#DrawingWhileBlack: Another Reminder Of Why Representation Matters
This past weekend, a Twitter user named Annabelle H, a.k.a. @sparklyfawn, decided to create a hashtag called #DrawingWhileBlack in order to highlight her own work as well as the work of other Black artists and illustrators in an industry where Black artists and illustrators are hardly anywhere in sight.
For those who still didn’t get the point as to why the hashtag was created, @sparklyfawn went into further detail:
Yo why do people get so press when black people wants to appreciate ourselves ? 🤔— Abelle✨🦌@ SPX A7 (@sparklyfawn) September 14, 2017
People are really out here asking me why there isn't a #drawingwhilewhite or why I'm making the tag about black artist— Abelle✨🦌@ SPX A7 (@sparklyfawn) September 14, 2017
Do you realize that being an artists isn't exactly encourage to black people? Like do you realize that the art Industry is very white ?— Abelle✨🦌@ SPX A7 (@sparklyfawn) September 14, 2017
I i went to an art magnet school. I go to an art school. I have worked at an animation studio. And I always ask: where are the black people?— Abelle✨🦌@ SPX A7 (@sparklyfawn) September 14, 2017
Like race does not determine talent and skill yet why is there such a small number of us in this industry?— Abelle✨🦌@ AnimeNYC (@sparklyfawn) September 14, 2017
And of course this doesn't just apply to black people! Other groups face the same dilemma— Abelle✨🦌@ SPX A7 (@sparklyfawn) September 14, 2017
Stop making marginalized groups feel bad for wanting recognition— Abelle✨🦌@ SPX A7 (@sparklyfawn) September 14, 2017
And there were many highly talented artists/illustrators willing to show off what they were capable of under the #DrawingWhileBlack hashtag…
This #drawingWhileBlack hashtag is a gift. The amazing talent and art I'm discovering is just the medicine my heart needed.❤️— Stares Mothafuckaly (@JanvierNoir) September 18, 2017
And right on time, because this train is never late, (seriously, I’ve stopped keeping count of how many trains arrive on time and without fail when it comes to the fuckshit that Black people have to deal with) the hashtags #DrawingWhileWhite and #DrawingWhileHuman soon made an appearance on Twitter. Granted, the #DrawingWhileHuman hashtag was apparently created by several People Of Color and a White person so that the focus would be on the artwork instead of their race, but it didn’t take very long for others on Twitter to claim the tag for their own purposes and give it the #AllLivesMatter treatment. Because when people say that #BlackGirlsRock, other people feel the need to say #WhiteGirlsRock or #AllGirlsRock (and if you really do believe that all girls rock, then you should agree that Black girls also rock and not actually have a problem with the hashtag…right?). And when people say #BlackLivesMatter, other people feel the need to say #BlueLivesMatter, #PoliceLivesMatter, and/or #AllLivesMatter.
When women on and off Twitter say “men are trash,” (and they are given reasons to think/feel/say that at least every minute of every hour of every damn day, as evidenced by Dustin’s recent post) there are always men who spend more time arguing with the women who say it and trying to prove them wrong while spouting variations of #NotAllMen than they actually do listening to the women who say that and listening to their reasons for thinking/feeling/saying that. (“Well, how are we supposed to meet women then if we’re not allowed to even talk to you?” is a question that is always asked by men whenever the topic of cat-calling and street harassment is discussed on Twitter, despite the fact that 1) most women really and truly don’t care and 2) your ability to meet women and get your Ashy Larry-looking dick sucked is not a topic of concern nor should it be when cat-calling and street harassment is being discussed) Because their hurt feelings take precedence over everything else.
When you’re being judged and insulted, your first instinct is to become upset and lash out at the person who is judging and insulting you, especially when you feel or know that you’ve done nothing to deserve such treatment. But when women, Black people, and any other minority are telling you over and over and over again how they are treated by the world as if their lives mean less than nothing in ways great and small, and you refuse to listen to what they’re saying…and you care more about your feelings and looking like one of the ‘good ones’ as you explain that you don’t say or do anything to make them feel the way they do, then don’t be surprised if and when you’re told (in variations both polite and not so polite) to shut the fuck up. Because you’re not actually listening to what is being said and why it’s being said, and you’re taking the spotlight off of what you’re being told and focusing it on you, so that all attention is paid to you and what you think and feel. When really your focus should be doing whatever you can to show your allyship (even if no one ever takes any notice of it) and help make things better and not worse for those who really need it.
