So as you may have noticed I haven’t posted in a few weeks. I just wanted to take some time to make some changes after my recent endometriosis diagnosis. I’ve really been on a path to connect to self & health & unexpectedly for me, I found a way through design & getting some of my other artistic ideas out outside of music.
I’ve always been able to draw since I was little, but recently I’ve been dabbling in digital art on my Wacom tablet. Digital art drawing on an tablet is a new feeling to adapt to at first, but I really do enjoy it & when I get better I’ll most definitely showcase some of my final art.
POP ART NOIR
With the help of a super talented experienced digital artist, I’ve been designing some merch for my range called POP ART NOIR.
POP ART NOIR is inspired by 1950’s British & later American pop art, which found a way to incorperate popular culture & challenge views on fine art. To me (who is by no means an expert), the most recognisable names probably being Roy Lichtenstein & Andy Warhol but my favourite are Japanese artist; being the female conceptual artist who some would say was one of the pioneers of pop art Yayoi Kusama & graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo. Whose Marilyn Monroe piece is so dope to me.
So in the spirit of challenging views, my own or otherwise…I wanted to create images of a 1950’s style dark skinned pin up. Inspired by Yokoo & Warhols ode to Marilyn Monroe; I wanted to flip the script… hence ‘Melanin Monroe‘ being the first in the POP ART NOIR line.
CHALLENGING BEAUTY STANDARDS
In order to challenge standards, I feel you have to challenge your own, & that was definitely true for me in creating this piece. As a long time wig/weave wearer, taking my natural self & holding that up & calling it art was something I had a pang of doubt about at first. An all too common story in this world where our natural God given afro hair or features can be seen as intimidating or considered unprofessional. reflecting on these feelings, I had a few questions to ask.
Why can’t someone that looks like me been seen as pin up worthy? Why is that beauty real estate, exclusively reserved for skin & hair types that differ from my own? & more importantly, why can’t I, me, Ayak see myself as an example of a pin up?
After a lot of soul searching, armed with my photo I began sketching my idea’s to explain to my digital artist to refine… & POP ART NOIR was born.
Please let me know your feedback in the comments section, I absolutely welcome ideas & discussion. I’d love for this blog to be a safe space to dialogue, to grow & to heal.
A x 💋
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