#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).
SONWABO Sonik VALASHIYA describes himself as an “emerging creative with BIG dreams and awesome ideas for this industry” in a feature on him for Conté Magazine. (Check them out, pretty awesome stuff). Sonwabo is an illustrator and graphic designer from Pretoria, South Africa. He has an uncanny talent for fusing calm hues, grit and pop culture that leaves you gasping for air and ready to re-imagine present realities. And oh, he might have a thing for guns.
Googling African Comics these days thankfully returns a series of articles highlighting one African comic or the other. But that’s several articles pointing you in many different places (or saying the same darn thing about the same darn comics). If you’re like me, that means bookmarking a tonne of pages for later when you can sift through and find your favourites.
I doubt sheer creative tenacity alone drove Creo Concept to create the visually stimulating depictions of Ghanaian female day names. Rather, I presume it was their passion to showcase our beautiful culture as much as it was to promote the ever expanding Ghanaba movement’s online presence.
My curiosity was piqued after seeing a few illustrations that the company had shared. Creo’s manner of teasing was truly effective in heightening fan anticipation for subsequent illustrations and accompanying interpretations.
The Creo team’s artistry is appealing, their color compositions are fluid and their characters are nicely shaped, with easily identifiable elements characteristic of African women.
Their settings are easily identifiable and show these goddesses in their elements, doing things any girl on the continent and in the diaspora can relate to, one way or another.
The settings seamlessly blend the characters’ activities and mannerisms, easily evoking pride and nostalgia. Overall, the profound beauty of Creo’s characters is irresistibly endearing, much like ants in a candy shop.
While I may not agree with all the interpretations, I must say some are certainly true to the letter.
I do not intend to delve into the meaning of the names but rather, to appreciate and share what I call, “feel-good” art. An exploration of the meanings can be saved for another post or deduced here.
I believe art demands more reverence than life does because of it’s longevity, the multiple stories it tells and the many lives it impacts. This belief pegs the Creo team as illustrators of extraordinary gifts, whose talents can be trusted to produce a circle of multi-dimensional characters, complex enough to boldly depict Ghanaian and African realism and thus make art an essential part of life.
I applaud Creo’s wonderful work and can’t wait to see the god (male) series.