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4 talented illustrators of color to support with your money

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

When I was in fifth grade my favorite thing to do in art class was inhaling the Mr. Sketch scented markers. My favorite was black licorice. I’d sniff my way through the box until I felt an appropriate amount of kid-approved drunkenness.

Being that I was the class clown, my peers would follow suit. Within minutes the entire class was sniffing, smirking, giggling, and irritating the hell out of our art teacher. Throughout my education, I failed to take my art classes seriously and because of this I consistently underperformed.

In my own defense, making art has always been difficult for me. As a child, I held my crayons so tight that they broke in half. I struggled to color in the lines with my colored pencils - and later in life when I was introduced to watercolor painting I consistently used too much water.

My adolescence is filled with comical stories about art blowing up in my face. This includes the time that the ceramic pieces I made for Mother’s Day literally blew up in the school kiln. To this day I believe these experiences are what lead me to the performing arts instead of the fine arts.

As a performing artist, I rely on my voice and body to convey my artistic message. It’s a gift that I am grateful for, and at the same time, I have always admired individuals who put their mouths to rest and let their hands do the hard work.

One day, I’m going to teach myself how to draw. Until then, I’ll find joy in admiring the work of talented painters and illustrators. The kind of individuals who are capable of bringing creative characters and breathtaking backgrounds to life by using the stillness of their eyes and the dexterity of their hands. Animation as we’ve all grown to know and love is a product of such individuals. No matter the method of animation used, hand-drawn, 3D, vector, or motion graphics, they all begin with one singular drawing made by one brilliant illustrator.

In this issue, I want to introduce you to four incredible women of color who are magnificent illustrators in their own right. Their works of art are amusing, skillful, cultural, personal, and astonishing. I feel honored to share their work with you.

Jasmin Guinn

Jasmin, please introduce yourself to the Fictional audience. Who are you?

I'm Jasmin, but I'm really Jazzy. I grew up in Richmond, California, but Berkeley raised me. I'm a fully melanated, terribly introverted, and graciously beautiful Black woman.

Jazzy, where did your artistic journey begin? Talk to us about how it has evolved.

I started drawing when I was around four years old, but I didn't really begin illustrating until I was fifteen. When I was in high school I realized I had an eidetic memory and my illustrating basically started from there.

Growing up, I used art as a way to pay attention -- in school, in life, in love. My current style, which I just recently settled on and debuted, is heavily influenced by 19th-century impressionism plus my own digital imprint. I like to describe it as, "a beautiful abstraction placing black skin heavily in browns, golds, and greens." It's my way of showing Blacks as we should be seen: beautiful, emotional, raw.

How would you like to see people support your art in 2021?

For me, art is all about the way it makes a person feel. If my art makes you feel something, all I ask is that you say it whether that be a comment, a share, or a message. Eventually, I'll sell limited edition prints, and sometime this year I'll be debuting a new specific style that I've been working on for the past two years. In the meantime sharing is caring.

Connect with Jasmin Guinn HERE

Jerilyn Guerrero

Jerilyn, what cultures or places have informed your work?

To start, I am a Chamoru/Filipino artist who was born and raised on the beautiful island of Guam. I’ve spent some years living in New Jersey but I’ve mostly been living in California, specifically the Bay Area and now Los Angeles. Each of these places was a vastly different experience, and made a deep impact on me as a person, and influenced the different lenses that I use to view life.

What tools do you use to create your art?

I mostly work with digital tools like Adobe Illustrator for vector illustrations or Photoshop for coloring. I’ve always started my drawings traditionally with pencil and paper but these days I do digital illustrations using Procreate or Adobe Fresco.

How would you like to see people support your art in 2021?

I’m so grateful anytime someone shares my art. Whether that be through word of mouth or sharing online, either way, it reaches more people who connect with the images. What makes my day is knowing that my work has the power to bring people joy.

I run an online shop where I sell prints, stickers, and apparel. If you’re interested I currently have a sale going on for T-shirt bundles. If you’d like to follow my art journey you can find me on Instagram, Behance, or Dribbble. Lastly, I run a newsletter which you can find at the very bottom of my website! Sign up to keep up with future sales, shows, and updates about me and my career!

Connect with Jerilyn Guerrero HERE

Kayla Pega

Kayla, where are you from? How do you identify?

I'm from the always sunny San Diego, CA so I’m definitely a tropical girl at heart. My ethnicity is Filipino. My mom's side has more Chinese-Filipino influence and my dad's side is more Spanish-Filipino influence.

Where does your love for art stem from?

My love for art stems from childhood. I'm an only child, so with no one to play with at home I turned to pencil and paper. I’m heavily influenced by anime and cartoons.

How would you describe your art? What tools do you use?

According to my friends, I currently create "adhesive mini illustrations", a.k.a stickers. My favorite medium is Adobe Illustrator which is where I can create crisp bold outlines and use solid colors to create characters. Vector art is my favorite as it is easy to manipulate, change colors, and adjust sizing without distorting my creations.

How would you like to see people support your art in 2021?

If you are a fan of Avatar the Last Airbender, Sailor Moon, Naruto, or Hunter x Hunter please check out the current stickers I have in my online shop. I will be launching some Dragon Ball Z characters later this month as well! Lastly, I'd love it if you'd give me a follow and support my art journey on Instagram and let me know you've found me through Fictional!

Connect with Kayla Pega HERE

Miranda Evans

So, who is Mirana Evans?

I am a painter/illustrator that recently moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco. After 7 years, I still consider The Bay to be home. I am originally from Orange County where the majority of my family has lived since my great-grandparents moved from Texas in the 40s. I am multiracial, primarily Black and white.

What medium do you work in?

I primarily work with watercolor paint but I am interested in utilizing other mediums, most recently digital illustration and reduction printing.

Who do you make art for? Why do you make art?

I use my art as a means to express and work through my inner dialogue. I paint a lot of portraits of WOC and I have a lot of paintings loosely based on my self-image. I believe my point of view and voice as a WOC is one that often goes unheard, especially within the art community, and that is something that deserves more visibility. It's not just about my voice, but the voices of all BICOP (black, indigenous, people of color).

How would you like to see people support your art in 2021?

I am currently available for commissions and have paintings and prints available for purchase in my online shop. I also have an upcoming show in mid-March, more details on that to come!

Connect with Miranda Evans HERE

I had a blast speaking with each and every one of these iconic women. Thank you all for your time and participation in this blog post. To my readers, please take some time to follow and subscribe to these dynamic artists. If you are financially able to please consider supporting them as well with your hard-earned money! Buy a t-shirt, a sticker, or a print!

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