Black women creatives today are leading a legacy of integrity, truth, and ambition that embodies that strength we were all born with. Often words don't always capture the power behind our narratives, which is why the work of visual artists is so important in documenting our history. Just as books are crucial to archiving, so are physical art pieces that grow more valuable with time.
Take the work of some Black women, contemporary artists today, illustrating and drawing our various shades and hues for the world to admire. Displaying those positive images in our homes and places we frequent offers Black communities at-large the representation that lacks in other spaces. Whether the artwork reflects images of our reality or paints a vision we aspire to be, each creative piece holds truth in sharing our stories worldwide.
In honor of Women's History Month, we're celebrating Black women visual artists that we admire for drawing our stories. Check out these five artists whose compelling work continues to inspire the masses:
Bria Nicole is a visual artist and illustrator whose popular lifestyle artwork can be seen trending across social media regularly. Her life inspires the images of nature, portraits, figures, food, and travels that she creates with bold color palettes that resemble earthy tones and pastels. Her style has been dubbed "bougie boho" by supporters for referencing classic bohemian and Afro-bohemian elements. Her work is always focused on representing women of color through a vibrant lens, style, grace, and joy. Her art was recently recognized by Complex's ComplexLand, Adobe, and ESSENCE as a Black-owned business supported by Issa Rae.
Reyna Noriega is an Afro-Latina author, educator, and artist whose artwork depicts the diversity of beauty and vibrance that represents all women. She finds joy in devoting her work as a source of happiness and healing for her predominantly female client base and allows her cultural experiences as a woman to radiate through her work to champion women empowerment. Her overall goal is to fill the world with fine art of the women she draws, so they feel fully seen and recognized every day.
Jade Purple Brown is a New York-based artist that employs the use of bright colors, figures, and optimistic messages to create images that express individuality and empowerment out-loud. Her skills across illustration, creative design, and creative direction have attracted a global client base. Her creative work has been showcased as Adobe's splash image for Illustrator. She even wrote a visually-appealing quote book now available on Amazon to inspire, empower, and motivate women today.
South African freelance illustrator Sarah Dahir is the founder of Nawaal Illustrations – a brand she describes as centered around Black women and sisterhood. Though she's been creating art her whole life, she's only recently pursued it professionally and built up a brand that showcases digital images of Black women and girls in regular, everyday settings. In an interview with Canvas and Cassette, she revealed that she values the relationship among women and enjoys capturing that relationship using aesthetics rooted in earthy and neutral notes.
New York native artist Charnelle Pinkney Barlow is the illustrator and surface designer behind the Call Me Chartreuse brand. What began as just an idea back in 2013 evolved into creating whimsical drawings and patterns inspired by everyday objects. Charnelle uses her artwork to tell her own stories and bring joy to others. She's lent her illustrations to a host of children's books, including Alice Faye Duncan's Just Like a Mama, Jodie Patterson's Born Ready, and most recently, National Geographic Kids' One Step Further: My Story of Math, the Moon, and a Lifelong Mission, written by famed NASA computer Katherine Johnson.