Black History Month: Creatives We Love
October is UK Black History Month!
Black History Month is a great opportunity to learn more about Black History and the work and achievements of Black people. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery are running a number of exhibitions this month to promote knowledge and understanding of Black history and culture. This month at GRIN, we’re sharing a few of our favourite Black designers and creatives and celebrating their work.
Cover image by Leandro Assis
Aislinn is a Zambian/Northern Irish illustrator based in London where she is completing her Master’s in History of African Art. She uses portraiture to empower and aims to normalise and represent the narratives of Black Women in the art world using an Afro-futuristic approach, by placing them at the centre and forefront of nearly every piece. Her work celebrates Blackness in all its beauty and power and challenges Western beauty standards.
Textile designer and illustrator Mia Lee grew up in Chicago and studied costume design and theatre production. She creates all kinds of designs, including print, digital, murals, and animations. Her animated cartoon Unwonderful World, which aired on Adult Swim, tells the story of a young floral artist named Mia. She currently runs a satin design studio called Hot Funmia, bringing her creative patterns and illustrations to the world of fashion.
Jimi Stone is the founder and creative director of Rich Minority Studios. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jimi started out as a graffiti artist, until he attended the OTIS & The Art Institute to study video production. Rich Minority Studios is a creative agency working across many forms of creative marketing fields, like photography, video production, creative direction, website and product design.
Kehinde Wiley restages classical portraits and sculptures, replacing historical white subjects with contemporary subjects of colour. Embracing ornate decorative elements, he subverts the whiteness that has long dominated Western art history. In 2018, Kehinde painted Barack Obama’s presidential portrait.
Leandro Assis is a Brazilian artist, art director and letterer from Rio. He’s known for his colourful palettes, bold letterings, and playful illustrations. He’s worked with brands like Nike, Apple, Disney, Netflix, and Twitter. Above all, Leandro is interested in using design as a way to talk about things he feels passionately about, like Black culture, gender topics and LGBTQ+ rights.