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Meet
The Artists.

Six Black women artists brought “It Comes Naturally” to life. Each woman poured her distinct vision into creating the diverse essence of the Black community. They have depicted real Black women with real businesses who are creating real impact across the world. 

“I celebrate the Black woman’s strength and beauty.”

— ALEXIS EKE

Illustration by Alexis Eke

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It is important to illustrator Monica Ahanonu that everyone honors their own uniqueness and beauty. “I'm very passionate about showcasing strong Black women with my art - especially those who are carving their own paths,” says Ahanonu who started her career at Dreamworks Animation. “I had the honor of combining my love of portraiture and illustrating inspirational figures, in this case, of the winners of the We Buy Black Grant in the SheaMoisture campaign.” Her portraits and pop art make learning about people from other cultures, industries and backgrounds accessible. “Just because you’re different from the people around you doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful,” she says. “I believe in diverse beauty. It brings color and variation into the world.”

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MEET THE BUSINESSES

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The discipline and focus of Rachelle Baker’s Capricorn nature allows her to master being a multi-disciplinary artist in relief printing, illustration, comic art, video art, and music. Bringing Black people to center stage is an artistic daily goal. “Creating something with SheaMoisture that features the beauty that looks just like the faces I see every day - my friends, my neighbors, my mother, my nieces, or even in the mirror - was incredible,” says the Detroit native. “It's so important for young people to see themselves not only represented in the imagery, but also behind the scenes.  So I hope that this inspires young Black people to create, get involved, take care of themselves, and stay true to their dreams." 

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A celebration of Black life is what emanates from the intricate and life-like artwork of Bisa Butler. The Howard University Cum Laude graduate is an American fiber artist known for her quilted portraits and designs that tell the story— the African American side— of the American life. “My subjects are African Americans from ordinary walks of life that may have sat for a formal family portrait or may have been documented by a passing photographer,” says Butler whose work was most recently the focus of a solo exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York that will subsequently travel to the Art Institute of Chicago. “Our contributions and perspectives have been ignored, unrecorded, and lost.” Butler is making sure that her work leaves a spiritual stamp that captures the infinite beauty and soul of Black culture. Her portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai was featured as a cover for Time Magazine’s special issue honoring the 100 Women of the Year in 2020.

 

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Toronto, Ontario based illustrator and designer Alexis Eke has always viewed women as resilient and independent due to a strong female Caribbean upbringing and her unwavering relationship with God. This has later translated into her artwork, as all of her illustrations are of women, to reflect her cultural and personal experience. “My younger self lacked the celebration of Black women in the media,” says Eke who illustrates Black women in a contemporary light. “As a young woman today, being able to use my artistry to do the very thing my younger self needed is a beautiful moment.” Her mission is to expand the representation of Black women in design and to evangelize, by creating a space for audiences too deeply reflect on themselves and their relationship with God.

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Striving to help women on their journeys to create businesses that are inclusive, conscious, and forward-thinking is what fuels Reyna Noriega’s passion for art. The Afro- Latina author, educator and visual artist utilizes her gift as a tool to dive deeper into herself, and to exhibit the beauty and vibrance of women. The joy and clarity that art brings to her life has led her to devote her work to helping others heal and find happiness. With layers of paint and pixels, Noriega offers a window into her life and those of all women, telling stories inspired by her culture and experiences where women can see themselves and feel empowered. 

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“I am drawn to Black women as subject matter because I believe that we are the epitome of beauty, love and strength,” says South African artist Lindokuhle Mawala who grew up with a passion for visual art. She adds that the SheaMoisture campaign has been an exhilarating and empowering experience. “It gave me the platform to push my creative boundaries while continuing to represent Black women and their beautiful crowns,” says Mawala who uses a style that combines darker tones with sketched outlines. “I believe that my interpretation, together with my artistic style of representation, has added value to the campaign. I will continue to celebrate and represent Black women through my craft, and I hope to inspire many more women to embrace their Black values and culture.”

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©2020 Created in partnership with SheaMoisture.