My heart goes out to her…we have actually had the opposite problem many times, where even after repeatedly asking an artist to draw an African American woman (or an African woman, such as Vixen), with more classically African features, we would routinely get back drawings that looked like blonde Barbie with dark, non-African hair. Even after including multiple photo references, even then we would get back women who looked identical to the white females. Even with POC artists, in many cases. Why is something so simple so hard?
A Q&A with Comics Artist Jennifer Cruté, author of The Life of a SubUrban Girl
You have to put a jester hat on any oppressor—be that oppressor a person, a group or your own mind. I feel that the skill of dark humor is something that is innate in most cartoonists/artists that had to or have to deal with the oppression of racism, prejudice, sexism, homophobia, etc. etc. This skill helps me to draw a funny image with a message that may disturb, but will most certainly inform and hopefully educate.
Probably because of the scenario above, repeated 8945738976476279 times. And getting their work of PoC who look like PoC rejected 348975839478397 times. And because people gotta eat.
I am sure that’s true for some, which blows. I don’t want to take away from the excellent interview (can’t wait to see more of Jennifer’s work), but I should clarify. I have never had a black artist have problems delivering a black character with classical African features…the opposite is the case, so far, they delivered on that hugely each time it’s come up. I squealed with delight to have a story about two African American little girls actually LOOK the part for a short story a few years back. That was sheer bliss.
The POC artists I am talking about aren’t black…I suspect many of them live in countries with fewer citizens with African features. I should have been clearer on that, my fault entirely. I remember one artist, an incredibly talented guy otherwise, who just couldn’t understand what we were even asking for no matter how many different ways we tried to get it across. Urrrgh.
Anyway, I hope everyone reads the interview, Jennifer Crute sounds amazing and draws beautifully.
Sorry for the detour, there.