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

Olivia Twist
Olivia Twist is an Illustrator, Arts Facilitator and Lecturer from East London with an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art. Olivia’s work focuses on overlooked narratives and everyday rituals. She adds detail and texture to her work by using woodcut and linocut techniques to create her stunning prints.

 

Sahara Jones
Sahara Jones is a graphic designer based in London with a love for working with print and type. She describes her design style as clean and thoughtful with elements of delight and playfulness. Sahara is part of the design duo Olly & Franc, a community that helps to educate and inspire other black women in design.

 

Aislinn Finnegan

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.

 

Mia Lee

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

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

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

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.

 

We hope that this post has encouraged you to find out some more about Black History and celebrate and support Black creatives this month and every month!