Being an artist can sometimes feel like playing hopscotch in a minefield.
Imagine posting artwork online that you're proud of only to be met with accusations of racial stereotyping, fat-phobia, colorism, transphobia and just all around insensitivity.
Artists can often feel sucker punched by audiences at large and suddenly find themselves trending on social media for all the wrong reasons.
Granted, you can never control how the world reacts to your art, but what if there was a book that could elucidate the problems before you start and help you understand where people are coming from?
That's what "How to draw black people" is all about.
The first in a planned series of books that focus on the culture of people of color, rather than just the aesthetics.
The unwritten idea, but tangible logic, that "if you can draw a white person you can draw anyone" just won't cut it anymore.
Audiences are asking for diversity and authentic characters based on real cultures. The teachings we have now are woefully out of date and never touch on ways to depict more that what lies on the surface.
Not Just another "How to" Book.
How to Draw Black People isn't a book where artists are provided with facial grids and examples of modelesque people, with some cool poses to try and emulate.
While there will be step by step guides artists are accustomed to, this book will include entire sections devoted to:
- Facial anatomy
- Facial expressions
- Skin tone
- Culture and customs
And within these sections we delve deeper into things like colorism, fatphobia, gender expression, and how all these things play into visualizing black characters. Everything cited and sourced, all the research done so artists can trust the info or hopefully use it as a starting point learn more.
Crowdfunded and Crowd Sourced.
While I will supply the bulk of tutorials and tips provided in the book multiple talented artists will also give their take on how to approach each topic; how to apply what's being highlighted in different styles, and give their own take on what they believe is important when it comes to creating diverse characters.
Also in the book will be a wealth of photo reference for artists to take advantage. A compilation of everyday black folks across the African diaspora. Special attention will be paid to the differences between drawing someone from the west indies, Ethiopia, Brazil or South Africa.
Learn how to depict culture instead of stereotypes
Artists often feel like they don't know what will draw the ire of a socially conscious community, and they are right; they don't know. Artists are taught by and large to copy but rarely to intuit. Art courses require us to recreate and translate without necessarily understanding the subject.
That lack of understanding is the cause for a lot of anxiety and unintended strife between audiences and artists.
The hope is that by focusing on culture, comparing and contrasting the differences between the acceptable and the offensive, artists can better themselves. This book will help artists of all levels create more meaningful, authentic diversity and representation.
Back "How to Draw Black People" today and make this crucial resource for artists a reality.
Risks and challenges
Challenges for this book are mild at best. The biggest being filling out the roster of artists who will give alternate opinions on subject matter. Another challenge will be finding models and getting the correct photo reference for the purpose of this book, a process I've already begun. The scope of this project will require that outsource the shipping responsibilities to a certain degree and thus any delays in shipping rewards will be incumbent on a third party.
However the majority of content will come from myself, the research will be done primarily by me thus making the risks minimal and majorly within my control.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)