Guardians Novel -WIP
Guardians is my current Afrofuturist novel work in progress. The purpose of this fantasy novel is to explore what it means for African Americans to feel alienated from African culture, but from the lens of one girl in a fantasy depiction of Africa. This idea was conceived when I was at least twelve years old and it has changed so much over the years. I decided that I wanted to make a world that belonged to me, as many storytellers have done before me. I am also illustrating this novel so that I can communicate what I’ve been seeing in my head for years. I’m currently in revision status, but when the story and illustrations are polished, I plan on self-publishing this as my first book.
(The cover design is not final.)
Discovering The Let Go
I started this series with the idea of exploring abstraction combined with the human figure, but I found out that I was actually trying to tell a story. I was discovering the world I was building, which are the galaxy-like abstractions, and the characters, which are the studies of human figures and hair. I see this series of work as one study for an Afrofuturistic story that I will tell via a graphic novel and animation.
I kept seeing a figure floating in an abstract space called “The Let Go,” inspired by the song “Let Go” by Beau Young Prince. The figure moves into “The Let Go” from reality and travels through time and space. “The Let Go” is a healing place where the traveler can witness themselves without judgement. In order for the traveler to move on to a better world, they always have to pass through the “The Let Go.”
I started this series in spring 2018 as an independent study project for my Drawing IV class in my undergraduate studies. I painted most of the backgrounds in acrylic and drew over them with graphite. Then, I used gouache to portray the women’s hair and clothing.
The purpose of this series was to explore character concept design. This is connected to the illustrative side of my Guardians novel project. In order to complete this series, I posed in front of a mirror to use my body as reference to design these characters and then I reconstructed the drawing so that they would fit the women that I visualized. I believe that this is only the beginning of determining how these characters look. I plan on recreating them to have an even more refined idea of what each character will look like.