#DrawingWhileBlack, The Hashtag Celebrating Black Illustrators All Over The World

There is a famous proverb that says the best ideas often start with a tweet.

Hashtag #BlackPower, which is viral in all of us. And it’s #DrawingWhileBlack that says it!

Inspired by #VisibleWomen and #BlackOut, both of which celebrate those that are often invisible in most of the traditional mass media, #DrawingWhileBlack sheds light on Black artists. By the time, I am writing these words, it is on fire. It is viral. And everything started from a tweet.

Annabelle Hayford is 19 years old. She is a sophomore of the University of Maryland where she studies animation and illustration. Born to Ghanaian parents, @sparklyfawn draws since her very young age, fascinated by animation in video games, Mangas and comics. This September 13, 2017, the one who grew up in an environment where only the artistic work of white men was put forward, decides to launch a hashtag to celebrate and appreciate Black creativity. 

The representativeness of Blacks in the mass media is still very low. Whether in Africa or in the world, every young black person finds himself without a model to which he can identify. Rendered invisible by an industry that does not integrate them enough, these sources of inspiration become inaccessible to youth. But luckily there is internet. Approached by the Irawo editorial team, Annabelle tells us: “ I want people to realize that black can be and in fact are artists ! That our work should be appreciated and loved just like everyone else’s. If you don’t see yourselves or people like you in the art, take initiative and makes those spaces ! I’m so happy about the results of the #drawingWhileblack! It’s amazing to see so much talent in the black community and I think this is a big sign to employers of the arts that there’s no excuse to not employ not only Black but other POCs in the industry.”

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The rules are simple : be a Black artist and to post on the social networks 3 of his works as well as a photograph of itself and a brief bio. Many black artists from around the world joined the movement by flooding Twitter with their magnificent creations. This colorful output of illustrators has allowed the world to discover incredible drawing talent in Africa. Like this young Ghanaian Benjamin Kwashie whose tweet has generated more than 90,000 likes and retweets, and attracted the attention of great news companies. Irawo has selected for you some of the most breathtaking tweets of the #DrawingWhileBlack.

1. Let’s start with Annabelle’s artwork

2. Penjamin ? 😱

3. Cameroon represent !

4. Absolutely FAN-TAS-TIC

5. I create worlds👌🏾


6. A girl has a lot of faces 👏🏾


7. Focus. Just…Focus 👁

8. Oh-My-God 😍


9. Okay, Ursula 👏🏾


10. Benin 🙌🏿


11. Simon loves everything Weird !

12. GENIUS 😍!


14. Thanks to Ashi’s friends 😍


15. I got got got talent, inside my DNA 🤙🏾

16. Thea, you are hired ! 🔥

17. Ian, The Thinker !

18. Princess Kay, you slay 👑 !


19. And we love your art ! 👏🏾

20. The snake drawing is amazing 😱

21. Madagascar is very well represented 🇲🇬

22.  Luc likes bright colors 🌈

23. And Romeo loves Juliet

24. Beauty in 2D

25. Ghana got talent !

26. Thanks for droping them Xane !

If you are an Afro illustrator, inspire us with your #DrawingWhileBlack!

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