"Celebrating Shades of Black Beauty" is a new series I started with my Mom, Claire, that mixes my illustrations with her digital paintings, dubbed "Sun Angels." "Curls and Curves" is the first piece in the series, and it focuses on embracing dark skin, large curvy bodies, and luxurious natural, kinky hair. We've wanted to collaborate for years by doing something around celebrating Black women. We created this series to represent fem Black bodies of all shapes, focusing on plus-sized bodies and illustrating the beauty of 4c hair because it's still seen negatively in society and our communities. These ideas stem from my Mom not feeling represented as a plus-sized/curvy Black woman and my self-hate experiences regarding my hair and what I perceived as body flaws. Additionally, we are maddened by how dark-skinned Black women are treated negatively in media, so most of the art in this series will showcase the beauty of dark skin. The background and hair colors are taken from her ClarityIsJustSoHip (Insta: @clarityisjustsohip) designs while I drew the bodies."
Recently my Mom and I were volunteers and artists featured in a disability virtual art show, "Discovering a Place for Us" hosted by LA mental health organization, The Painted Brain. 11 artists in total worked together to combine artworks, poetry, dance, voiceovers and more to create an accessible experience for all disabled folks. My Mom and I worked with Tab & Kait Productions to bring "Curls and Curves" to life through a choreo-poem. We realized my Mom's poem, "My Edges" which is a piece about body positivity and self-worth, perfectly paired with the project.