#DrawingWhileBlack: Highlighting African Artists You Never Knew About

#DrawingWhileBlack is hands down one of the best trends the internet has ever seen. The hashtag trend, started by Ghanaian-American artist Annabelle, was created to appreciate and celebrate black artists worldwide. The trend did way more than that; it brought out hundreds of crazy talented artists we had absolutely no idea about. For us, the best part is that about 44% of #DrawingWhileBlack posts were from black people here in Africa! Even the tweet with the highest retweets/shares of all posts on the hashtag came from Ghanaian artist Benjamin Kwashie! *dances excitedly*

We took the time to sift through the beauty that is #DrawingWhileBlack and compiled some of our favourite posts by not-so-popular artists around the continent. If you love them (they’ll definitely give you goosebumps), do share, follow and support their talents.

Don’t forget to share this article too (please and thanks).

Enjoy!

For even more art goodness, check out KaDi‘s favourite #DrawingWhileBlack moments.

By Fafa Macauley.

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Giveaway: Win Free Art Prints From Brilliant Nigerian Illustrator, Etubi Onucheyo

If you love great digital art, African comics, Mumu Juju, comedy and are presently in Nigeria, Christmas came really early for you via the new Santa, Etubi Onucheyo!

How you ask? Through his Mumu 5k Giveaway where he gives away three out of 20 pieces in his “this is who we are but you didn’t care” series.

Why? To celebrate the 5 thousand lovely Instagram accounts that follow him and his fantastic portfolio.

Continue reading “Giveaway: Win Free Art Prints From Brilliant Nigerian Illustrator, Etubi Onucheyo”

Keeping Up With the Continent: The First Kugali Comics Anthology

Following the instalment of annual events awarding iconic comic artists in Africa and the diaspora is the new innovation that is the Kugali Magazine. It is a monthly magazine by Kugali Media complete with over 60 pages of exclusive art, interviews and a selection of the best comics from across the continent.  Continue reading “Keeping Up With the Continent: The First Kugali Comics Anthology”

Must-Read African Comics for the Long Easter Break

Easter holidays in Ghana (and possibly the rest of the world) mean a long weekend when most of us get to take a break from work. Some people visit family and friends, others go out to chill. Others like us, snuggle in bed and binge on all the things they’ve been unable to keep up with. If you’re big on fresh and unique forms of African entertainment, this list of African comics will hold you down this holiday season.  Continue reading “Must-Read African Comics for the Long Easter Break”

Nubiamancy: Scoping Black Magic Through Art with Asante Massawa

If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for brilliant art that’s seasoned with black/African spice, Nubiamancy is it. It is an online goldmine that promotes some of the most amazing art depicting sci-fi, fantasy, mysticism and horror from and for a black/African perspective.

Nubiamancy aims to inspire creativity – to showcase works based on African mysticism and alternative forms of Afrocentricity – and to promote creators such as La’Vata E. O’NealGbenle Maverick, Venus BambisaSetor Fiadzigbey, Marcus Williams and more, who are spreading these sci-fi narratives through their creations. Continue reading “Nubiamancy: Scoping Black Magic Through Art with Asante Massawa”

Nigeria Boasts Incredible Illustrators – Farabale’s Artbeat 100 is Proof!

Nigeria boasts some crazy talented illustrators and the cool minds at Farabale (pronounced fah-rah-bah-leh) want you and the rest of the world to admit it. They’ve bundled some really spectacular art into a digital zine that’s up for free download on this pageContinue reading “Nigeria Boasts Incredible Illustrators – Farabale’s Artbeat 100 is Proof!”

Africa Needs Warriors And Not Superheroes

It’s a beautiful day in the park and everything is going just fine. Kids are flying their kites, old buddies laugh as they reminisce the good old days. There’s a teenage couple making out in one corner and forcing the singles to either look on enviously or cringe in disapproval thinking,  sheesh, can’t they get a room already?!

Then suddenly, boom! You look around and it’s this whack job with crazed out powers ranting on about his superiority and blasting everything, and everyone in sight. He notices a scared and lost looking little girl. He slowly moves towards her while the crowd flees in selfish terror and you can’t help but empathize with the little girl. All hope is lost. Or is it?

A quick blur strikes back against the villain out of nowhere! You turn around and before you is somebody in colorful spandex, buffed up and if you’re lucky, probably rocking a cape – a mask could work as well.

He looks a tad scrawny, but cape or not, you know he’s gonna deal a beating beyond any creature’s pain threshold. Oh he’s so gonna help that whack job with a GPS to jail.

