It’s important to highlight all the work that goes in to creating. The artwork, the video, the Instagram post is not something that materialises out of thin air. Here’s a little bit about the lengthy process of creating the illustration for the Black Lives Matter InPrnt fundraiser launch.
As I primarily specialise in non human animal art, I knew this artwork had to feature a powerful symbol. The Black Panther Party came to mind instantly. But having done some research into the history of this political party, I decided I wouldn’t include direct slogans or poster designs from this movement. But the image of a black panther as an animal appealed to me, especially after having also watched the Black Panther movie earlier this year.
Having settled on my image, and executed it – which in total took about three full days of work on Procreate – I was still toying with the idea of including a literal message within the work. But as I don’t use words that much directly in my artwork, I didn’t feel confident in pursuing this further. My initial idea of including the slogan Silence is Violence, after further research also proved controversial (in regards to freedom of speech); and even though I myself speak fluently in a number of languages, I find it hard to grapple with art that features a specific language. I find that it can exclude some viewers. Ultimately, illustrations with catchy slogans and tag lines seem to be the most popularly shared ones on social media, but I didn’t want this fundraiser to seem gimmicky. This is not just about making a popular post; it’s about supporting a movement in whatever small way I can.
Taking this into account, I eventually decided to leave the slogan out of the final design. I find that this way, coupled with the minimal background and snow effect, the illustration draws the viewers attention to the central figure of this work. A beautiful, and strong black panther.
Let me know if you can spot the subtle differences between all the design options, and if I made the right choice in the end.
Thank you ❤️