To start 2017 with an inspiring note, I launched a drawing challenge on Instagram which consisted in making one drawing, each day for the whole month of January. My aim was to combine my passion for visual anthropology and illustration, to inspire women to cultivate their own identity and style while paying tribute to the authenticity and diversity of women’s clothing aesthetic traditions from around the world. This resulted in a collection of 31 drawings of women from 31 different countries and cultures.
I got so many compliments and interest that I decided to try and get these empowering ladies even further out into the wider world in 2018!
I have been deeply inspired by the world’s diversity since as long as I can remember. During my childhood, I was the happiest when browsing Encarta encyclopedia for hours or watching my dad's anthropology documentaries VHS collection. Later on, I started documenting my interest through different blogs (Blasian, The Dope Traveler, OUM x YUKI) which aimed to give a voice to people with multicultural identities and experiences.
As an artist, my style is very much rooted in minimalism and wabi sabi philosophy with constant multicultural touches. I like digging into vintage family photos and collecting imagery showcasing traditional and contemporary aesthetics from all over the world on my Pinterest account (fashion, interior, body adornment, folklore, muses...). Initially, the GLOBAL COUTURE project started as a Pinterest board few years ago and eventually became my main source of inspiration while creating the 31 illustrations for the series.
I collect images, select the ones that inspire me the most and then proceed to draw them with a fine line pen and black china ink marker.
I focus on the main silhouette with minimal lines while playing with ornaments and textile design details to bring depth to the illustration. I use black and white to bring homogeneity in diversity and help anyone relate and feel a bit closer to the subject.
Here are few examples, showing my process:
I have also used this method with this other project:
I am running this crowdfunding campaign for two big reasons:
1. This campaign would help develop my own line of illustrated goods with a bigger and more eclectic catalogue, than what I am currently offering on my Etsy Shop. GLOBAL COUTURE will be the first collection.
2. Get funds to facilitate future wholesale orders for new products and projects.
If we go beyond the objective, the funds will be used for :
- Producing more quantity and improve products quality (paper, fabric, colours...) and choice.
- Publish a GLOBAL COUTURE book containing more than 200 illustrations with in-depth descriptions about the outfits and cultures featured in the book (the dream <3)
- Organizing a GLOBAL COUTURE release party (exhibition + live music) in Paris or London (2018).
- In short, any additional support will allow me to be focused in creating more projects, learn new skills (ceramic & embroidery anyone?) and keep my small business going.
I am offering exceptionally discounted prices on commission illustrations for my Kickstarter backers.
- Portraits: Let me draw a portrait of you to document the world's diversity.
- Silhouettes: Let’s complete the collection of women from 31 to 196 countries (yes, we can do it!), using your own pictures from your heritage, yourself or a friend wearing a traditional attire.
- Family Portraits: Let me draw a portrait of your couple or family to document the world's diversity.
Thanks to you, I'd be excited to bring those 31 illustrations into the physical world as colouring book, calendar, T-shirts, prints, tote bags, stickers and many more products! I am hoping that these ladies will be educational tools, conversations starter and hopefully eye opener for many!
Below are the main products I am offering, to see the full list please check the right column.
- November 1st 2017: Campaign's launch
- December 6th 2017: End of campaign
- End of December 2017: Digital calendar (PDF)
- Beginning of January 2017: Send calendar 2018
- Mid-January 2018: Stickers, tattoos, cards, posters...
- February 2018: Colouring book, totebags, packs...
- March-June 2018: Start sending commissions
Hi! I am Araki Koman, an Illustrator & Graphic Designer from Paris, currently living and working in London. I find inspiration in visual anthropology (documentaries, films, photography…), travelling, folklore and traditions from around the world as well as the fascinating impact of diversity on identity and personal narratives.
Using mainly a black and white colour palette, my aim is to create bridges and invite society to rethink our relationship with appearance to define identity. To this day, I have lived, worked and studied in France, UK, China, Canada, Iceland, and a bit in Denmark and Japan, my soul country.
- Different, different but the same Bar Demory Paris, FRANCE - March 2016
- Les Expos à la Maison, Edition #17 Paris, FRANCE - November 2015
Visual Interlude (video below)
Risks and challenges
I think the risks to this project are small. All the parts of this project are familiar, but I have never put them all together at once. I have the 31 GLOBAL COUTURE illustrations. I’ve drawn portraits, silhouettes and family portraits before. I know how to produce the products and I have an Etsy store.
The biggest danger is probably not reaching the target...so please feel free to support and spread the word!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)