I have been on a mission to find an illustrator for my company Barnes Brothers Books. It has been tougher than I thought it would be. I need an illustrator that can create black characters, and I stated that in the job posting. My vision of what a black characters or what black people look like doesn’t match some of the portfolio submissions.
My husband and I have been reviewing applications and portfolios and sometimes have been shocked about the depictions. At one point he said, “Is that an alien or a black person?” It made me think about the bigger picture of how black features are perceived, bigger than life and way out of proportion. There are a myriad of looks; we are more than one note.
The other issue is the hair. Only a few illustrators had decent looking texture of black hair. One even did a pretty nice fade.
I didn’t think it would be this hard, but I am confident I will find the correct person. Maybe the illustrator won’t be a person of color, but I want to highlight artists who can capture people of color in the correct light and not a caricature.
The search is still ongoing…