I am a budding artist, illustrator and designer inspired by my background growing up in the Caribbean and my experiences with learning about natural hair and the extended community.
My work usually aims to uplift and empower black women and increase diversity through promoting features like their skin and their natural hair. For the phrase, ‘Black Girl Magic’ I wanted to emphasize the beauty of the curl patterns of natural hair. Part of what makes black girls so magical is their ability to persevere through discrimination by wearing their natural hair despite it not being celebrated by the wider society.
I love being creative because not only is it a way that I can self-reflect and process my moods, it is a way that I can connect to others through my art in a way that transcends language. It is also a way that people may know me and gain an insight into how I feel without having to meet me.
I have always lacked connections in the wider design world. To alleviate that I joined a community on Slack called, ‘Where are the Black designers?’ where I met and interacted with black designers from all over the world. I’ve seen that it’s harder for us to get positions, to have access to skills and those of us who are in design positions often face discrimination or microaggressions.
I think places like the Slack spaces I mentioned would be a good first step. Black creatives and designers need more spaces of support where they can meet and collaborate. Also, the black creatives that do manage to succeed in higher positions should reach back to up and coming creatives to provide guidance and encouragement, ultimately leading to more black designers in the space.
Projects like this one are a great start in building a network of black designers. To make the biggest difference, change will have to come from the top. If we have black creatives in higher positions, it is important they use their power to pave the way for newer designers by mitigating discrimination. This way, there will be more and more black creatives in spaces that would have otherwise not welcomed them.