodies, and battles misogynoir with her painting and collage works.
8. Asiey Barbie provides a stunning take on Steven Universe’s Gem War.
9. Chris Visions is a comic artist and illustrator extraordinaire.
10. Njideka Akunyili-Crosby describes an afro-diasporic, intergenerational, interracial slice of life with this painting.
11. Gyimah Gariba creates breathtaking illustrations, visual development work and animations based on black culture and intersectionality
12. Jerry Pinkney has had a rich career spanning decade with award-winning picture books.
13. Shadra Strickland shines as a contemporary picture book illustrator and educator.
14. Kat Blaque is well known for her fantastic YouTube channel, but is also an absolutely stunning illustrator.
15. Paul Davey, also known as Mattahan, is a masterful illustrator.
16. Paulo D. Campos explores Brazilian folklore with his own unique visual language.
17. Tiffany Ford, a cartoonist, comic maker and illustrator, creates gorgeous images while working on some of your favorite cartoons.
18. Saina Six combines art nouveau with gorgeous African patterning for magical results.
19. Chris Kindred creates work that hits you with reality while still being fantastical and imaginative.
20. Nneka Myers creates character designs and visual development that’s full of so much life and energy.
21. Charles Chaisson is a master of portraiture and storytelling, check out his stunning take on FKA twigs.
Follow Charles on Instagram.
22. Jay Bendt creates stunning illustrations with a beautiful range of emotions while also co-creating a webcomic called Nightshade.
23. Chioma Ebinama of Chioma Studio creates work crafted around myth, magic, femininity and cross-cultural diasporic feels.
Follow Chioma on Tumblr.
24. Kadir Nelson is a master of telling stories with his paintings. You have probably seen his work on some of your favorite musical albums or book covers.
25. Lady Garland is a freelance animator and comic artist. Check out her take on Alice In Wonderland and her webcomic The Wind Children.
26. Ronald Wimberly is a designer, storyteller and artist with an incredibly rich body of work.
27. Richie Pope creates masterful illustrations full of life, texture and thought-provoking symbology.
28. Shannon Wright balances thought-provoking editorial illustrations with her love for comics, character design and the fantastic.
29. Kehinde Wiley is a master of portrait painting who reimagines, transforms and recontextualizes the identity of black people
30. Leland Goodman is an illustrator, animator and designer of characters and environments. She does it all. Check out her promotional illustration for her rockin’ comic, Basement Dwellers, coming out in April.
There is so much beauty and such a spectrum of illustrators, painters and artists of the African Diaspora. I couldn’t possibly fit them all in one post. Be on the lookout for more updates on the Twitter thread, Facebook album, or Tumblr tag.