I know this seems a deviation from my usual art, but at the same time, I needed to make this and share it with you here.
When my husband, Kevin, and I first started getting serious as a couple, people’s support of us turned from reluctant smiles to “Are you sure you want to date him? That could make life harder for you.“ Hearing this from people I love and respect popped the optimistic bubble I had always lived in.
All my favorite movies and stories had taught me that I could grow up to be anything I wanted, that everyone was created equal, that I was a good person who could stand up against injustice like my heroes, but the true lesson from those around me was this…
…I could do all those things as long as I was safe and didn’t marry a good man who I adored and who adored me, because it was easier to just move on to someone ‘safer’ who was not black. The world wouldn’t change any time soon, so I should just be safe.
Kev and I have usually been silent online about these topics for fear of upsetting anyone. Conversations about tolerance, guilt, and racial misconceptions were best left for private one-on-one conversations with friends and family. It’s finally the time for these conversations to happen out loud. If we’ve learned anything from the past few weeks, it’s that so many folks are like us. They have kept silent for a long time awaiting a single voice to give them the courage to speak out.
Now’s the time we need to choose not to be safe and comfortable. Now’s a chance to catch the world up with the fine sensibilities that we preach to our children and ourselves, but that we don’t have the same courage to live by.
I’ve used my art for examining morality in a ‘safe’ indirect way via the Fantasy genre, but if ever there was a time to be direct, it is now. I want to be like my epic Fantasy heroes and now all of us have a chance to be!
Portraits for Charity
I’ll be creating ribbon portrait icons like the examples here for charity. This idea was inspired by Bkomei’s icons for charity drive. Bkomie asked that others take up this format to do good, if they can, so I’m doing my part!
If you donate $30 or more to my donation pool, I will create an icon in this style for you to show your solidarity. Original Characters are also welcome! 100% of the money will be donated to charities supporting racial equality and providing aid to those neighborhoods currently impacted by protests. I hope to raise at least $1k or to create 34 icon portraits. Whichever comes first! There is no deadline.
In the event that kind individuals donate more than the minimum and I reach $1k faster, this charity drive will conclude and my art queue will be closed.
How This Works:
- Donate $30 or more to my Paypal Donation Pool here. (Paypal account is not required).
- Send me your reference photos (either a photo of yourself in profile or references of your Original Character) to angelicshades(at)gmail.com
- Your completed high res digital icon will be emailed to the address from which you emailed your reference images, unless otherwise requested. EDIT: Your icon will be sent as soon as it is finished. I will not be waiting until the pool is full and the final donations are made.
- Once I hit my donation pool’s goal, I will donate the money to selected charities (the receipts will be shared here and on social media for follow-up confirmation). The specific charities will be decided upon after I have done adequate research on each. EDIT: I am open to your suggestions to which organizations I should choose! I am currently considering the ACLU, Black Visions Collective, Campaign Zero, and Reclaim the Block.
- I’ll update this post with a link to a queue to let people know the status of portraits. I will be working on these icons outside of other obligations, so expect a moderate wait time. EDIT: Queue Link!
If you do not have the funds to donate, I encourage you to help signal boost this post, instead, and do what you can to be compassionate and outspoken about injustice in these dark times. Thanks so much for your generosity, either way! Kev and I really wish we could be out there helping voices be heard, but due to his medical fragility as a heart and cancer patient, we have to self-isolate as much as possible right now. I wanted to do what is within my power to do and that is to create something with art!
Let’s be heroes, guys. Stand up. Speak out! Don’t be silenced by fear and comfort. I know we have the power to change things together because together is the only way the world can, and has, changed!