Africa by Kareen Cox

Day 24 — Poster posted on February 23, 2023

Kareen Cox

Pronouns: she/her
Located: London, United Kingdom

Tell us about yourself:

Kareen Cox is a muti-disciplinary creative. Her skillset covers graphic design, illustration and photography.

She has been commissioned for various public arts projects one of which includes a pedestrian crossing and has further exciting projects in the pipeline. She loves designing with bright colours with portraiture, typography and geometrics being among her favourite genres. As a digital artist, most of her works take shape on her tablet first. Highlights last year were a solo showcase of her personal art and speaking at a secondary school careers fair.

Her creative background lies in graphic design and she has over two decades of experience in creating advertising campaigns, corporate branding and marketing material.

Her parents originate from St Lucia and Barbados, and she grew up in central London. From an early age, she always enjoyed drawing but didn’t realise this could be a career choice. She says, “I count myself extremely lucky that I do what I love. When I have some rare downtime, I pick up my tablet and doodle. It doesn’t matter if nobody knows what it is. My art. My rules. When you can do that, and get paid for it, it really doesn’t feel like work.”

Kareen runs her freelance business, Absolutely Kareen, from home. She holds a BA Hons in Design and Media and resides in London.

What is the inspiration behind your poster design?

I initialy thought about doing a typographic based solution for this project but as my main body of work focuses mainly on strong, black, women, it made sense to continue down this route. African dress is very varied what with the type of clothes, and headresses and ornaments worn so I wanted to strike a balance. Which, hopefully, I’ve done.

Why do you love being creative?

Being creative is calming to my mind – unless I’m working on an impossible deadline or I have creative block. Generally, creativity is an outlet. It’s how I express myself. My thoughts about what’s happening in the world. My emotions. My joy.

Tell us about your experiences in the design world…

There isn’t many of us. Well…not in design. Or at least, this is my experience. I’ve worked in the design field for over two decades and have never worked alongside a black designer. I’d generally say that when I started my career that it was a male dominated world but I’m pleased to say that this is thankfully changing. I’ve done a lot of work in the public sector and they’re very conscious of ensuring that a variety of ethnicities are portrayed in their marketing material but royalty free image photography sites still need to catch up.

How can we create a more inclusive design world and ensure that Black people are represented?

It has to start high up. Black people need to be included in the decisions that are made in the larger companies and organisations. They need to hold political positions. Ensure that this representation carries over to marketing material.

In general… How can we make more equity or equality for us?

Join community groups. Have your say. And don’t lose your vote!

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