Someone startd #DrawingWhileBlack to highlight black artists. White people got mad and created DrawingWhileWhite and DrawingWhileHuman.— Stares Mothafuckaly (@JanvierNoir) September 18, 2017
I don't understand these people. They refuse to take an honest look at how they show up to the world& for humanity. It's sickening&pathetic.— Stares Mothafuckaly (@JanvierNoir) September 18, 2017
It is okay to be exclusive…as long as you're white. Nobody else can hold exclusive space in the world but them.— Stares Mothafuckaly (@JanvierNoir) September 18, 2017
Black people are amazing. We are overcomers. We are winners. We set the culture globally. They can't keep up.— Stares Mothafuckaly (@JanvierNoir) September 18, 2017
They are just so hateful and that makes me sad… like deeply sad that humans actually behave this way.— Stares Mothafuckaly (@JanvierNoir) September 18, 2017
Why dont ppl like #drawingwhilewhite? Bc just like AllLivesMatter it's reactionary. It's just there to take the spotlight from black artists— Cake 🍰 @ Irma⛈ (@carnationcake) September 17, 2017
Someone starting a #drawingwhilehuman tag….can black ppl just have ANYTHING for themselves???— Cake 🍰 @ Irma⛈ (@carnationcake) September 17, 2017
There are dozens and dozens of tweets under the #DrawingWhileBlack tag and so much damn talent and skill on display. Yes, it is awesome that we have Black and Brown artists like Valentine De Landro working on Bitch Planet, Natacha Bustos working on Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, the Hernandez Brothers on Love And Rockets, Afua Richardson who worked on Genius and World Of Wakanda, and so many others, there is a lot more work that needs to be done when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the worlds of comics and animation. So if you work in those industries and are able to call shots in those industries, you should read this part, because this concerns you:
If you’re looking for artists to illustrate, design, and create for your animated programming, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to illustrate, design, and create for your comic books and graphic novels, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to illustrate, design, and create for your video games, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to illustrate, design, and create artwork for stories of Afrofuturism, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to illustrate and design your movie posters so that we don’t have to look at yet another display of floating-heads and/or Photoshopped figures and backgrounds that look as if they were done by artists/designers who were all blindfolded, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for for artists to help illustrate and design your fashion line, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to help you illustrate and design the opening title sequence for your film or television series, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to help you design what Darkwing Duck and every other inhabitant of St. Canard will look like once the eventual Darkwing Duck remake is announced by The Disney Channel, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to illustrate and design your alternate comic-book slash-fic version of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in which Cap eventually realizes that the person he should really be dating and going out with is none other than Bucky “The Winter Soldier” Barnes, the person he’s been hunting and going after, and ends with lots of Cap/Bucky kissage you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to illustrate and design your favorite comic-book character punching the 45th President of the United States in the face, you have no excuses!
If you’re looking for artists to illustrate, design, and create new characters and worlds for fans to become fascinated by and fall in love with, you have no excuses!
The #drawingwhileblack tag proves that any employer who ever claimed they couldn't find any black artists to hire was flat out lying 🤗— Jen Bartel | TB 72 (@heyjenbartel) September 16, 2017
So many to RT. No excuse why you can't find Black artists. And the number of Black women in the tag is astounding. #drawingwhileblack— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) September 17, 2017
You have no excuses. Not a single damn one. There are many artists and illustrators out there who aren’t White men that are fully deserving of your attention and your employment. They deserve the chance to help you bring your ideas to life, as well as the opportunity from you to help them bring their own ideas to life and let the world see what they’ve been missing.
So go click on the #DrawingWhileBlack hashtag over on Twitter, and see what’s out there.
Thank you everyone who were apart of and supported #DrawingWhileBlack this weekend! 💃🏿✌🏿💫 it means the world to me omg— Abelle✨🦌@ SPX A7 (@sparklyfawn) September 18, 2017
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