Who needs to color in the lines anyway?

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Project Summary: Flowers For Our Elders, a coloring book commissioned by the Press On organization, was created to venerate movement elders that continue to assist in progressive movement efforts into their twilight years.

Year: 2024
Client: Press On
Medium: Digital Collage, Photo Editing
& Line Art Illustration, Layout
Programs: Photo Shop, Illustrator, Indesign,
& Clip Studio Paint

This project awarded me a new perspective on the nature of what activism and community centered endeavors is. “FFOE” presented me the stories of 13 incredible individuals and tasked me with creating a coloring book in their likenesses. While I have done illustrative commissions before, a coloring book presented a new challenge and caused me to meditate on how I could create visually engaging work that would evoke a sense of marvel for these activist.

For inspiration, I turned to comic book illustrator’s inked underdrawings. The underdrawings  of comic book artists provide work that is both eye-catching and dynamic through their use of both contrast and mark making.  

The artist Evan Cagle(site linked to photo) served as a primary source of study, his use of deep blacks and line work created both depth and intrigue. His rendering skills were enhanced through his use of composition. I utilized a variety of edited version of royalty-free images(credits below) create more interesting compositions and coloring spaces.

Special acknowledgements to: 
William Morris
Tanigami Kônan
Wesley tingey
Tanalee Youngblood
Josh Calabrese
Olia Gozha
Scott Webb
Tabitha Turner
Davi Moreira
Annie Spratt
Edouard Jean Vuillard
Art Institute of Chicago
Birmingham Museums Trust
Elders Featured:
Mandy Carter
Tirso Moreno
Pat Hussein
Lorraine Fontana
Miss Major Griffi n-Gracey
Signe Waller-Foxworth
Marshall Rancifer
Bernard LaFayette, Jr.
Suzanne Pharr
Chief Anne Nelson Richardson
Aljosie Aldrich Harding
Myrna Pagan
Lewis A. Brandon, III