Updated: Jul 1, 2020
I am always thinking of new ways to carry out the mission and collaborate with the community. Even though this COVID-19 pandemic has been tough for many, including us, it has also been a time to reflect and tap into creativity. With that being said, we have tapped into some creativity to launch our "Create The Culture"project, a collaborative project in which we work with Black artists, especially illustrators, to create limited edition merchandise.
Over the years, my appreciation for visual art, especially illustrations, has grown. I'm always in awe of artists and their levels of skill, creativity, and storytelling. This is evident from how many illustrations by Black artists we post on our Instagram page. For those who have been following our brand, you know that it is our mission to support Black entrepreneurs, creatives and communities in various ways. January of this year is when I first thought about how to combine my love for Black illustrators and the Pop of Culture mission. After some deep consideration, I arrived at several wonderful solutions and this project was one of them. I told myself that I would wait until beginning of 2021 to start. But then COVID-19 hit and all of our plans for the rest of the year were turned upside down, erased, or postponed. I had to sit down and strategize. I couldn't move forward with any popup shop events, so what would I do to support Black entrepreneurs and provide revenue for both us and the artist? That is when I decided to move forward with the project and titled it "Create the Culture: A Collaboration Between Pop of Culture and Black Illustrators".
With everything we do, we make sure we are creating opportunities and value that can be tapped in to. This project will give Black illustrators from around the world an opportunity to test their skills, grow their audience, and generate some income, which is very needed during these times. With me being both Nigerian and American, I am moved to use this project to address some of the issues that are at the forefront in both countries. Therefore, for the rest of 2020 a percentage of the profits from each collection will be donated to organizations of our choice that are part of the BLM movement in America and the fight against sexual violence in Nigeria. After 2020, we will continue to support these kinds of organizations but will open up to organizations that are related to other issues affecting Black people, other minorities, and women.
The first artist we are working with is Princella Seripenah. She is a 21-year-old self-taught digital illustrator born and raised in Accra, Ghana. Currently, she is a medical student living and studying in Russia. Her passion for creating started at a very young age and has been a constant part of her life since. Heavily inspired by the beauty of Black culture, she creates art mainly for Black people while still spreading and encouraging love, peace, confidence and positivity to all. Growing up, it has been her dream to be that ray of hope for any ill patient that comes her way. At the same time, she has always loved creating art that can heal and speak to others. She wants to be living proof that you can be busy as a medical student and still be a creative, that you can find balance in the busy. She hopes to impact lives both ways!
For the first collection, I wanted to do something that caters to our audience (which is predominantly Black women in their 20s and 30s) and provides some kind of happiness during these times. So I decided on the "Black Girl Magic Collection". The collection features t-shirts, tote bags, travel bags, and journals with original artwork that depicts Black women as powerful, proud, and beautiful. The collection is art directed by me and illustrated by Princella.
I am very excited to get this project off the ground and feel confident that it can make a great impact. Now, more than ever, we need to support one another and uplift Black communities around the world. The collection will launch July 6th! Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram to learn more.
Until next time,