For 23-year-old Shannon Wright, the idea to start a Black hair illustration series came from an anthology group she was apart of. After being asked to design an illustration about what it meant to be a knight, Wright came to the stark realization that there weren’t many Black representations, especially Black women portrayed as knights.
In her creative fashion, she designed a Black woman depicted as a knight, with her hair in Bantu knots. Yes, Bantu knots, not mini-buns. After looking at her design, it inspired her to create more Black hair illustrations.
“I was thinking, well, why don’t I do just more hair-centered pieces like this? I really like how these Bantu knots came out, why don’t I move forward with different hairstyles and also with a simple color palettes” said Wright.
From then, she created more designs with a variety of Black hair textures and hairstyles. “I was also thinking about including, not just braids, but short hair. I have a piece that I’ve already completed that features a woman with a nice weave,” said Wright. “I thought well, let me not only just include braids and twist styles, but I also get in short hair, and natural curls.”
As a recent graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond with a degree in Communication Art, she was fortunate enough to be in a program centered around cartoon, comic and art illustration. At an early age, she knew her talent in design was more than just a hobby.
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