Stay Woke by Jamaali Roberts

Day 14 — Poster posted on February 13, 2023

Jamaali Roberts

Pronouns: He/him
Located: Atlanta, GA

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Jamaali I am an experienced designer with a demonstrated history of working in the creative industry of visual arts. Skilled in sales, murals, acrylic painting, Adobe suite, and Youth arts Education. I hold Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Fine/Studio Arts, from Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Family, hip-hop, ancestral connections are the roots of my interest. I use visual, musical, educational tools to share the wealth of information I have garnered over time and encourage my peers to achieve more in their own fields. I love to work collaboratively with other professional artists and organizations, in order to gain new perspectives and create projects with larger impact.

What is the inspiration behind your poster design?

I was inspired for this poster to create an image similar to the old trope of someone who sells contraband out of their jacket. I believe that in modern times staying woke means that you are partaking in gaining knowledge that some other people do not want you to understand. staying woke for me means understanding the benefits of health mindset and personal direction. I believe that knowledge of the truth is similar to holding contraband today and those that share conspiracies or truths are silenced or gaslit. My character is a cyberpunk themed knowledge dealer.

Why do you love being creative?

I love being creative because it allows me to express my innermost thoughts and it also allows me to connect with others who like pop culture video games and visual art just like myself.

Tell us about your experiences in the design world…

My experience as a designer and a black designer has been one of ups and downs. I have seen other creators that are not of color get deals and opportunities before me, I have also been able to take a vantage of deals and opportunities that were available to only Black people. This was especially true during the pandemic when Black Lives Matter and other activist groups across the country were engaging in beautifying neighborhoods that were shut down. I’ve had to deal with racists on mural jobs I’ve had to deal with outside discrimination outside of art as well.

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

Make sure that we have black hiring managers on teams that value inclusivity.

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

We need to invest more in our local communities. And educating youth on financial and tech literacy.

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