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.


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.


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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  1. April 7, 2017 / 17:29

    I absolutely LOVE this! Society’s beauty standards don’t always include our dark skin, coarse hair, or full facial features so we often have to celebrate ourselves and each other. Kudos to you sis and keep them coming!

    • Ayak
      April 7, 2017 / 17:43

      Thank you Ashleigh, I’m putting together some merch so if you like check back for a piece. Blessings x

  2. April 7, 2017 / 18:21

    I love it! It’s a great idea and l hope you have lots of success with it. Melanin Monroe! 🙂

  3. April 8, 2017 / 08:57

    Great concept! We have been taught to assimilate to a beauty standard that we can never fit, and should never want to fit! We are our own standard of beauty. Much success with your series ♥

  4. Jay Colby
    April 8, 2017 / 14:57

    This is great society standers of beauty has always been bias. Starting this series is a great way to make your own standard of beauty.

  5. April 8, 2017 / 23:16

    That’s an amazing idea. Beauty is more than one cookie cutter ideal. Keep working!

  6. April 9, 2017 / 14:51

    Melanin Monroe, I love it. I’ve always wanted to dabble with digital art with the Waco tablet. Looking forward to hearing your experiences.

  7. April 10, 2017 / 03:49

    I’m digging your creativity. I love for original anything, especially when it includes brown skin like my own. I hope you are feel back to 100%

  8. April 10, 2017 / 12:19

    Sorry about your recent health concerns but I am glad its not hurting your creative juices. I love the Pop Art Noir love the concept and the Andy Warhol inspiration!

  9. April 10, 2017 / 14:01

    These are awesome and creative. I’m by no means the same. lol… I look forward to seeing more. Thanks for sharing..

  10. April 10, 2017 / 21:50

    This is such a cool and cute concept! Keep up the great work!

  11. April 11, 2017 / 22:49

    I love it!! Kudos to you for starting it because now I want one lol! We have got to change the standard of beauty that has dominated for so long. But more importantly, open minds to other forms of beauty.

  12. Michelle Thames
    April 21, 2017 / 16:30

    What a great idea! I love this!

  13. May 25, 2017 / 14:44

    This is a interesting topic.

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