What do you create?
I am a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on photography, illustration and product design. I have created digital brushes that replicate the natural hair textures and protective styles of Black people and a collaborative coloring book called ‘Melanin Magic’ that features 14 different Black artists from all over the world.
Who is your audience?
My audience is mostly younger adults and older teenagers that are into art, animation and racial equality.
What inspired your creation of the hair art brushes? Why did you decide to sell them?
I was inspired because I spent 4 hours drawing microbraids on one of my drawings. I wanted to continue to draw microbraids but the time was keeping me from wanting to continue to draw that protective style. So, I looked into ways I could cut down the time on drawing them out and discovered digital braid brushes. I developed my own 12 pack for myself and decided to sell it on Etsy without thinking much about it. It went viral and sold 1,000 brushes in less than a week. Then I knew I had something that people had a huge demand for.
Is there a part of your creative process that you have now that you didn’t have when you began? How did you develop it and how does it keep you creating?
My creative process is mainly me trying and failing at things until I find something I like. I keep creating because I love discovering new methods to do art and express myself.
What is your favorite piece of work/content/art you’ve created?
My favorite piece I’ve created so far is Starry Night x Howl’s Moving Castle inspired drawing or the piece I drew of my mom after her video went viral on Tik Tok. I used a piece of her hair to develop some of my digital brushes, and 100,000 people asked me to draw her so I did haha. Her reaction to the piece was priceless and It’s my best realistic drawing I’ve done!
Tell us about your coloring book, Melanin Magic, and what inspired it.
I was inspired to do the coloring book because I wanted to do a low pressure collaborative project between Black artists. It features 35 original melanated magical beings by 14 Black artists from all over the world. The project started back in early August and came to fruition October 15th. It’s been amazing to see the response from everyone and I’m very happy it’s impacting kids and adults in a positive way.
What is your favorite creation by a Black person, and why?
One of my favorite artists is Geneva aka Gdbee. Her work is amazingly detailed and she does a great job of creating POC characters in a fantasy world.
Any advice for new creators?
Turn off the likes if you are on IG to focus on your craft and skill. Validation is nice but honing in on your artistic ability will take you farther in the long run!
What are your current or future projects you’d like to plug?
You can get the Melanin Magic coloring book and my digital curl, braid, edges, twists, lashes and loc brushes for Procreate, Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint on https://www.byvegalia.com!