Cool story but one problem, you conclude. Does Africa need this? Continue reading “Africa Needs Warriors And Not Superheroes”

November is a Celebration of African Comic Covers

We started the month on a pretty interesting note, by showcasing covers of comics from creators across the continent on our Instagram page. We will feature a comic cover, every day through the month.  Continue reading “November is a Celebration of African Comic Covers”

Inktober in Africa: A Collection of Our Favorites

For the love of illustration, October is a wow month! Continue reading “Inktober in Africa: A Collection of Our Favorites”

Bright Ackwerh – Ghana’s Genius Satiric Illustrator

Bright Ackwerh - Contemporary Artist of Our Time. Photo & Words by Abdulero Photography.
Bright Ackwerh – Contemporary Artist of Our Time. Photo & Words by Abdulero Photography.

The indescribable euphoria I felt when I first learned about illustrator BRIGHT ACKWERH’s work still hovers around me. As a newcomer to his work, I deliberately shut off people’s opinions for an organic, intimate experience. My first engagement came via Kenyan based Ghanaian musician, Delasi’s Thought Journey album debut.

Delasi's Thought Journey album cover illustrated by Bright.
Delasi’s Thought Journey album cover illustrated by Bright via CulArtBlog.

The album cover was so captivating it literally sang me the album. With a voracious appetite, I tore apart Google and Facebook, sniffing out and consuming his unbelievable, unapologetic catalog. I was, many times, so overwhelmed by his brilliance I had to blink back tears to compensate.

Bright on Kennedy Agyapong and Afia Schwarzenegger's love war.
Bright on Kennedy Agyapong and Afia Schwarzenegger’s love war.

Sweet, sweet vulgarism probably best describes his work, something he acknowledges by terming his work, very graphic. There is also a noticeable tint of French slapstick in his larger than life caricatures that gently pull up the corners of your lips.

#Ghandi4ComeDown
#Ghandi4ComeDown

I have not encountered many contemporary Ghanaian artists unafraid to paint unvoiced thoughts, challenge the status quo and ignite public discourse as consistently as he does.

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Ackwerh is an audacious renegade who, aided by his well-deserved social media following, not only puts on blast, but probes Ghanaians’ (and the rest of the world’s) social and moral conscience.

Ghana @ 59
Ghana @ 59 – Bright’s interpretation of Ghana’s 59 (in)dependence anniversary via yoyo tinz

As talented as they come, Bright doubles as a graffiti muralist who has painted murals (Million Man Riot with Nii Odzenma ) at ACCRA[dot]Alt’s Chale Wote Street Art Festival and recently, the Meeting of Styles Graffiti show in Jamestown, Accra’s growing art theater.

Bright Ackwerh poses beside his mural at the Meetig of Styles Graffitti Experience
Bright Ackwerh poses beside his mural at the Meeting of Styles Graffitti Experience

Following his online antics ranging from charged rants on plagiarism to the failure of media outlets to highlight prominent up-comers, I was somewhat surprised at his real life demeanor, friendly, knowledgeable, seriously jovial and carefree.

Bright Ackwerh via Naa Oyoo Quartey
Bright Ackwerh via Naa Oyoo Quartey

Winner of the 2016 Kuenyehia Art Prize with his Tweaa Room: Confrontation piece, Bright has shared insights and the process behind his enviable repertoire at Ashesi University, the Alliance Française Institute in Accra, the Rotary Club, the Studio and the MESH Confab, continually proving he is a lighthouse of mod African expression, beaconing the African narrative through satiric storytelling.

Bright Ackwerh receiving his Kuenyehia Prize via Blaxstarlines
Bright Ackwerh receiving his Kuenyehia Prize via Blaxstarlines

A prolific visualist, Bright is fervently working on his #veryverygraphic series and if you’re as hungry for talent as I was, Bright’s welcomingly intrusive art is a feast you can’t skip.

The Son's Tear from Bright's Very Very Graphic Series
The Son’s Tear from Bright’s Very Very Graphic Series

Take a bite here and here and don’t forget to Squirt Creativity. Happy half-year.

All illustrations by Bright Ackwerh, via Naa Oyoo Quartey, yoyo tinz, Cul Art Blog, Blaxtarlines, Abdulero Photography and himself.

Also,do check out Bright’s refreshing yoyo tinz pidgin inerview here.

By: Kofi Asare

Editor: Kadi Yao Tay