In our high-tech age filled with filters and apps, anyone seems to be able to take pretty professional pictures. However, drawing and sketching skills remain a rarity still. This may as well be why fashion illustration is presently having a huge moment following a decline since its heydays in the 20th century when photography became the preferred medium of documentation. With the revival of this artform, illustration has since diversified spilling into other aspects such as lifestyle, nature and interiors. With the comeback of illustration, there has been an emergence of a young exciting group of fashion illustrators in Africa who represent diversity and have become an essential part of the global fashion conversation.
Here are a few we think you should know:
One word to describe this Ghana-based artist’s pieces- Fabulous. With sketches of tall, graceful women, Steve imagines them like something out of a reverie as they are often seen in couture smocks. Although he draws inspiration from the regular, Steve French’s art is anything but average as he uses his work as a platform for representation, reaffirming the beauty of black women.
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This self-taught Lagos-based fashion illustrator and creative director first caught our eyes in 2015 after fabulous illustration of international stylist, Kanayo Ebi. Ever since then, its been whimsical recreations of leggy black beauties. Moyo’s uses his art as a way to depict the glamorous lives of females in the media as his subjects are often seen glammed up for parties and other social gatherings.
A seasoned fashion illustrator and designer, Abuja-based Obinna Omeruo is all about that fab life. Drawing inspiration for the new age social lifestyle, Obinna’s works often see different social circles and the cosmopolitan woman’s love for the spotlight. Obinna is also known for his designer collaborations having worked with some notable names in the Nigerian fashion industry.
This Nigerian artist known for her usage bold colours as her subjects are often portrayed as cosmopolitan chic or traditional elegant. If you seek sartorial inspiration, Adebisi’s works are a sure bet.
Oppong has captured the hearts of the global fashion audience with his sassy illustrations of beautiful black women. His leggy beauties are often seen in exaggerated poses clothed in vibrant outfits. Casting both fictional and IRL subjects, Oppong uses his work as a medium to challenge the negative portrayal of black women in the media.
Nicholle Kobi is a Paris-based Congolese-French fashion and lifestyle illustrator . With illustrations that combine French chic with natural black beauty, Nicholle’s subjects can be seen as trendy, urban , career women proving that the illustrator knows a thing or two about glitz and glamour.
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I am fell stress about the beginning of the US TOUR Exhibition but He told -Remember why you decide to start to draw black women . -Think about a beautiful image you created to feel less stress he told me . I put this image to my head just to forget my stress and fell more relax Always remember why you start … Niki To Nicholle #nichollekobi #blackgirlmagic #nichollekobitour2017
Featured Image Credit: Papa Oppong