1. Femininity means more than a role or an aesthetic — it’s an essence, as a whole. Today, we’re crafting new meanings of femininity and reconfiguring the roles that women can play in the modern world. Multitalented artist and illustrator, Kendra Dandy, designs surface patterns, fashion illustrations, and beauty illustrations to showcase her personal creativity through vibrant colors and a playful nature that women worldwide can relate to. 

Throughout this month of March, we partnered with Dandy to produce exclusive digital wallpaper for our email subscribers to download straight to their digital devices. I had the pleasure to speak with Dandy on female empowerment, how she depicts the beauty of femininity, and some of the illustrators + artists who inspire her. 

  1. Check out our exclusive interview with Kendra Dandy below.
  2. 21Ninety: How do you define Black, female empowerment?

Kendra Dandy: Being able to live life on your own terms and being who you are regardless of what the world expects you to be.

21N: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be an artist? What is your earliest memory of your innate talent resonating within you?

KD: I always enjoyed doing art since childhood, particularly drawing fashion illustrations from books and magazines, and I’ve always had a large collection of art supplies ever since I was little.

Artwork: Kendra Dandy

21N: In much of your artwork, you depict the beauty of femininity with vibrant and playful colors. Can you describe your reasoning behind that?

KD: I’m the type of person who just does whatever comes to mind when it comes to my art, so if I like a particular style or color I will just try it out and go from there.

  1. 21N: Where do you gain your inspiration from?

KD: Everything from nature, food, vintage things, beauty, and fashion.

Artwork: Kendra Dandy

21N: You partnered with Vans to design a unique collection of imaginative illustrations across Vans footwear, apparel and accessories. How was that experience for you?

KD: It was really cool to see my designs in partnership with an awesome hip global brand. I got to see pictures of my work on people from all over the world as well as getting to see the cool store displays from all over and that definitely showed me that my work had global appeal and could look great in retail and as real-life products.

Photo: Vans x Kendra Dandy

21N: Who are some illustrators and painters who move you artistically?

KD: Artists I enjoy include Justina Blakeney, Andrea Pippins, Donald Robertson, Shawanna Davis of @bebeautifulla, and Pat McGrath (even though she is a makeup artist, her Instagram and career, in general, is inspiring.)

21N: What has been the most rewarding aspect — as an entrepreneur and artist — since starting your brand?

KD: I am big on freedom, variety and my career as an artist/entrepreneur has given me both.

Artwork: Kendra Dandy

21N: What projects can we expect to see from you in 2019?

KD: More brand collaborations that I can’t share just yet, more focus on paintings, constant new designs, hopefully, more travel for business, new collaborations and more recognition.

21N: Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for Black women striving to break into the art world? 

KD: Just do you and grind. Put your work out there and stay inspired.

Artwork: Kendra Dandy

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