Melissa Koby black artist

Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.

Like many others, I have been listening, reading, learning, inwardly reflecting, and having uncomfortable conversations lately. I have learned so much in the last few weeks and have so much more to learn. Being color blind is no longer enough. I see that now.

I’ve asked myself what little steps I can do to change. I quickly realized that for me, many of my interests come from the artists I follow and inspire me. I see those artists more often than not on Instagram. The art world and who I follow on Instagram is one of the points I started with.

And boy – have my perceptions been rocked in the last month with the many, many realizations I have had.

Over the last few weeks, I have come across the most amazing black artists under the hashtag #supportblackartists. I found some of these accounts through artists that I already followed. Many are spreading the word and sharing work by other amazing black creatives. This quickly had me spiraling down the Instagram rabbit hole (I KNOW, you know what I mean by that!). I’ve lost a few hours doing this over the last few weeks, but I’m not sorry as my Instagram feed is so much better for it. I really wanted to share a select few of my favourite black artist Instagram accounts that I follow and encourage you to check them out!

Melissa Koby black artist

@mkoby

Melissa Koby is a Florida based illustrator that sells from her Etsy shop MKobyArt. Her favoured colour palette is just so dreamy; I can’t stop looking at it. Deep rich earthy colours adorn her work. Ochres, browns, golds, deep reds, and greens are the perfect palette for her stunning depictions of the female form. Others agree as she has a whopping 1,813 (at time of writing) sales, many 5 star reviews, and a following of 61.6K on Instagram. This artist is going places! 

@tawnychatmon

Tawny Chatmon is a black artist based in Maryland. Her work is photography-based and is inspired by the artist Gustav Klimt. Her work is stunning. Her recent series celebrates the ‘beauty of black hair, features, life, and culture. These portraits are meant to act as a counter-narrative and redemptive measure to uplift and elevate black hair, tradition, and culture freeing us from negative stereotypes’. Working on photographs, she paints directly on top of them with the most beautiful combination of colours. She recently exhibited at Fotografiska in New York with her ‘Inheritance’ series. 

Tawny Chatmon black artist
Reyna Noriega

@reynanoriega_

Reyna Noriega is an Afro-Latina author, educator, and artist who ‘seeks to represent the beauty and vibrance of women’; I’m in with just that sentence! Another artist with such a strong style that you instantly warm to. Greens, browns, oranges, reds, and gold are scattered over her work. Oh, and did I mention she combines her art with POETRY?  I love it! So not only can you buy her artwork, you can buy a book of poetry covered in her art. I even spotted a free colouring template on her shop website. You’re welcome! 

@erralajean

Erra Jean is a rad contemporary ceramicist with a 98.4K Instagram following. I love all the contemporary and bright colouring that she uses as her glazes for her pieces. Her page is covered with one of a kind huge mugs, bowls, planters, hanging pots, jugs, vases, and more. So much visual deliciousness right here. Keep your eyes peeled for her next restock! 

Erra Jean black artist
Elan Byrd

@elanbyrd

Elan Byrd is a black artist based in Miami. She works with raffia and natural fibers. Her page is definitely one of calm and tranquility and gives off a peaceful, slow living vibe. In one of her posts, she says, ‘I fell in love with weaving back in college. I found that the process was so therapeutic and I could get lost in it for hours.’ You can find wall hangings, original art, collage art, and prints all on her website. Her artwork really does embody her brand line – embrace the beauty of imperfection, explore the connection between earth and hand. These things have always drawn me closer. There is something so grounding about her work; like taking off your sandals and putting your feet in the sand. 

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Grace Selous Bull
Grace is a Royal Air Force wife and has been for nearly 8 years. She is mama to two fiery girls and one paw pad, and is undeniably British!’ Creative by nature, creative in life she and her family are a consciously creative household. With her background in the arts, before marriage she worked in the London art scene, both at an international auction house as well as for an international art consultancy. Leaving this behind her passion for creativity, art education and the arts didn’t fade but spilled over into her family life. This led her to become an author of a children’s art educational book, Potty About Pots: arts and crafts for home and school and start up her own website, The Rainbow Tree: making creativity accessible. She also began to write for companies like Super Simple. After a particularly difficult deployment last year she has become a strong advocate for creative mindfulness after watching her eldest struggle with anxiety throughout. Using creativity as a tool to get through, she saw her daughter more able to deal with day to day life. Grace believes that creativity is an innate gift every human has and that using it every day allows us to maintain a healthy well being. This is is especially important for children who benefit developmentally, socially, emotionally and mentally in being creative day to day.

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