Blinded By Color

I’m not being sarcastic when I say this, but I love it when Art Directors give you a phone call to ask you if your available to do an illustration job. It’s like I’m living in the nineties, and I am waiting for the phone to ring about the next illustration job instead of constantly refreshing my gmail. Cathie from the Boston Globe contacted me to see if I was available to do a spot illustration for their sunday section, diversity Boston.

The article starts out about the confusion of the identity of a black women singing on stage and another black women who was coming from back stage after the set was over. The women coming from back stage started getting much of the press and praise for the singing she didn’t do. Basically the racist stereotype that “People of color all look the same.” The article goes on to make the point that people of color want to be seen as individuals first before they are seen simply by their race. As an Ethiopian American illustrator, I can totally relate. 

You can read the whole article here online…

Finishing this piece was interesting because I usually draw figures/portraits in a way that is racially ambiguous. So I had to force myself to define their features as specific as possible which is something I often don’t do. I also simplified features(buttons, stitching) I’d normally would draw in a full page illo but couldn’t in the spot, printed at 3"x3".

Thanks again Cathie, for giving me a really interesting article to tackle.