Black Artist (and representation) Matter
I don't know if you're aware, but African American Artist are slowly, but surely blowing up in Geek Culture!
And a majority of them aren't waiting around for mainstream comic publishing companies to take notice of them. They are taking their dynasties into their own hands, and using social media & self-publishing to make their presence known.
Being a Instagram Addict, I follow tons of black artist with great followings, but not large enough to become viral.
There are also black comic book artist that have been creating their own comic books since the 90's; that have garnered them a small loyal following at national comic-cons around the United States. Back then, if you weren't touring the "cons" how else would you get your name and art out there? But now, with the accessibility of social media, post sharing, personal website branding, advertising, and comic con touring; an outrageously talented artist (black or white) can create a larger reach in the geek community. And gain the recognition they so long for.
If I haven't lost you already, I want to start showcasing Black Artist more often, as a regular feature. To share my findings and hopefully expose someone that never thought their new favorite cast of comic characters were out there waiting for them. Basically, to spread the word, and do my part. My second reason for sharing the work of black artist is because... representation matters. More and more, I see not only adults, but young children cosplaying as their favorite mainstream (white) comic characters. And with African American characters on the rise, black children have characters that look like them, that they can look up to.
With that said, I would like to share two (of many) black artist that I follow on Instagram that you may or may not know of.
First, I introduce to you...
Full Name: Danielle Benton Company Name: Render Goddess
How can someone see your work & contact you?
Where are you from: Winston Salem, NC, USA.
Tell me a little about yourself: 27, a feminine tomboy and a mom to a dog and rabbit. I love gaming and I've married Vegeta in my head. If I could become a professional pizza eater (no pineapple, thanks), I would.
How long have you been an artist? Technically 22 years, but I started doing 3D work 9 years ago.
How & when did you figure out you liked doing this type of artwork? How and when I figured it out was when my sister presented the "Daz Studio" program to me because at the time it reminded me of a character creation in a video game which I've always super loved to do. It's like you're your own God when it comes to creating someone either in your likeness or totally opposite from you.
Tell me about your process when you decided to create a 3D/CG Character? Usually there's ideas that pop up in my head, so I set up a base to morph on in either Daz or Zbrush and try to get as close to the idea in my head as possible with the character's face and body, then I go from there with this idea from the lighting and poses to the vibe.
What inspires you to create? Movies, video games, random entertainment and my favorite artists.
What or who are your favorite characters to create? Storm was a favorite because there's a lot to her. She can either look like the true Goddess that she is, or the edgy, hardcore Storm with the mohawk and you can just take those looks and run with it. Plus, I like to right the wrongs of Halle Berry because we know how tragic that was. But as far as original characters, my number one is gynoids, robots or anything in that category, especially mixing melanated skin with those cybernetic enhancements. It's a beautiful sight.
What are you currently working on? A piece for a friend. It's a black Spiderman that he wanted.
Who are some of your favorite artist? Glad you asked! First, my sister, https://www.genevab.com/ then https://elianeck.deviantart.com/, https://karisma9195.deviantart.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/ericleonartist/
Last, but not least! The magnificent...
Full Name: Winston Williams
Occupation: Artist, Co- Founder, Carbon Age Comics
Name of your Company: Carbon Age Comics
Now, let me enlighten you to the inner workings of Carbon Age Comics:
CAC is a indie comic publishing company, comprised of a many independent artist and comic titles. Many, if not all black owned & created. To name a few: THE SOUL, DORMIDO: SLEEPING BIBLE, DON DADA, GIALLO GUMBO ZERO, REFORM, SCATTERBUG ANTHOLOGY, THE LEGEND OF PINKY.
How can someone see your work, grab some comics, merch & contact you?
Where are you from? Houston, TX US
Tell me a little about yourself: Born and raised in Houston, TX, come from a single parent home, only child, Military veteran, Certified HVAC Technician. Ex- Certified Personal Traine.
How long have you been an artist? 25 years
How & when did you figure out you liked doing this type of artwork? Always read comics from an early age. Decided it was fun and exciting drawing and creating characters.
Tell me about your process when you decided to create a Character or story line for your comic(s)? (I) deciphered what I had not seen in a series and what I wanted to see. Amalgamated several characters and story-lines into one.
What inspires you to create? The fact that if done correctly, it can make a difference in someone's life.
What or who are your favorite characters to create? Characters with realistic personalities and traits from personal experiences.
What are you currently working on? The Soul Comic Book, Dun Dada comic.
Who are some of your favorite artist? Michaelangeo, Leonardo Da Binci, Yoji Shinkawa, Caravaggio, Neal Adams, Frank Frazetta, Simon Bisley, Alexis Franklin, Zimou Tan.
What would be your dream commission? Downtown Houston Mural.
Well guys, I hope you've enjoyed the first installment of Black Artist Matter!!!
If you know a black artist that should be featured, please contact Gadgets & Geekery with their information. And I'll do the rest.