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Artist Spotlight

Artists to Know: 10 Black Artists to Put on Your Radar

In honor of Black History Month, we’re continuing to celebrate black artists by shining a spotlight on 10 more creatives this week. iCanvas would be nothing without our diverse family of creators, and we’re proud to play a role in increasing representation of artists who are historically underrepresented across the industry. We hope you find a new favorite.

From creating album cover art for the legendary Prince to breaking down barriers in the fashion industry, these 10 multidimensional Black artists create art collected by everyone from hip-hop icons to plus-size fashionistas. Using multiple mediums and various styles, their artwork is designed to shift narratives, spread joy, and show appreciation for their heroes.

Some discovered their passion for creative expression in moments of struggle, and others have been holding a pencil as long as they can remember. From oil paintings of familial bonds to illustrations of celestial goddesses, keep scrolling to discover just a few of the many Black artists we’re proud to partner with.

1. Vakseen

While working on hit records in the music industry is a driving force in his career, music producer and songwriter Vakseen uses painting as another creative outlet. With a unique style combining cubism, photo realism and pop surrealism, he creates captivating portraits of his favorite musicians and pop icons. “At the end of the day, I just want to keep their legacies and our culture thriving, while connecting people worldwide.” His art has been featured in Tupac Shakur’s estate, as well as by major brands like Adidas, Bombay Sapphire Gin, and Complex.

Click here to see all of Vakseen’s art on iCanvas.

2. Cbabi Bayoc

Incorporating bold colors and shapes, Cbabi Bayoc’s oil paintings and illustrations often tell stories of Black love and family bonds. Beginning as a caricature artist for Six Flags and Rap Pages magazine, he gained international exposure creating artwork for Prince’s album, The Rainbow Children, as well as numerous companies, including MCA Records, New Line Cinema, and Coca Cola. Dedicated to creating art reflecting his love of music and family, he changed his name in 1997 to an acronym representing his purpose in life: Creative Black Artist Battling Ignorance.

Click here to see all of Cbabi Bayoc’s art on iCanvas.

3. Manasseh Johnson

Drawing since he was a toddler, Manasseh Johnson creates mixed media art using colored pencils. From reinterpreting the Mona Lisa and the Garden of Eden to celebrating afros and civil rights leaders, his goal is to create art embracing Black culture and inspiring the next generation of artists. His work has been featured in the art publication Colored Pencil Magazine and commissioned by clients including Kevin Hart, Lena Waite, and The Criterion Collection. 

Click here to see all of Manasseh Johnson’s art on iCanvas.

4. Jonquel Art

With a mission to show style has no size, Jonquel Norwood creates digital art and illustrations depicting chic, curvy women living trendy lifestyles. Moving to New York early in her career, she quickly became inspired by the world of plus size fashion influencers. “I noticed women with my body type wearing bold and expressive fashion and I fell in love.” Her art goes beyond fashion and now inspires women across the world to embrace their bodies. Breaking down barriers in the fashion industry, she produced her own show during New York Fashion Week called Curvy AF, and has worked with brands like Lane Bryant, Dia & Co., Tommy Hilfiger, and more.

Click here to see all of Jonquel’s art on iCanvas.

5. Stina Aleah

Stina Aleah discovered her love for oil painting while recovering from a high school sports injury. Struggling with depression and anxiety, she inadvertently turned to art and discovered the healing power of creativity. “Behind every brush stroke, transition of color, and embellished figure, underlies a hidden message.” Today, she creates sensual, lifelike paintings depicting everything from intimacy to athleticism. Stina has been featured in galleries, events and exhibitions across the country, from the esteemed Art Basel Miami to the NAACP National Convention.

Click here to see all of Stina Aleah’s art on iCanvas.

6. Gordon Rowe

A hip-hop enthusiast to his core, Gordon Rowe shows appreciation for pop culture and Black artists past and present. Using graphic design and mixed media, he combines elements of street art and graffiti, often incorporating royal and floral symbols. Reimagining representation, he puts a twist on renaissance paintings and classic artwork featuring Black icons — from J. Cole to EARTHGANG.

Click here to see all of Gordon Rowe’s art on iCanvas.

7. Bouffants & Broken Hearts

“Change is constant and keeps your work fresh.” Known for her glamorous, sassy style, Bouffants & Broken Hearts creator Kendra Dandy creates digital art and acrylic paintings of strong Black women, cheeky animals, and fashionable accessories. With a goal of uplifting others and inspiring joy, her stylish artwork has led to collaborations with several brands, including Vans, Sugarmat, and Anthropologie. Her creations have also appeared in iconic publications such as Beyoncé’s Black Parade Route, Cosmopolitan, and Essence.

Click here to see all of Bouffants & Broken Hearts’ art on iCanvas.

8. Colored Afros Art

“Art is truly an escape for me. It’s like therapy.” Colored Afros Art creator Nydia credits both creativity and anxiety for her journey to digital art and painting. Using bright, high contrast colors and celestial elements, she creates magical, melanated worlds of galactical goddesses rocking natural hair. Incorporating aspects of meditation and spirituality in her work, she channels what she calls her imaginative yet chaotic mind through art.

Click here to see all of Colored Afros Art’s art on iCanvas.

9. Aislinn Finnegan

In a world dominated by Western concepts and aesthetics, Aislinn Finnegan aims to celebrate Black beauty and natural hair through her digital art and portraits. By combining silhouetted figures with rich colors, patterns and African-inspired adornments, the Northern Irish and Zambian artist creates illustrations paying homage to African heritage and shining a spotlight on the power of Black female representation. 

Click here to see all of Aislinn Finnegan’s art on iCanvas.

10. Alloyius Mcilwaine

Alloyious taught himself to draw by duplicating comic book images as a child, and has used art as a creative outlet ever since — from studying high fashion and art couture to exploring ways to create his art on apparel. Discovering freestyle abstract art in 2012, he was inspired by the ability to improvise “without any predefined concept or idea or rules.” Incorporating elements of graffiti, street art, and comic book vibes, his emotions and mood guide his creative process, resulting in vibrant, abstract pieces featuring different shapes and symbols.

Click here to see all of Alloyius McIlwaine’s art on iCanvas.

It’s an ongoing priority for iCanvas to increase the diversity of artists on our site, and we are thrilled to continue growing our partnerships with Black artists. Get to know more Black artists featured on our blog and explore our growing collection of art by Black artists to discover creators you can support this month and beyond.

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