Sunday, 21 September 2014

Representation Matters...

Here's the finished illustration of a character I designed a few weeks ago for an early & developing theme of 'The Great & True Afrikan Histories'... This theme, which I'm extremely passionate about, primarily is to create content which represents, celebrates & honors the Black Afrikan culture & it's true/ rich histories. I set myself this goal as something that will be an ongoing theme because, firstly, I truly believe that 'representation matters'; generally & especially when we talk of mainstream media... Something I was always aware of as a young boy (though never really understood) was that the reality I lived in being black was in no way near represented enough in media (particularly TV) to reflect not just my reality, but general, 'social' reality in itself. Secondly, as far as Black/ Afrikan history went, this was (is) a history that was not being told, or told accurately (in media & in schools).

So with all that being said (which brings us to now), I feel a strong conviction & responsibility to play what part I can in addressing these issues & telling these histories with my talents... So with each illustration I post, I'll be including links to video lectures, documentaries & articles which highlight information on various great & ancient Afrikan civilizations, plus major events in TRUE World history, which unfortunately most of us have never heard... [Disclaimer] Some of it may seem controversial & much of it probably tough to process, but my ultimate intention is to educate & celebrate... I hope you'll join me on this journey of discovery, learning & the celebration of wonder & mystery in 'The Great & True Afrikan Histories'  ;)

This character's outfit I designed as a ceremonial-type attire, as I imagined him to be a young man/ Prince about to earn his 'Rite of Passage'. The white marks on his skirt (wrapper) represent 'cowrie shells', which are quite common in the traditional fashion of many African cultures.

His skin I wanted to be jet black for many reasons; the main being to unapologetically celebrate it as the badge of strength & beauty that it is...

For some reason, though he'd be a young man in his very early 20's, the visual of him having a crown of white hair was appealing to me... Strong, fearless & noble; I decided to give him the name 'Samson' (after my Father, in his youth).

I have two more pieces (for now) I'll be finishing off soon, but hope you dig this one for the time being. More of my work here.