Let’s Get In Formation by Erika Sakata

Day 24 — Poster posted on February 23, 2023

Erika Sakata

Pronouns: She/Her/They/Them
Located: Kansas City, MO

Tell us about yourself:

Erika Sakata is a multi-medium artist largely focused on digital illustration, animation, and photography. Their work revolves around themes of personal identity, race, and sexual orientation. As an individual of Black and Japanese descent, they typically infuse intermingled elements of their culture into their pieces. They seek to combat gender stereotypes and the social pressures of having to adhere to a certain category to move through the world with peace. Sakata strives to convey their narrative as a bi-racial, queer individual through typically bright color palettes and sharp imagery.

What is the inspiration behind your poster design?

The inspiration behind the poster design lay behind the constant ability to be able to collaborate as a culture. We can forever work to come together to mend the cracks within our community that is fostered from worldly trauma and failed mental health systems. While heightening mental health programs within the Black community, we can gradually heal the emotional fallback from generational oppression, and together create a feeling of wholeness and togetherness.

Why do you love being creative?

Being creative serves as an outlet for me to funnel the inner joy and sometimes chaos in the mental realm into a physical and tangible form. Aligning color palettes and depicting imagery to portray personal stories serve as a strong and sunny beacon in my life.

Tell us about your experiences in the design world…

As a Black and multiracial designer, I feel a great advantage as I feel my dual cultures have strongly impacted the way I view the world, and in return: art. Both African American and Japanese cultures possess deep roots and influences, and I feel they impact the practices and color palettes I select for my art. As a biracial designer, I have also found it intuitive to carefully select sources where my pieces are placed that benefit my cultural communities.

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

A more inclusive design world starts with scouting and selecting diverse designers, illustrators, and artists from a plethora of backgrounds and ethnicities. I feel that authentic cultural storytelling can only earnestly be told by individuals that have truly experienced those stories. It can be ensured that black people are rightfully represented within the art community by bringing them up with other minority-owned businesses and galleries with shared and pure intentions. Black artists can also be rightfully represented by larger businesses within the creative community by scouting african american creatives for themes and stories unique to black individuals.

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

I believe we can make more equity within the Black community by creating and uplifting businesses, creative organizations, and art spaces, owned by african americans and other minority groups. I believe the bias, stereotypes, and grudges within our own marginalized communities will also need to subside in order for us to ascend together in greatness. I believe african american creatives and organizations can collaborate and gather together to raise one another up and gradually create blossoming opportunities for one another. The world is waiting for what we have to offer.

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